Monday, September 27, 2010

Eagles have gone.

Well we had a journey out to the lake on Sunday September 26th. No eagles seen or heard this day. We were there on Friday Sept 17th as well and at that point the one adult was way in the back. But no others seen or heard. Hunting has started and the duck blinds are in full swing. Didn't see any hunters yesterday but the blinds are ready to roll and all greened up. Not a whole lot of ducks around either. A few great blue herons and double crested cormorants and ringed billed and herring gulls. But that was it. Fall has arrived. The colors are getting vibrant. And the lake is getting cold. Another great season has come to an end. And we will look forward to our bald eagle family and other families arrival back next spring. And hope for another great season with our family. Thank you to all who have followed our bald eagle family with us. Lets hope they have a safe journey south. And lets hope for a safer season for them next year. In that I mean I hope the skiers are made to wait it out or move elsewhere through the nesting season.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

BALD EAGLE FAMILY,Sept.10th,2010


Arrrival time 4:30pm.

Shortly after we arrived the adult took flight.
Young stayed in the tree. These two always seem close together.

My son is back in college now so our visits are limited. But he has a short day Fridays and we took this opportunity to go out to see our family of eagles. Such a beautiful September day. And the lake was fairly calm. When we arrived there were no eagles in sight anywhere. Have they left?
We took a run up the river. Maybe we will spot them there. No such luck. A few caspien terns still around and a few great blue herons. Not much action at all. Ospreys have left.

So we headed back out. When we got to the mouth of the river I saw that familiar beautiful bird on the his usual roost. The dead tree. In behind him. His two young eagles. Didn't see the other adult.

Within min. the adult took flight towards the river. Probably going fishing. But as I watched him I noticed another eagle in flight. He was flying in that direction. As Jeff & I watched it became an arial acrobat display. The two eagles actually looked as if they collided. I thought it may be the parent birds doing a display. But then noticed it was another young eagle. It was calling out and after the confrontation was over. That young eagle flew in the other direction. The adult flew up the river.

Young eagles were both still sitting in there tree. And then they both flew. What a magnificent sight. We have not seen them both in flight but once. And it is a wonderful thing to see these two young siblings together in flight. The older bird has always watched over the younger. And they seem to have a real bond. I could hear calling back in behind in the rookery. Then we saw another young eagle in flight. It was calling. It did not come out. But we could see it back in behind. These two flew in there and you could hear them all vocalizing. Have not seen other adult yet.

Then one of the two young eagles came out and landed on the tree again. Still hear vocalizing out in the rookery out back. Then the young eagle took flight. It didn't get far and the other adult was right behind it. It started shrieking. And seemed it was upset with her. They chased and chased. And all of a sudden they both turned and did a steep climb. Eaglet shrieking and calling out. Totally looking stressed. Adult right on it. She turned and showed her talons to her young and touched. Young eagle calling out still and panting with it's beak open. Adult broke off and the young eagle followed her. It panted for some time. She flew in front and then dropped behind and I could see her watching her young eagle above her while they flew quite a while together in peace.

Eventually, the young eagle went back to the rookery were the other two young were still vocalizing. Other adult still out fishing and other young had not returned to our knowledge. But may have as we were pretty busy watching this display. Adult then turned and flew back to her post in the rookery. I don't know if young birds are still being fed. No fishing was done while we were here this time.

All around us we had big fish surfacing. So there was no shortage for food for the eagles. They must have had a successful day of fishing and were satisfied.

As we were getting ready to leave at 6:50pm. we heard 2 gun shots go off. Very close. Hunting season is almost upon us. I am not sure why we heard the shots. But I know they duck hunt all around here. When we got back to the marina the marine unit had also just pulled in. So we had a talk with them. And they will keep there eyes open for us. I know they wouldn't get shot intentionally. But accidents do happen. We had a trumpeter swan we rescued in 2006 who had been shot in her wing and could not fly. We pray for this eagle family to be well and go south soon in safety. And we will get out there as much as we can until that happens. They have become our family too. !!

Time we left. 7pm.

First arial pursuit at a distance.

When we arrived the adult took off from the dead tree and flew towards the river. Then I noticed another eagle over there and the adult flew right to it. This is what took place. At first I thought the eagle pair was doing a display. Then realized it was a young eagle. This pairs eaglets were still in the tree. And I saw another one flying in behind and it was calling. We have 2 new young eagles that have joined this family while migrating. A good stop over place to rest. This young eagle actually flew in the other direction after it's confrontation with this adult. And the adult proceeded to go fishing up the river.
These shots are taken from a long distance away.
In the 3rd photo down the adult eagle and young eagle collide. I can not tell exactly what took place. But it looks like the adult was right over the young one. And the young one was calling out constantly.

eaglets and northern harrier.

Eaglets in the tree when we arrived. And a Northern harrier female flies by in behind them.

Eaglets in flight.

Eaglets flying around their area.

Adult in flight.

Adult taking a flight.

Young eaglets in flight together

Something we have not seen to much is the eaglets flying together especially at this close distance. They are very close to each other from what we have seen. Older one looks after the younger one. And always a parent with them. Even still. I do not know if they are still being fed. No fish were brought in today while we were there. They are a site to behold. So gentile and graceful. A real family unit.

Eaglet in flight.

Eaglets were very vocal tonight and they appeared to have 2 new eaglets join the family. Here is one in flight. One photo has another one in flight further in behind.

Arial acrobatic's

Young one flew from the tree. And from behind the trees adult took chase. She chased her eaglet and they did an amazing arial climb. Young was not happy with this I believe because it was shrieking and calling out during the whole thing. Beak hanging open and appeared to just want to get away. Adult was very gentile it seemed through this whole procedure. And it was very fast. I am thinking it was teaching the eaglet survival techniques. But not sure. Have not seen this before between it's family. Just when they were telling the osprey's who were harassing them to leave or else. That was the only time they turned there talons on another bird. I am afraid with all the trees and such around that the camera did not co-operate 100% for focusing. And this was very quick. So shots are not the best but you can see them well enough to get the impact of what they were doing.

Breaking away

The adult turned and showed her talons to her eaglet. It shrieked the whole time not looking to happy with the situation. As you can see in the first photo it's beak was wide open.This was only brief and she broke away. It all happened so fast and the camera didn't want to focus throughout the movements. But didn't do to bad. It was spectacular to have been so close to this arial display between adult and young eagle. The first one was at such a distance.

Flying off together

After the arial ordeal the young and adult flew off together. Adult stayed with it's young eaglet for a while. It was rather stressed from the acrobatic experience with it's parent. It's shrieking stopped and it panted for a bit with beak open. But she kept close and watched over it . All a learning experience for the eaglet.

Bald eagle adult & eaglet in fight

Young and adult in flight.

Bald eagle adult & eaglet in fight

Adult and young in flight. You can see the adult watching the young one above her.

Bald eagle adult & eaglet in fight

After the arial acrobatics the adult and it's young eaglet flew off together. Eaglet then went back and adult continued to go the long way back to the nesting area. She faded into the setting sun between the dark clouds. Absolutely amazing evening with this eagle family.