May 23, 2006

Second Fledgling

eagletpair.jpgNest Update: Congratulations to Waiwash! Our youngest eaglet appeared to fledge Sunday night, just as our first osprey chick was entering the world.

On Sunday evening, we could tell something was different at the eagle nest because the youngest kept appearing and disappearing, in and out of our cam image, often showing up with his wings spread. At one point, Waiwash was gone for a while, so we gathered the eaglet had become a fledgling.

Since that time, we've seen both chicks together in the nest, and we've also seen the mother feeding both eaglets, so it looks like the family is doing fine at this point and there have been no flying accidents.

As for our bad reception problem on the camera, we're now seeking professional advice as to what the problem might be. We tried several additional fixes on the ground, but they did not help, as this is turning out to be a mighty stubborn problem. Fortunately it came at the end of the eagle season and it is not affecting the osprey camera.

I also have an announcement for the local Marylanders who read our web log: On April 26, a badly injured bald eagle was found at Church Creek (a small town near Blackwater Refuge). The eagle had been shot and had a broken wing. The veterinarians at TriState Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, Delaware, determined it was a five-year-old female. The eagle's injuries were so severe, the veterinarians had to euthanize it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of as much as $2,500 under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for information leading to the conviction of the individual or individuals involved. If you have any information that might be helpful in tracking down the responsible parties, please contact Kim Speckman at 410-962-7980, extension 224. Kim is the FWS resident agent-in-charge of the Service's Baltimore office.

eg_eagle_sm.jpgOn a happier note, I wanted to share an entertaining story submitted by Elizabeth Gordon and her husband, Norm, regarding a recent visit they made to Blackwater Refuge. Elizabeth reports that during their visit, they were watching a Great blue heron that was hunting for fish. The heron made a catch and then brought the meal back to land. Suddenly an eagle appeared overhead and began eyeing the heron's catch. Knowing that it was "out gunned," the heron abandoned its food. The eagle landed, found the fish, and quickly flew away with the heron's catch. A few moments later, the heron began fishing again a few yards from the first hunting location.

Here is a photo that Elizabeth took of the eagle maneuvering over the heron before it lost its meal. Also if you've never seen a Great blue heron, here is a photo that Norm took of one while they were at Blackwater. Great blue heron's are the largest herons in North America, but there have been reports of bald eagles making a meal out of the birds, so the heron was wise to give up the fish without a fight.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Norm for sharing their story and their photographs. And also thanks to those who have been sending in images from the Eagle Cam. We'll update the Eagle Gallery later this week.

Until next time,
Lisa - webmaster

Posted by Webmaster at May 23, 2006 07:58 PM