You see, while I was on vacation in April, "Boss" had gone to the pond's and, using the spotting scope, determined that the adult at the nest was "sitting high" which in Eagle terminology, means it was on chicks. Using that date as point of reference, I was then contacted to check the nest, and get a "confirmed head count" before they fledge.
Oh, I know what's going through your mind...Here she goes, another trek into the woods.
Wrong!! This time it required me to canoe in..WOOT, WOOT! (the reason for my excitement is that I have never been in a canoe...:).
So, off I went, and following the directions to a "t," I arrived at my destination. I had met the people last Fall when "Boss" and I located the nest. Hoping that they remembered me as I handed the batch of oatmeal raisin bars to Paula, her husband explained that there had been a change in plans.
We didn't have to canoe in after all. Within 10 minutes, I was introduced to another set of property owners who have a pretty clear view of the nest.
As you can see, the report to Div of Wildlife would read "two chicks...confirmed" along with other required details.
However, I didn't get to canoe (although Dick told me they would take me anytime), I ended up with more than a "head count." Over the past four days, the second couple and I are on our way to becoming good friends. They, like so any others I have met thanks to the Eagles, have given me an open invitation to observe.
My reason for going there several times a day was due to the behavior of the pair. They were clearly exhibiting what is considered a "milestone" in the cycle of a developing chick. "Branching" general occurs around 9-10 weeks of age. It is the stage in which they hone in on their ability to fly. Flapping their wings, they learn they can become airborne which often gives the appearance of hopping on a branch adjacent to the nest. Yet, flying and soaring require more strength and agility, something they are lacking at this age.
If they fledge (fly) too soon, it could result in disaster. This is yet another reason why maintaining the prescribed buffer is so important. Yes, there are Eagles'nests built close to homes and businesses. Yet, quite often if disturbed at the more sensitive times, the nests will be abandoned.
Waiting patiently, an hour passed and still only one chick was visible. Then I spotted what I thought was the tip of a wing and slowly but surely the second chick appeared. It had been hunkered down in the bowl of the nest...napping! Relieved, I knew it would soon be time for their afternoon meal. The adult flew over, dropped in dinner and perched nearby. It was time for me to head home and enjoy mine too.
Bottom line is this, at this stage, based on their behavior, they will be fledging very soon. Meanwhile I need to get a decent view and pic of the adults. One of them may have leg bands, which would, as you know, help us identify where (what nesting location) the bird originated from as well as it's age.
just seeing, saying, and sharing...
Another Successful Mission
with you and those at