7 February 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
Before I begin, I just wanted to bring you some news to put many of your minds to rest: “The photo of Harriet purporting to show fishing line and sinker has been shown to be a mucus stream from a cast pellet. The lady who took the photo said it was ejected, and she watched Harriet for several hours before she disappeared, and there was nothing hanging from her mouth.” I found this on a stream in FB and it makes perfect sense now. So, now fishing line or lead sinker. Good. It is also known that “When she left the camera view (heading ENE) she had been vocalizing at intruders in the area.”
Now to the big news of the day and M15 continues to be my Man of the Hour.
I have to admit that I did not watch many of the other nests on Monday like I would normally. On Sunday, M15 began to figure out how to keep 21 at bay so he could feed 22. Yesterday, he came in with two super fish and yes, 21 might have been a stinker but, it did not prevent 22 from eating. 22 did not get as big a crop at the first feeding – understandably since 21 would have been flat out empty over night. This afternoon at 1646 E22 starting eating…and when all was done, even with M15 distracted by an intruder, 22 had a nice crop. Good job, Dad. As ‘B’ says, you should be ‘Eagle of the Year’.
The fish appears to be a Ladyfish. They are long slender fish found in the Gulf of Mexico. They are abundant around reefs and mangroves. (Please let me know if you think this is the wrong ID – not easy to tell seeing only half of a fish but trying!) Some people call them Skipjacks.
Thanks ‘J’ for this screen capture.
Two happy well fed and much loved eaglets, E21 and E22.
M15 had no more than fed the eaglets and had some bites himself than he was up on the branch keeping vigil over the territory, protecting his kids.
Screaming out to those that dared to enter his territory.
We may never know what happened to Harriet. ‘H’ and I started making a list of all the things that can happen to raptors, most of them human caused. It was quite long and it would be wrong to speculate.
I remember many years ago someone asking me if I knew Harriet. Who didn’t know Harriet? She was an extraordinary Bald Eagle, perhaps 30 years old now, the Matriarch of the American Bald Eagle Family in Florida if not everywhere. People around the world watched her raise her children with much love and affection. We felt like we knew her and joked when she would kick M15 telling him ‘the eggs are ready’. We live in the hope that some miracle may bring her home all the while watching the wonderful care that M15 is giving their eaglets.
Posters are up and everyone is looking.
The problem with humans is that we want to help. We feel helpless in a situation like this. Everyone loved Harriet and they want to help M15 have food and to be able to feed the eaglets. Some people are leaving food believing it is the right thing to do despite being told it is illegal and dangerous to the eagles. The other day we saw a vulture eating something on the ground near the nest tree. M15 had to take precious time and energy and chase it off the territory. What if there had been a fight and M15 got injured? These acts are being investigated. Chat comments about ‘fish fairies’ do not help the situation at all. That also implies illegal acts but, it puts ideas in people’s minds. None of this is good.
M15 is doing great without us. Yes, it took him a couple of days but, imagine that he is grieving for his mate while also caring for their children. The crowds of people around the nest tree can keep him from hunting, take away his attention and energy for the things he needs to do. He is fishing successfully and by 1030 nest time, he had already been out and about, to the nest with some roadkill which 21 ate. No worries 22 is fine and when M15 gets his fish on the nest he will be fed.
‘H’ sent me a note about Zoe and we can all relax. She is back on the Australian coast apparently near some good salmon fishing. As she gets closer and closer to the tip of the Eyre Peninsula, I wonder if she is going to go and tell Mum and Dad about her adventures all the while wanting to sleep in her own bed and be fed by them for a few days resting up for Zoe’s next adventure!
Zoe’s epic journey of more than a 1000 km is making the news in Australia!
There is also a recent posting for our Ervie. Look at where he is going! Isn’t it fantastic?
It was very nice to see that Gabby is back with V3 in the nest before roosting on the tree for the night. Stability. Gabby was giving V3 little eagle kisses, too.
The other nests are doing fantastic with the exception of Jak and Audacity at Sauces Canyon in the Channel Islands. The thinness of the eggs is caused by residual DDT (as DDE) in the area. They have lost their second egg to breakage. So sad for them.
Rachel Carson called attention to the decline in raptor populations due to DDT in her book, Silent Spring. This pesticide, introduced after WWII, was recalled but not before long lasting damage was done. There are areas of high concentrations of DDT or DDE that continue to harm the Bald Eagle population. One symptom of this is egg thinning.
This is a recent article on DDT and declining bird populations by the EPA.
So a quick run through..
When I last checked there are still no eggs at either the Achieva Osprey nest or Captiva. That could change in an instant!
Indeed, Diane is staying at the nest tonight. Might we wake up to an egg Wednesday morning?
Angus is getting excited and has brought in a huge amount of nesting material this morning. Does this mean an egg is near?
Connick has a mohawk, a cute little tail, is covered with wooly thermal down and gets feed well. It is nice to be the only baby on the nest.
Superbeaks. Pearl and Tico are fully feathered in their juvenile livery. They are such gorgeous eaglets.
Ringo at the Webster Texas Bald Eagle nest is growing and getting up right to the fish! Big bites today! Like Connick, Ringo has that wooly thermal down and a dandelion mohawk.
Cutie Pie B16 at Berry College has been exercising its little wings. Oh, this little one is such a sweetheart. No wonder Pa and Missy just cannot help but be on the nest watching this chick.
Sometimes Anna continues to incubate Dudley on the KNF-E1 nest, sometimes the ‘to be named this coming Friday E1-03’ eaglet does the honours. This eaglet is huge…do we think we are looking at a female?
There are still a few fish on the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria. It does look like Valentine and Nugget have made quick work out of them…oh, and yes, the parents, too! Getting harder to tell the two eaglets apart. You have to look closely at the development of the juvenile feathers on the back and wings. It is Nugget that is hoping to get fed by the parent. Notice its back compared to Valentine.
Could not help but stop in to see Jackie and Shadow. It is early Tuesday in Big Bear Valley and we are 8 days away from pip watch. You can hear the crows in the background once in awhile. Oh, I wish they would go away! Jackie and Shadow have been vigilant and Jackie is vocalising at them this morning around 06:22.
Yesterday, Shadow had an intruder after his fish! Oh, sometimes there is hardly any peace for some of the nests.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, posters, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my blog: SWFlorida and D Pritchett, WGCU, Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, ABC Eyre Peninsula, NEFL-AEF, Sassa Bird and Bald Eagles in the US, EPA, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Superbeaks, Paul White and the Webster TX Eagle Watchers, Berry College Eagles, KNF E-1 and KNF-E3, FOBBV, and Cali Condor and FOBBV.
Wow — 1000 km by Zoe ! I’m sorry that I suggested she was putting on too much weight to fly, what with her continually sitting on the nest and screaming for fish. It seems she was just taking on extra reserves for her huge adventure. Good job, Zoe !
Well, B, I felt the same way!!!!! But fly she has and put the others to shame! I sure hope that she is eating some wonderful salmon right now!
I believe it was last year that Harriet took off and was seen locking talons with another eagle quite a distance away from the nest. She later returned with puncture wounds on her feet. When I saw this, I thought to myself why engage with an eagle that was so far away, and I thought this does not bode well for the future. My theory is that she envolved herself in a fight with another eagle, was injured, grounded, and some animal carried her away. Wild animals abound in that region; I did see a video a few years back of a wolf crossing the nesting area. Hopefully this is not the case and she is found and rehabilitated.
M15 is an exceptional eagle. The last couple of days have put my worries aside; both eagles will survive. E22 is more confident and I think E21 will start to calm down.
I think you are right about Harriet. They say she was vocalising at intruders…but, isn’t it wonderful. M15 has stepped up and has done a magnificent job! The nest just feels so much calmer and more food secure. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for writing in! I wish there was some good news re Harriet but, I don’t think we will ever know for sure. As you say…there are critters out there.