Author Topic: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season  (Read 10905 times)

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Offline winterwren

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Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« on: July 11, 2015, 02:25:54 PM »
This topic is for the nest we call Lunar Rock, after the beautiful otherworldly sandstone on its beach.

We still don't know exactly where this nest is; it is hidden in the forest on private land. But we hear the eaglets from the beach and see them when they fledge.

We first found out about this nest a few years ago when we were called on to rescue an eaglet who was 'camping' under the deck of a house... This eaglet became known as Decker.

It took us a while to sort this territory from its neighbour, Tralee Point.

To see last year's posts about this nest, and how we found out about the two territories, click here.

         
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 02:47:42 PM by boonibarb »

Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 02:31:25 PM »
The eagles of this territory had many adventures in the past week.

I will not have time to relate it all in this post, but the short version is that there is now an eaglet on the way to MARS.

I've been watching this eaglet through ups and downs for the past week, but this morning it was obvious that she could not fly and was weakening. So with Booni and a small helper, and after consultation with MARS, we captured this eaglet and sent her on her way to care.

More details, and photos, soon!

Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2015, 08:19:30 PM »
It all started on July 6. A friend who is working on some building near this nest told me an eaglet had spent hours on the ground near them that day. He showed me a photo. Clearly, an eaglet of this year, on the grass near a lawn chair. Not good.

The next day I went to check. I had been busy all morning, so by the time I got there it was nap time for eaglets. The workers, who have been so kind in granting me permission to check the area, told me that the eaglet was nearby in the morning, and there were adult eagles flying around too. The eaglet was at that point able to fly about 20 feet up. He or she had tried to land on top of a snag near the house, missed the landing, hung by one foot for a precarious moment, then landed safely a little further, flapping out of trouble. The eaglet had then fleaped away along the beach, somewhat asymmetrically they thought. I followed the directions but could not find the young one although I did see one of the adult eagles. At one point I heard screeps in the direction of the nest. (I still don't know exactly where the nest is but I've learned its general direction over the years.) Was the eaglet back home? Or did this one have a sibling?

I returned the next day, early in the morning. Right away I could hear screeps. Then I saw an adult eagle flying toward the nest with a fish. Just at that moment someone started a table saw and I missed the crucial moments where I might have heard how many screeps responded to the delivery.
But a scant couple of minutes later I was already on the beach and I could hear an eaglet there. It would have been difficult to eat a fish and fly back to the beach unless it was a one-gulp meal.
An adult returned and perched above the beach. Checking on that eaglet maybe?
Yes! There that one was, almost invisible, tucked against the trunk of a tree 30 feet above the beach.

July 8, 9:30 am



Is this a full crop or the eaglet's position?



I retreat down the beach to get out of the eaglet's space, and in so doing I frighten the adult away...  :nope
The eaglet starts screeping again.
9:38




Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2015, 08:30:28 PM »
The eaglet soon started an elaborate series of nods and shuffles... An indication of the intent to fly away!
Except that for a beginning flier like this, the nods and neck stretches and shuffles can last a long long time...

Then finally!
I'd taken pains to tuck myself away further down the beach but the eagle flies right toward me!
July 8, 9:45 am



The eaglet landed right above me! The flight was about a hundred feet, with no elevation gain or loss.
Then a few clumsy readjustments along a skinny, wavy branch.
9:50




Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 09:25:31 PM »
I had been aware of some rustles of feathers or leaves from time to time, coming from a little inland... But had been unwilling to get my eyes off that beautiful eaglet.

Then suddenly those rusling feathers were just above my head... Just to the left of the eaglet.
I craned my neck and was able to get a partial view of the visitor... All brown feathers, no white head or tail...
There was indeed a second eaglet!!

Then an adult flew by! At that point of course both eaglets sounded off! Higher softer screeps from the newly arrived bird. Lower, louder screeps from that troubled one. Male and female then?

The second eaglet, whom I will call 'him' for clarity from now on, flew in pursuit of the adult. Flew upwards and vigorously.
No problem here!
July 8, 10:08



I had solved the puzzle of that day... Two eaglets, one stronger than the other, but both capable of flight at that point.
Now to wait and hope for the best.

The story wasn't quite done yet, though.

I left the area and biked the trail toward the Tralee Point nest, hoping to get a glimpse of its own eaglet. I tried a new trail the workers had told me about. It turned out to lead, not inside the Tralee Point territory but still within the Lunar Rock zone.
How do I know? Because as I approached the edge of the trees I heard that higher screep from the the area I had just left, and here came the second eaglet, the stronger flier, and he executed a perfect landing right in front of me!

Then stayed there for a few minutes while I sat down on the ground, my jaw hanging open.
10:35












Offline linused

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 09:40:38 PM »
Oh Wren,  were you being observed. Hope the weaker eaglet keeps getting stronger. Thank you for your stories about all these eaglets.

Offline amazedbyeagles

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2015, 08:01:17 AM »
Wonderful story about these two eaglets!  Love the feeling you give us of watching these adventures with you!  How incredible and interesting that the eaglet was watching you!!!  Wowee!!!  Thanks so much for sharing! :eclove

Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2015, 11:52:29 AM »
The next day, July 9, I didn't visit this site, hoping that the weaker eaglet would get stronger and find her share of food. In the evening, though, I met my friend who works on the house, and he told me the eaglet had been sitting on a log on the beach all day!
Now I was really worried.

The next morning, July 10, was a really busy day for me but I made time to go visit in the morning. Before I left, though, I got an email from that same person, saying that the parents were now feeding both eaglets down on the beach.
This sounded like a good time to leave the area alone and not interfere with the feeding.

So I went on with my full day, only to find these news in my email in the evening:
"After I emailed you [this morning's news], we were treated to a full eagle air show. One of the adults from the Tralee nest showed up, roughed up the chicks, and made off with their salmon. A pretty impressive dogfight between [Lunar Rock] and Tralee adults."

Yikes. Now I was worried again, so I made the plan to go back as early as possible the next morning.


Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2015, 04:15:03 PM »
July 11.
One of my visitors, a pint-sized birdwatcher eight years old, is an early bird so we bike down to the Lunar Rock territory together while the rest of the family slowly awakens.
We're on site by 9:30. Right away I spot the eaglet, sitting on a log on the beach.
She does not move as we approach. It is at long last raining, after two dry months, so she's as wet as we are.

July 11, 9:31 am



The furthest she goes is a fleap up a piece of driftwood.
9:32



9:38



I call MARS from my cell phone while still watching... Reg tells me, "You're the person on the ground and you can tell what's needed." My next call is to Booni. Then we return home just long enough to grab capture gear and let family know what we're up to.

Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2015, 06:15:45 PM »

Soon we're back with capture nets, gloves and towels.

As we step on the beach, we see an eaglet take off from a log!
Hey, she can indeed fly!
Off that one goes, a long low diagonal flight. We're not catching that eagle for sure!

But wait.
This is the second eaglet, the one who's been stronger all along.
His sister is still on the same piece of driftwood where we last saw her, almost an hour ago. She has not moved.

So we do our usual approach, with nets and towels, cornering her against the steep bank that is behind her. She moves my way, almost right into my net.

She gets a talon and a wing tangled in the mesh and I worry about hurting her as I disentangle her while still holding her legs. Then into the carrier she goes, but instead of standing up she just sits on her elbows and belly like a younger eaglet, wings partly open, possibly exhausted by all the stress.

Down to the ferry landing, where I found some visitors with an open truck willing to take her over to Buckley Bay where Dawn was waiting to drive the final leg of this bird's long trip to MARS.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 10:29:07 AM by boonibarb »

Offline winterwren

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2015, 06:43:25 PM »
Other things I saw while searching for an eaglet...

The lunar rocks of Lunar Rocks:
July 7, 12:23



A tiny Black-thoated Grey Warbler, found where I hoped to see an eaglet...
12:37



12:39



And this is probably a Song Sparrow fledgling.
1:21 pm



Offline MaggiesMom

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 06:49:06 PM »
Bravo Wren - your HEART team has done another outstanding job - plus you got the next generation into the act!  That little sparrow sure is funny with his cockeyed head.
"If you slow things down, you notice things you hadn't seen before." - Robert Wilson, director, author, videographer

Offline linused

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2015, 08:23:45 PM »
So sorry to hear that you had to rescue that eaglet. But that lucky eaglet had someone with knowledge watching over them.  Well done. 

Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2015, 09:54:49 PM »
What a day or few day! Than You all that are HEART  :heart

Offline Donnae

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Re: Lunar Rock nest - 2015 season
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2015, 10:53:32 PM »
Great job by all involved... thank you!!!