Another Successful Mission

While last Wednesday may have seemed like any other day to you, for me it was more than interesting to say the least.  After I picked up the pamphlets and brochures I needed for Saturday's "stint" as a volunteer,  my next mission was to take a peek at yet another Eagle's nest.  

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.  

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.

I did become very concerned Friday when I scooted over and began pulling out my equipment.  Only one chick was visible in the nest.  If the chick had been startled by something and fledged too soon, it could be injured and not survive.  

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


This is so incredible to read, JP. I knew nothing about eagles, much less your type of involvement and purpose. There was a word I wanted to ask about and now I can't go back to your post without losing my comment. Heck--I'm going back!
Okay... the buffer. Not sure what that means.

Kudos on all that you do with these eagles. We had a robin under our roof top patio at the lake. She wasn't happy about my arrival and subsequent people. She was so brave in continuing to feed her two babies (and that was odd, a small number). They were SO ready, one kept falling out of the nest on to the decorative wreath I had on the wall of our patio that this nest was made on. They finally fell out and hopped into the hedges. Our guys practically weeped about the poor babies. I can't hear for crap, but I assured them Mama heard them!! Men!

Jane x
eileeninmd said…
Hello, it is great you are monitoring the eagle's nest. I am glad the juvies are both doing well. I hope you get to see them both flying and soaring.
Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week. PS, thanks for the comment.
Lea said…
What a wonderful thing it is to see the young Eagles!
We usually go to Shiloh National Military Park (Tennessee) to see the Eagles there, but one of the eaglets fell from the nest so the area is closed to visitors while the Eagle parents feed the young one on the ground. The Park Rangers report that both eaglets (one still in the nest and the one on the ground) are doing well and should be able to fly soon.
Have a wonderful week!
Anni said…
Absolutely WONDERFUL!! I felt the excitement and anticipation ... thanks for all of this, truly. A canoe would be a first for me. Oh, and I learned SO much with your commentary. I want to also send along my thanks to you for linking up over tbe weekend.
Fingers crossed for the young ones that they develop successfully.
Angie said…
How exciting! It is the kind of excitement that thrills and worries you at the same time. Do you ever find you are losing sleep worrying about the eaglets?

How cool that you are meeting like-minded people. A true blessing. Enjoy your weekend!

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