Friday, May 22, 2009

Primus and Secundus M Get Ready for Bed

Primus on the left, and Secundus on the right, focus on me. I must have made a move that was suspect in some way.

Secundus seems to prefer keeping part of his body hidden while I'm around whereas Primus is much more brazen.
One could say Primus wants to "play", depending on one's particular outlook, one could also say that Primus is menacing Secundus a bit.
I missed the shot but the back feathers blurred with movement is the final phase of a bout of hopping and flapping.
Secundus has retired the right side of the nest where he can peek through two of the large branches which hold up the nest. Note he is looking beak first at this point.
Primus is looking even more feisty. Secundus still peeking, retires further to the right.
Primus prepares for a leap. Secundus no longer peeks.
She decides to do a little flapping and hopping.
(Note: I haven't made any opinion about the eyasses sex, I'm using the male and female pronoun only to help differentiate them. M Mom is more brazen and M Dad is more stealthy and wary, therefore the pronoun given to the youngster that appears currently to have those traits.)
Secundus is back.
Primus appears annoyed. Secundus is back peeking through the branches instead of having a tussle.
Primus looks with focus. At what, I'm not sure. An eyass can be seen between the branches to right who may be drowsing.
Primus checks the perimeter.

And the sky.

And now the famous grown-up hawk look, peering between twigs.
I think she's going to bed down.
Not so fast.
A stern look my way--
And down she goes, and I don't see her pop up again before I leave at 8:37pm CST.
Donegal Browne

The Young Ms are Sat Upon and So Are the Muskrat Houses

Redtail Nest Photos by Donegal Browne
When I pulled up the adult looked like she was feeding from the rim of the nest. By the time I got out of the car with the camera, she was attempting to hide two rather large eyasses underneath herself.

The eldest slips out but the younger stays nicely squashed down.
(I still have not seen the third eyass since I returned after a week's absence.)

Mom gives it up trying to cover the two bruisers and tries for a distraction tactic. Instead of coming off the nest, gaining a bit of altitude and then disappearing behind the tree where she flies back to the treeline out of my sightline, this time she flies back and forth several times in plain view.

On take off, the birds left behind will either duck out of harm's way as one of the eyasses has done here or at the very least turn their heads away as the second has done. No matter how careful the takeoff, there are always the vagaries to consider and wind tossed talons are extremely dangerous.

No longer having to be squashed the eyasses take in their own particular area of interest. I'm the focal point for one but the other is checking something out in the bowl. Part of dinner perhaps?

Oh my, identical expressions, both giving me a look.

Still staring but shifting as well.
The usual long attention span of an adult hawk is not yet theirs.

Soon they are off to other pursuits, physical and mental.

But they do have the hawk habit of checking back in on whatever it is that has changed in the landscape lately.

Soon though, they sink back into the bowl for more napping and growing. Though not without a few head pop ups before they completely give in to sleep.

Photograph by James W. Blank
Wisconsin is a state of many permanent bodies of water and this year many more vernal ponds have stayed longer than usual. Plus it is one those "hundred year" years in which new places filled with water that no one had seen fill for a "hundred years". The marches are plush. Electrician and nature photographer James Blank does many hours of driving around the state for his work and he's been keeping tabs on all sorts of wildlife.

The turtles are doing very well. And the turtle above appears to be hoping for an even higher turtle population.

Photograph by James W. Blank
Unfortunately his chosen helpmate in the endeavor is slipping out from under him. She rather rudely smacks him under the chin with her shell.

Photograph by James W. Blank
Not only that, she's totally uncooperative and takes to the water.

Photograph by James W. Blank
Stunned and surprised, he just sits and stares.

Photograph by James W. Blank
Though there are many other possible choices over there on the duplex muskrat house.

Photograph by James W. Blank
And also at the marsh, a pair of Wood Ducks peer warily through the wetland grass. Peterson's Field Guide mentions that they very much like to perch in trees. I haven't seen that here, but I have seen them perched on any number of muskrat houses. Thank goodness for muskrats, otherwise where would everyone sit in all these marshes?

Donegal Browne

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Riverside Nest NYC Feeding and the Norfolk Eaglets Get Their Bands

Red-tailed Hawk Photos by D. Browne

When I arrived it looked like Riverside Mom was well into feeding the eyasses. Now this was my first trip to this nest and so I hadn't figured out all the ins and outs of this particular site. From this angle if the eyasses stand you can see them but the light is awful. So forgive the "experimentation".

Note, there are two eyasses, which could be seen briefly and intermittantly. The third I saw fed, as in Mom dipping her head down but I didn't "see" him.

Mom gives the bite to the other guy so this one stares off into the middle distance.

Now both are likely down on their haunches.

Mom watches with intensity. Likely to make sure, one, that the bite goes down, and two, who swallows it in the end.

Riverside Mom vocalizes down into the bowl. Someone may be doing something that they shouldn't be doing or she is attempting to attract someone's attention. Though when there is feeding going on the feeder usually has the undivided attention of the population of the bowl.

Another bite is given.

And a little head, beak extended up, goes for a morsel.
Food for the smallest eyass.

Mom watches closely again.


Here you go.

And more still...

Now to the part of the bowl where the two bigger eyasses were last seen.

The parent looking at eyasses (or eggs) look. The "egg look" is shorter. In fact I'd like to time the looks, at eggs and at eyasses, to see if it could be a reasonably accurate way to know there has been a hatch in a nest where, like the Ms, the hawks won't feed in front of a watcher. The Ms finally did feed it in front of me but the eyasses were reasonably old by the time I was positive by sight that they were there for sure.

Finally a photo of Riverside Mom in which she isn't in shadow. She is a strawberry blonde beauty.

Photograph by Christina Murphy of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Eagle Forum
(It's a long one so you may have to type it in as the blog may split it.DB.)
Bucket lift used to reach just below the nest
(A thank you to Christina for use of her photos and to Jackie Dover for finding it all and getting the needed permissions.)
Jackie wrote--
The eaglets were banded on April 22, in an event lasting about one hour. They were taken down from their nest after an approach from a bucket lift and an additional climb by rope.
All three were examined, measured, and banded.
Measurements suggested there were two males and one undetermined gender.Eaglets are referred to by the days of their hatching, and banded as HH, HK, and HE.
Here are all of her photos of the banding. Comments in blue are from Chris7.
Photograph by Christina Murphy
"And the crowd goes wild."
Photograph by Christina Murphy
"The money shot: L-R Dr Bryan Watt with Sunday (HH), Reese Lukei with Saturday (HK), and Stephen Living with Wednesday (HE)"
Photograph by Christina Murphy
One of the larger eaglets
(When it comes to bird expressions, I get the impression that Eagles often look rather annoyed. But my surmise is the reason for my skewered perception is that when there are closeups of Eagles in photos they're usually being held by someone, or have someone looking at them through a lens , and so are likely actually quite annoyed. D.B.)
Photograph by Christina Murphy
"big size difference"
Note the feet! D.B.
Photograph by Christina Murphy
"the baby"
Photograph by Christina Murphy
Another shot of "the baby"
Photograph by Christina Murphy
Solar-powered transmitter to be attached to one of the eaglets on May 20. To transmit until May 2012.
Photograph by Christina Murphy
Mom and Dad circling above the action.
Official photos taken by the Norfolk folks can be viewed at this link:
For the live cam and much more information,