Monday, June 06, 2011

A Visit to the Edgerton Bald Eagle Nest


When I first looked up a parent, Mom(?), was feeding. She took one look at me and dived off the back of the nest. Note left eyass looking down after her.

Then Left pants and Right spreads her wings to cool herself. The temperature is in the mid 90's and the humidity is extremely high. Plus, remember we're in the middle of a marsh besides. And now that we're into warm weather add mosquitoes.

Suddenly a parent comes swooping into the dead tree to the east. Actually making kind of a production of it. I assume, the ruckus is get me to focus on the parent instead of the eaglets. The call is the squeaky click they often make. It is quite faint from this distance. There has to be something more to the eagle call which the pathetic hearing of humans just doesn't register.

Then the click squeak call varies slightly and it looks just like Dad is telling the eaglets something very important.


Then off Dad goes to the east but Left is looking west. Right may be preening. Note that neither eaglet went into begging mode when the parent appeared even though a feeding may have been interrupted by my arrival.

Remember the County M Red-tailed Hawks? For the longest time I never heard the young beg, because the parents wouldn't feed while I was there. So what did begging get the eyasses? Nada. So why beat your beak? They saw me and didn't make any noise.

As things progressed the parents would feed if I was inside the car, but the begging would stop when I got out. Begging is the the first thing an urban eyass does when a parent comes into view a mile away.

Therefore I'm guessing that the same thing is happening with this raptor family as happened with the Ms.

I'm not the only person who watches this family and remember I'm not close at all. John the gentleman who works the fields around the marsh also drives down to a half mile or so from the nest and watches for short spans of time. So the
eaglets have learned begging does you no good when a human is around.


Left was the one being fed when I arrived. Right has found a snack over in Left's area and eats it. Right will get her major portion when I leave, no doubt.

More panting and preening.

I notice when there isn't a parent in view that the eaglets tend to face opposite directions rather like a Red-tail pair does when perched closely to each other.

Left may have been begging here or just panting while looking up. I'm too far away to hear anything.

Parent must be coming.

Mom lands and looks out from behind the leafy branch and may be telling me something.

Then she's back behind the leaves, stock still.

And she's off up right.

The eaglets pant some more.

Mom's back more instructions to me.

She hides.

And keeps hiding though she may well be watching me through the leaves with a raptors grand eyesight.

Another piece of her mind.

Long stare out.....

Shift. Long stare... beat, beat, beat, beat

Now back the other direction. I can't see a mature eagle but it appears to be flying back and forth if the eaglet's heads are any hint.

Back.

And forth.

HEY! Not sure who did what but there was a glaring moment, then...

Never mind.

They wait.

They wait some more and pant.

Listening?

Right continues to look for stray snacks.

What's that?

Panting.

Now Left looks my way, though likely not at me. More likely is that there is a parent behind me. Oh yeah. I turn around and look, look up, sideways? Just to make sure nobody is on the way to take may head off.

Nope.


Another possible snack?

I only stayed about 30 minutes as I didn't want to disturb them too much.

No hopping and flapping on this nest yet, well at least none in this kind of weather.

If there is a video at the end. It is the parent on the dead tree taking off. It is an amazing swish of wings.

video
Here is a video of the eagle parent on the dead tree taking off. I never get used to the size of their wings.

Donegal Browne

More tomorrow on Pale Male, the NYC Peregrines, the City Hawks and the like.

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