Dale Hollow – still some beaking amidst the good

21 March 2020

It was a grey morning when Big and Middle wake up. Both immediately begin preening. Big is getting its blood feathers along the wing.

At 06:43:46 River flies in with what looks like to be a medium sized fish. Both babies are sleepy heads.

River offers Middle the first bite at 06:45:13. He moves to take it. Despite Big not seeming to be interested, this is a mistake.

Big is the dominant bird on the nest. Middle needs to be careful not to wake up Big’s bad side. Big gets angry and lashes out. Poor Middle is terrified and immediately moves to try and get away. Big could fatally injure the wee one.

Big will eat and Middle will keep a very submissive and self-protective pose until 06:47 when it moves to the rim of the nest closer to Mum River. River offers bites to Big who doesn’t seem to be interested. Middle notices and moves close to Mum’s beak eating quickly at 06:48:50.

River drops a piece of fish she is trying to give Big. Middle looks at it but is extremely aware that Big is moving. This clearly frightens Middle.

Big is moving so it can do a poop shot. Look at that PS. Gracious.

Big then moves up to River to eat.

Middle might look calm but it isn’t. It is frightened by the actions of Big, a reminder of what happened to it less than 48 hours ago when Big took its wrath out on Middle til late in the day on the 19th. Many of us thought Middle would not survive.

Middle is getting smart but it needs to continue to be extremely cautious. Middle moves between River’s legs to snatch some bites where it is protected from Big. The time was 06:54:43.

By 06:57:54 River has reached the fish tail. Little would like some. Big will eat most of the tail at 06:58:44 but then it drops a large piece. River gives Middle some of the tail at 06:59:13.

River moves to get another piece of fish that is on the nest at 06:59:35. Middle continues to eat. It is interesting that Big is less interested in food. Does it need to cast a pellet?

Obey arrives on the nest at 08:15:58. The eaglets have finished eating and River is shading them when he arrives. You can see that there is another piece of fish on the nest and behind River there is another. Fish magically appear from inside all that straw!

Obey does a quick check, an alert call, and he is off. By this time Big is hungry so River gets to the fish tail and begins to feed Big at 08:20. You can see the other piece of fish, a large portion, to the left of River. Middle stays in submission in the middle of the nest while Big eats.

At 08:26:22 Middle moves around to position itself for food. Middle is watching Big careful to not make Big angry.

Middle gets its first bite at 08:26:40. Middle has really perfected its move up to the beak and the snatch and grab. Both will eat until 08:34:30 when Middle is the only one left eating. The feeding is finished around 08:36:42. Middle had dropped its crop earlier and is now getting another one. Yeah!

At 10:20:17, Middle is crying for fish. Big is over at the rim and River, hearing Middle, moves up to the piece of fish near the feeding area.

River reaches down to feed Middle and Big immediately moves!

Another mistake! Middle cannot eat before Big. It is 10:20:33 and Big attacks Middle. Remember that Big is so much larger that it can still kill the smaller Middle relatively easy. Not good to wake up Big’s bad side.

Big moves up to eat for a few minutes. Middle stays in submission.

Then Big moves to the rim of the nest. Will Middle get any food?


Middle moves very carefully over to the right of the nest.

Middle eats for awhile and then River offers a bite to Big at the rim.

At 10:24:54 something wonderful happens. Middle does a poop shot. This is so good. The plumbing is working fine.

Afterwards, Middle moves up and continues to eat. Big is quiet. Thank goodness.

By 10:26:48 Middle appears to be full and moves over to look at what is going on in the woods.

Big and Middle eventually wind up beside one another at the rim. Everything is amicable. Both are hot. Why is River not up here shading her chicks?

The two of them move around the nest trying to get cool. It is now 11:05 and the nest is quiet. No more feedings.

This nest is hardly settled. Middle is learning tricks to survive but has to remain very careful at the beginning of each feeding. Let Big go first and hope that lots of fish land on the nest. We have to take this nest at almost a feeding at a time for now. Send positive wishes!

Also a correction to an earlier post: Abby and Blazer’s two eaglets hatched on the 11th and 14th of February not March. Thanks ‘S’. LOL. They would not be ready for branching if it was March!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to Dale Hollow Eagle streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann this is amazing and prayers are being answered for middle. I pray that it satay this way too. Thanks for the photos and info as to what is going on there.
    Have a good afternoon and take care!

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