Monday, May 05, 2014

The-Pond-That-Never-Freezes Eagle Nest Continued Plus Do Hormonal African Grey Parrot Females Go Berserk Too? And What Is That on the Cabinet?

 Where we left off when Blogger stopped functioning last night....I was walking the 3/4 mile field toward the woods  where the Eagle's Nest is situated.  I reach the edge of the woods and am able to see the nest in more detail 
 on the other side of the river.   And Mom has her eye on me.  No surprise there.
See what  I mean?  I'm assuming that there has been a hatch but the hawklets are still too short to be seen.   I decide to change positions as I'm standing in a marshy area.
I walk through the underbrush and when I get the camera up again.  MY, MY, MY!  Mom is shifting twigs to obscure my view.

Long time readers will remember  when we were watching the Red-tailed Hawk Nest  located in an oak in the middle of a field adjacent to County M a few miles out of Milton, WI . 

During the first observation of the male sitting the nest he too began to move nest twigs from other parts of the nest to obscure my view of he and the nest.  The eagle is doing the same.

I've never seen an urban hawk, even in a tree nest, do this sort of thing.  I suspect human habituation may be the reason.  It would seem strange that this is only a rural Wisconsin raptor move.
And she keeps at it.

Another glare.
And then she's back to the renovations.
And she keeps at it.

She pokes at another stick. And then stares.

                       I move and then she moves.
Then suddenly she looks up and keeps looking.  I don't see anything but then her eyesight is about a zillion times better than mine.  Okay, okay, not a zillion but from 8 to 10 times better than mine.  In which case it might as well be a zillion as she see's it, whatever "it" is, and I don't.

Dad coming with dinner?  Possibly.  Time to leave them in peace.  I start the trek back.

When I get about half way across the field I turn back and take a picture or two just in case something is happening that I can't see with the naked eye.
And indeed there was.  See the blob, the thickening of the branch that is just right of center on the nest?  That's Mom.
Dreadful detail I know, but look carefully.  Mom is standing on the edge of the nest leaning over.  Is she feeding an eaglet?  

I've always wondered what the survival strategy was involved with the white head and tail of an adult eagle.  It was an epiphany when I first looked at an eagle on the nest.  The head and tail are white, because at a distance the white head and tail blend into the sky masking the "bird" silhouette.  

 Look carefully at the spot the tail should be.  Got it?  You can see the line where the tail ends and the sky begins.

And who might that be?   The nest tree's clump is down right.

I'd say that was Dad doing a fly by and checking in.

Next up, as promised.  I'd wondered what female African Grey Parrots were like when Spring came round.  Did they turn into the Bride of Frankenstein? 

Well long time blog contributor and correspondent Robin of Illinois happened to have a friend, Linda of Delavan, Illinois who also happened to have two female African Greys. 

Do they dive bomb their mistress?

First off from Robin, "Linda says that ordinarily she will give her two female AGs cardboard boxes to chew on and shred, but not this time of year as they try to use them for nesting."

Very smart.  Rule number one, try to keep your birds from intensifying the problem with activities that exacerbate more hormonal secretions.

(Now if  I could just remove all shelves from the house.) 

So do females go mad like males do?

Linda of Delavan IL responded-
"Not to the extent of dive bombing me.  They will lay eggs if given a box and newspaper.  Gonzo likes to sit in the crook of my arm and let me pet her all over while she “clucks” very softly.  This only happens in the springtime.  Other times she’ll only let me scratch her head.  "

Clucks defined as: "Little noises into the crook of my arm.  If you’re not listening for them, you’ll miss it."
Thank you so much for the information Linda!

WOW!  The girls get more affectionate and some make cute little noises while you scratch them all over.  

Doesn't sound bad at all.  In fact it sounds wonderful.  Sigh.
Linda, just so you know, I'm extremely jealous of your girls!

Though I have to admit, Silver has not dive bombed me all day and I haven't caught him in a laundry room cupboard  either.  Perhaps his burrow through towels after excavating the drawer from the rear was traumatic enough to cool his jets a little?  Unlikely.  Therefore I hope, as hormonal surges tend to be arcs, he is on the down swing.  

Please let it be so!

Speaking of laundry room cupboards, long time reader Linda Maslin also sent me an email-

Love reading about the exploits of Quicksilver, but could you explain exactly what the bird is in your laundry room on one of the handles of the cabinet?  It’s right above your laundry sink – looks like a mourning dove.  I can’t tell if it’s a magnet, a photo or a stuffed bird or something else!
Linda Maslin

I wondered if someone would ask about that.
You hit the nail on the head L.M.  Yes she
is a Mourning Dove.  She has a clip on her stomach so she can perch on things.  There are also two more on the opposite wall...

I realize it's rather odd, but there, as always with me, lies a tale.  Several years ago I was in a sporting goods store looking for a hard to find bulb for one of my camping lanterns.

While browsing I was horrified that Mourning Dove decoys were being made and used by hunters.  Yes, I'm adverse to hunting but the hunting of Mourning Doves is utterly beyond my comprehension.  It makes me crazy.

l. Back in the day, Mourning Doves were called the Farmer's Friend because they love eating weed seeds.  Therefore beyond all the reasons we have not to hunt them they are helpful to humans when it comes to farming.

2. Besides how many would you have to kill to make a sandwich for goodness sake?

3. And third, Mourning Dove breeding season is variable, therefore the hunting season can overlap breeding season and cause chicks to starve on the nest.

Basically it is a blood boiler for me.  So I bought the five decoys they had left so no hunters could buy them.  They decorate the laundry room and when I go camping they decorate my tent.

And I'm happy to say that not once have they attracted any other doves to come and  investigate for which I am very glad.  Not that I wouldn't like to see doves but you catch my drift.

We do what we can.


Karen Anne said...

I thought from the position that it was a toy woodpecker...

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Karen Anne,

I have to admit that no self respecting Mourning Dove would ever perch on a handle like that. So perhaps it is a Mourning Dove decoy who has fantasies about being a woodpecker. :)