Happiness Spilling over at the nest of Thunder and Akecheta

10 March 2022

There is something so joyful about a first time eagle parent and Akecheta sure gets the gold star for staying diligent and being ever so excited today. Akecheta wears a wing tag with the number A-61. He hatched at the Los Pinos nest on Santa Cruz Island in 2016 so he is six years old this year. He also has a silver band on his left leg with his numbers and an orange band on the right. His mate is Thunder and she wears the wing tag K-91. She hatched at the Two Harbours nest on Catalina Island in 2009. She is 13 years old this year. Akecheta has been Thunder’s mate since the 2020 breeding season. They had many problems including Akecheta, at the young age of four, not really realizing the importance of nest security. Eggs were lost to ravens – two clutches – in 2020 and in 2021 issues with eggs in nesting materials. This year is very different so far! In a good way. Akecheta is smitten with those babies and is being devoted to his family both in getting fish and in security. It is beautiful.

There were 3 eggs laid in the 2022 season on 29 Jan, 1 Feb and 5th February. The first two eggs have hatched on the 8th and 10th of March. Looking for the third to hatch on 12 March. Oh, goodness. What a difference in dates! Today the mods were happy to report that E2 had its beak wide open for food at 12:36:02 and that E1 had its first poop shot at 13:04:56. If you read about bonking on this chat, just smile. The nestlings’s vision and muscles are not developed. It is not intentional at this point.

Watching out for the Ravens that are flying around.


Such happiness – two fuzzy babies. Thunder is so happy!

An Eagle kiss between Thunder and Akecheta. Beautiful.

Akecheta is so excited and wants to do everything! Brooding, security, and fish deliveries!

Sweet little baby.

Yes, you are very cute. Look at that hairdo!

Proud Papa. Thunder can hardly get in any brooding time.

Why do some of the eagles have wing tags and not others? The ones with wing tags were part of an effort to reintroduce bald eagles into the region since they were wiped out by DDE prior to the 1980s. Here is a really thorough article on the hacking effort of reintroduction that both Thunder and Akecheta were part of:


Everyone is pretty much aware that there are at least 400,000 barrels of DDT that were dumped into the water around the islands. Some of these are leaking. It might turn out that the eagles and their chicks become part of an even greater study as to the continuing impact of this deadly chemical on their chicks and their future breeding.

Today, this family has just put a glow on my face today! I wanted to share that with you. Here is the link to their camera:

Thank you to Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! It’s a beautiful nest of babies and parents at Thunder and Akcheva nest! ❤️❤️🦅🦅🐣🐣 and one more to come!
    Very nice and good luck to Two Harbors and Weat End !
    Thanks and have a good afternoon Mary Ann!

    1. A great nest. I am worried about the difference in age between 1 and 3 if that egg hatches but maybe the parents will tandem feed! We wait and see. And thank you. I always welcome your comments, Linda.

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