Thursday, May 22, 2008

Miracle at the Cathedral--or nearly, Thunder in Tulsa, and a Channel Island Eaglet Update

Photograph by Robert Schmunk,
HOORAY!!! 2008 Eyass at The Cathedral Church at St. John the Divine
I opened my email and what should I find but this short note from Rob Schmunk-
There is a nestling standing up in the cathedral nest and looking back at me.
Sent from my iPhone.

"Halleluia!", I thought, "It's a miracle!" Stunning anyway, that the Divines have pulled it off considering all the strikes Isolde has had to deal with this season. And obviously Norman hasn't been too big a young cluck because they've succeeded.
For the Divines--Vivant!
And a later update from Rob, and check his site--link under the photo. And by the way Dottie is a neighborhood hawk watcher and Captain is her dog who sports a collection of jaunty neckerchiefs.

Addendum: Dottie came by later, with Captain, and said she thought she saw two baby heads pop up "the other morning", which I guess means Tues or Wed.Bruce came up after getting my message, so I hung out with him until about 8:00,but all we saw was an adult (presumably Isolde) on the hospital roof. Bruce [Yolton] was going to stick around a little longer, I think, to see if he could catch Isolde going into the nest for the night.Attached is the first pic that I got of the nestling. Unfortunately, it may also be the best as following shots seem to be slightly out of focus. This was taken at 6:22. At 6:27 the nestling stood and turned around so that it could return to the hidden corner of the nest. I could see almost all of its right side at the point, and there was a bit of dark feather visible emerging along the edge of the wing.
Thunder in Tulsa Update from R. of Illinois
At about 7:44 Thunder deliberately stepped off the nest area, flapped gently and staying close to the tower, flew down about 10 feet, and now is on level about 10 feet lower but directly under the nest site. She is on sort of a steel mesh walkway about 18 inches wide, which may circle the tower.Russell is batting into the station with a photographer but the light is going and she is still about 140 feet up in the air. Seems okay. The only observer at the time of liftoff said it seemed quite deliberate and not at all panicky. Back with more details later. Sheesh.
(Thunder is overdue to fledge according to the "normal" time frame so she may go the whole way at any second. D.B.)
Karen Anne's Update on the Channel Island eaglets, who were stolen from the nest and dropped by an intruder.
The intruder is on the video. Sometimes just his or her head is visible way down in the lower right corner.Must have been a nightmare for the eaglets, like a monster in the closet, because they defended the nest over some time. Good thing they are doing well. According to the discussion board, which is huge and has postings about other birds, so it is a bit hard to wade thru, it was the older(?) female who was the fierce guardian. It says the vets expect the eaglets to be released back into the wild on the island where they were born.
This link has photos of the birds being treated at the vet clinic
I am always amazed at how big raptors are.
There are a lot of bird (and other?) noises throughout the video. I wonder if you or John might know what they signify - parents? just other birds? The discussion board also said the rescuers had but hadn't yet posted video of the rescue. You can hear the rescue on the current video, but that one is always focused on the nest.I wonder if the adult fending off the intruder saved the eaglets from further harm.

Here's a news video including an interview at the vet hospital. Unclear if the eaglets will be going back to the same place or instead to a (nearby?) place.

As the Crow flies? Why is the straightest line between two points--as the Crow flies? Because Crows are heavy birds for their aerodynamics and have to put real effort into flight. Therefore there is no meandering when they have a destination.

In the woods at Thresherman's Park, I found this mysterious burrow in a small glade. It's about 10 inches in diameter. While investigating it, I inadvertently stepped on the cushion of moss to the left of the entrance. My foot stepped into the most amazing sense of softness. Which led to another discovery.

That is-- that in this particular soft green moss, there lives the most startling ruby colored insects. One discovery almost always leads to another if you're open to them. Questions are the same way. Now what is the evolutionary advantage of a sparkling ruby bug that lives in bright green moss?
Donegal Browne

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