Dolphins, Osprey and Eagles, Oh My!

I found an eagle’s nest in my neighborhood and I’ve been keeping my camera in my car in case I wanted to stop and get some pictures. The nest is high up in a utility tower and it’s a tough shot with the light. The sun is behind it most of the day and I can’t get on the other side.

One recent day I went early in the morning and stood for a while watching the nest. When I first got there I didn’t see any eagles so I though maybe it was a bust but then one flew in and started feeding the baby. You can just make out the baby’s head in between the sticks. I’ve only seen one eagle here so I wonder if the parent is now flying solo with this baby. Both parents usually hang around the nest.

After the eagle’s nest, I headed over to the nearby fishing pier just to see what was going on. It was too nice to head back home. I could see dolphins out in the bay.

There’s usually several osprey diving around for fish but they are far away. This one cruised close to the fishing pier.

At some point I realized there was an eagle chasing the osprey. The osprey had a fish in his talens and the eagle was trying to steal it. Eventually the osprey dropped the fish in the water and the eagle stopped chasing him. They were pretty far out in the bay but it was still pretty cool to see.

The eagle flew by the pier and landed in a tree at the end of the pier. I ran back down the pier towards the parking lot hoping he wouldn’t take off before I got back there. I was able to take a couple of shots before he took off again and flew over the trees towards a neighborhood. Where was he going?

My Corner of the World

Usual stuff at Circle B Bar Reserve

One of my favorite trees at Circle B Bar Reserve. A bald cypress in the middle of the lake. It looks like a great blue heron is nesting on it.

Some of the usual birds along the trail.

A few not so common ones, a Wilson’s snipe and a chipping sparrow.

Purple gallinules were all along the trail.

A few crawling critters.

Across the lake, I could just make out the bald eagles sitting on the right side of the tree. You can also see one of the baby’s brown head sticking up off the nest.

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A lost opportunity

Above is an eagle’s nest from 2 years ago at the horse farm near my house. Last winter they nested in a high utility tower instead of this nest. They had taken over an old osprey nest in the tower. I had heard that they were back working on this nest in mid-November so I stopped by the day after a nasty storm had come through the area. When I got to the spot at the farm, the tree was completely empty and the nest was gone.

Here it was on the ground next to the tree. The entire nest had come crashing down and broke apart. It broke my heart to see it on the ground in pieces. I was wondering if this old couple would have it in them to rebuild this nest again or just go back to the utility tower. There wasn’t much of the old tree left.

After walking around the farm for a few minutes, an eagle flies over my head with some nesting material in it. I think this must have been his first visit to the nest this morning.

The mate flew in as well. They seemed confused. Where was their nest? What happened to the tree? The eagle dropped the nesting material and they both took off. At this point, they haven’t returned to the nest to rebuild. I’m assuming they are now back up in the high utility tower close by.

Get a room, or a barn!

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This one is all alone in the corner.

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This couple was getting frisky while the other one watches.  Love was still in the air even after Valentine’s day.

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Mom eagle is still sitting on the nest. I’m getting worried that the eggs should have hatched by now. I’ll check back on them again in a few weeks.

I was hoping to see baby eagles by now but all I got were kissing horses.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Nothing but skeeters at Honeymoon Island in December

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And this eastern towhee. I don’t see these very often.

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Catbirds are very common here.

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It’s common to see a kestrel high up in a tree.

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The eagle is on the nest. I’ve heard that the rangers have reported there are eggs. I could just barely see her head sticking up. I did not see the other parent that morning.

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A downy woodpecker hanging around.

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I saw this juvenile bald eagle way out in the lagoon across from the nature center. The tide was very low and the oyster beds were exposed.

It’s not fun to go on a hike in early December and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I had two coats of bug repellant on with high DEET content. I still came home with 15 bug bites. They were biting my hands, my ears, my face. I stopped and sprayed my hair since they were dive bombing my head. Usually if I keep moving they don’t bother me too much but they were chasing after me as I walked very quickly down the trail. We need a good cold spell to get rid of these guys (like days with a high under 50).  It was 85 degrees.

SkyWatch Friday

Eagles nest at the farm

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Both babies are about the same size now.

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One is flapping a little more.

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I think they were fighting over scraps.

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The parent looking around. The babies were on the other side of the tree trunk on the right.

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It’s a big nest.

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This is the 2nd time I’ve seen bluebirds hanging around near the nest. I didn’t see any last year. They’ll be leaving soon to head back up north.

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The lone baby chicken is getting big. I was glad to see it doing well.

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This horse was very friendly.

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There were several other people there watching the eagle’s nest on my most recent trip and this horse wanted attention.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon so I decided to stop by the eagle’s nest one more time to see how the big babies were doing. They were pretty big at this point. They looked to be the size of the parents. One was already flapping his wings pretty good. It’s peaceful there  and I like seeing all of the peacocks and chickens running around. I took a ton of pictures on this trip since the weather was so nice and the birds were pretty active. I’ll post more later.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters  Shine the Divine

Baby eagle flapping his wings

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Junior is getting to be a big boy (or girl).

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It looks like he’s just figuring out what those big things attached to his body are.

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He looks determined.

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Already looking majestic at just a month or two old.

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He’s trying really hard but not really going anywhere.

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Mom brought in a snack. It looks like she has a piece of fish hanging out of her beak. What is that hiding behind Mom? It looks like another baby. I only saw one baby on my first two trips to the nest. Now, 3 weeks after that first trip when the baby was a fuzzy gray pinhead, I see another one. The second one must have been much younger and stayed down in the nest.

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Look out below on the left! Junior had a little too much fish for dinner.

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On the farm next door, white ibis were snoozing on a big dead tree.

On my 3rd trip to the eagle’s nest back in late February, the baby was big enough to really see. He was sitting up and flapping his wings. It was exciting to see the 2nd baby. He looked just a little behind in size than the first one. Since then, they both have been doing well. More on that later.

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Another new baby!

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Right when I got to the eagle’s nest, one of the parents flew in with a fish. I thought this was a good sign of a baby.

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Bringing home the bacon!

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I’m still wondering if he just brought the fish for Mom while she’s still sitting on eggs.

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All of a sudden, a little gray fuzzy head popped up. I could just barely make out the baby. Looks like dad was feeding him the fish since he had a little piece hanging off his beak.

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Mom started howling at something.

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Crows were flying by and coming close to the nest.

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On the other side of the nest, one of the parents was resting on a branch.

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A little over a week later, I stopped by the nest again and you could see how much the baby had grown. He was yelling at the robin over his head. Those little birds are brave.

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He was going to be a beauty.

The light is bad there. Mostly backlit or sidelit. I can’t get to the other side since there’s a farm there. The baby was growing up fast. From tiny fuzz to almost looking like the parent in a short time. This was in late January. After another visit I realized there were two babies. More on those later.