Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Urban Hawk Update:Tulsa and St. Johns plus Eaglets Abduction, Turkeys, and an Indigo Bunting

Photograph courtesy of www.kjrh.com/

From R. in Illinois an update on Thunder in Tulsa--
Thunder is currently sleeping in the nest bowl. I went to bed at about 7 AM, leaving three early birds to watch Thunder and post happenings. Got up about a half hour ago and caught up on the postings on the forum. Lots of viewers are posting. Apparently Tulsa radio and TV and print media are all over this story, but apparently everyone is watching from their homes and not going to the tower. Thunder has continued to keep everyone on the edges of their seats all day. Going from zonked in the nest bowl to leaping up over the nest bowl frame out onto the "launch pad" and scaring us to death (and probably himself) with daredevil leans and flaps, then when everyone's hair is standing on end and on fire, he goes back, lies down, and goes back to sleep.

Also from R in Illinois, she’s been a busy woman today, by way of the Tulsa Hawk Discussion Group, the abduction and rescue of the Channel Island Eaglets, also attached after the update is the nifty link so you can watch the whole episode on youtube.

From Forum contributor Redfinch:
"Yesterday afternoon I looked in on the baby eagles on Santa Catalina Island and an intruder came and took both babies. They are about 7 wks. old. One he took right away and the other baby defended as best he could, but it took him too. The parents were finding food. Dad attacked the intruder (an immature eagle )but too late. You think we are bad with our hawk, these posters went bananas! They finally got a hold of one of the biologist and he and three others grabbed their gear and took off for the nest. It usually is an 1-1/2 hr. climb, but the one fellow said he could make it in 30-45 min. They have a microphone and you could hear the rescue. Well, they got there and both eaglets are OK. They were dropped out of the nest. One had a broken beak and the other a possibly broken wing. They were flying them to the mainland today to the vet hospital. If they weren't hurt too bad, they would return them to the nest, but they can't in this case.
The parents are beside themselves.
You can watch the whole thing on youtube.


The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Nest--Isolde and Norman
The workman at the Cathedral still have not adjusted their activities in relation to the nest and the news looks very bad for any eyasses that may have been in the nest. I truly doubt that St. Francis would approve of the workman's behavior.
See Rob Schmunk's report at-- http://bloomingdalevillage.blogspot.com/

I'm driving up the road and--Look at this! Finally a turkey hen who isn't 40 acres away. Of course there is a dirty windshield between us but beggars can't be choosers.

I've pulled over onto her side of the road, of course it's my side of the road too. She pauses mid stride then bolts for the grass.

Then she plunges into the wildflowers. But being a Turkey she can't resist popping her head up to check on me. Deciding to chance it as I didn't seem to have a gun, she pops out completely and continues into the woods. Where she just might have a nest.

Photograph by Donna Browne
Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea

What a beauty, who could resist this guy? I love the fact that not only are his feathers blue, but so is the skin on his legs and feet, his beak, and his eyes are a midnight color.

Besides he finally came out from under the picnic table.

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Eagles - would this have been territorial on the part of the intruder, or was s/he looking for food?

Once the parent(s?) were back, would they have heard the baby hawks below the nest? One parent who brought back food seemed to be on the nest for awhile, calling but not going anywhere.

I didn't see a sign in the video of the "parent attacking the intruder." Maybe I missed it?

I had the dim idea that with redtails, one parent hunted for food while the other kept an eye on the nest?

What brave little eagles! The top one especially.

As to the parents being beside themselves, someone said the Riverside parents would not be upset by the deaths of their young, but I have seen a mother cat grieve for weeks for the loss of a kitten, staying constantly right where the kitten had passed away.

Donegal Browne said...

Karen Anne,

I asked John Blakeman if this sort of raid happened regularly and he said it was aberrant. As both he and I have dial up at the moment neither of us have seen the youtube video we've only read the posts.

I'm going to try and find a Wifi spot tomorrow, and hope the intruder is on the video so I can check out John's thought that possibly instead of the raider being an immature Bald perhaps it was a Golden Eagle. They are quite similar. And Goldens are well known for this sort of behavior.

As to both parent Eagles being off hunting at the same time, perhaps in order to feed two big hungry Eaglets both parents have to hunt.

And yes,from my observations I agree that animals do feel what we would call grief under certain circumstances. Though in the case of young suddenly missing from a nest, I'd call it more severe anxiety and agitation. Which is similar to what humans would feel when suddenly discovering that their two year old is suddenly no longer in the house.

Karen Anne said...

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.

Karen Anne said...

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.