Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chris Does Pellets, Mr. M, Wild Turkeys, and an Eagles' Nest

The pet food company accidentally shipped a bucket of parrot pellets to me instead of the bucket of nutri-berries I'd ordered for Quicksilver. I called them and they said, keep them. We'll get the Nutri-berries right out to you.

Unfortunately, to Silver, pellets are not food. There are just something that clogs up your bowl until the food arrives. After several tries over several months, he did not relent. I became tired of stepping on them as they'd mysteriously made their way to the floor. I still had 2 or 3 pounds of the things after ages. Therefore I thought, well, I wonder how the Crows would like parrot pellets.

The Crows think they are deliciously dandy. They also find them handy to hide in secret catches and spent most of the day going back and forth to and from the stump,

Chris Crow gives me a look and checks my status. Am I going to stay where I am? Chris keeps his head tipped back as the outer pellet is gripped by just the very tip of his beak.

He puts the pellet on the stump and pushes with his head.

Note the pellet longways in his beak and that the crosswise pellet is now further into his beak.

The two pellets carefully crammed firmly in, Chris starts to turn.

And off he goes!

I was driving past the Ms nest tree checking it out. There isn't a twig left in the tree from the 2009 nest. I'd so hoped they'd use it again.

What? A Red-tail in the treeline. I jammed on the brakes, got out, and before I got situated, the hawk took off for the power poles along the railroad tracks.

Who should it be but Mr. M! The Ms are using the same hunting grounds but I just can't find their nest.
Lovely to see him though!

Next up were the Cox Road Turkeys trundling behind the bare trees. It then occurred to me that it was past time to go check out that old eagle's nest I'd seen a while back.

It's a bit of a trek, but I finally arrive and pull off the road.

Yeah, well--where's the eagles nest? You may well ask. Do you see that line of trees way, Way, WAY over there? Look across the pond and the center section of trees. Virtually invisible isn't it. Even with magnification you can see the nest--sort of, but not much else. I was hoping that perhaps I'd see an Eagle fly in and know it was active before trekking over to the farmhouse, knocking on the door, and asking the farm family if I might please, please, go traipsing across their land to be closer to the possible action.

Yes, I'll stay out of the field and walk under the power lines. (By the way, the air just buzzes with electricity.) Also remember this is the place with the Attack Goat who guards the front door. Jeez.

You can see why I might be putting off that knock on the door.

I waited and didn't see any eagles sitting around or flying into the nest. I did however take a photo periodically of the nest, hoping that when I got them home I could load them onto the computer, zoom in, and conceivably see some sign of life.

This is a zoom. Not a terrific photograph, but what do it want, it's forever away from me, and unfortunately no lumps against the light that might be heads.

Oh ho!!! Do you see it. Woo hoo!!! Just left of center, a white head, dark eyes, and a yellow beak resting on the edge of the nest.

Look very very carefully in the same spot. There appears to be the top of a white orb.

Are there a couple of pale spots there?

At least one pale spot!

What! Where did that full sized Eagle body come from? Was it her head I saw in the first heartening photo?

She looks like she may be leaning down and feeding!

YEA!!! There's an Eaglet with her. Of course I couldn't see any of this at the time but it looks like she's poking food into the little guys beak.

Look at the pink inside of that beak. I think someone is begging.

Looks like I'm going to have to take a big breathe, gird my loins, and take on the Attack Goat.

(Perhaps bribery is the answer. I wonder if Attack Goat would like some parrot pellets. No? Anyone know what the hands down favorite food of goats is?)

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Goat fav foods - looks like raisins or sunflower seeds:


(I spend too much time reading farm blogs.)

Anonymous said...

The Eagles that were around Syracuse last February were only wintering. Are these breeding birds Northern or Southern Bald Eagles?

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Karen,
Next time I'll bring some raisins and sunflower seeds as B.J. ate the cover off my road atlas on the second trip. Come to think of it, perhaps I should find some comparable paper/cardboard to the atlas cover plus the seeds and raisins. :-)

Donegal Browne said...

HI Anon,

These eagles are the northern subspecies, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis. They are in Rock County, which is far southern Wisconsin and from what I see on the internet from the DNR, last I looked, there were no confirmed Bald Eagle nests in Rock County. The eagle population map doesn't show any eagles nesting except in the upper third of the state, so obviously things have changed as these eagles are definitely nesting and have had a successful hatch.

In Janesville, Wisconsin there is a pair of eagles that summer on the Rock River and may be nesting but as far as I know no one has found a nest. There are also rumors of a pair nesting somewhere on the verge of Lake Koshkonong.