I don’t remember the day I found eagle bald nest cams but it got to be an obsession and now I am in love with eagles and their babies. I learned a lot about how they reproduce, parent, learn to fly, hunt, interact, play, steal food, and survive. Survival has been key this year as I observed the loss of three eagles, little baby Kirby who fell off the Minnesota Bound nest, Goldwing who died in the nest of unknown causes, and the tragic death of D12 who was electrocuted this year after fledging so successfully.
The nests and siblings survived however but the one big drama story was in the Minnesota nest when Harmon got his little wing stuck in the mud. I have prior posts about the rescue and return to the nest and eventual reuniting of Harmon and his parents. I have to say this little guy has my heart and SOUL. He survived so much and then on his first fledge went straight to the ground for five days until his wise and smart parents lured him back to the nest. Everyone was so worried but in this nest, they all know what they are doing. Here is a Harmon tribute.
And just the other day, again, Harmon the Horrible gets in a difficult place, but mom knows a big fat fish will get him back to the nest when he is worn out.
Harmom has been just terrible this year. He screes for food all the time and practially knocks the parents out of the nest when they deliver. He also jumps up and makes terrible noise. He is absolutely beautiful and I love watching him sit over his beautiful domain high up on the cottonwood. He is no doubt a survivor and will make a great eagle, even though he is totally spoiled. The first picture is of Harmon and Kirby scraping as sibs and the second HARMON THE HORRIBLE.
The Decorah nest is amazing. What a beautiful nest with the farm animals in the background and the nearby fish hatchery where mom and dad hunt freely. D12, D13, and D14 were so smart and it was amazing to watch them grow every day. I really loved the warm spring afternoons watching them hanging in the nest with mom. The camera there pans out to the beautiful famous Y branch where majestic mom and dad like to roost. I remember the fledge of D12. I cried a whole day when they said D12 died. What a great bird. D12 was a great example to the younger sibs. She was talented and also really good at stealing food and getting there first for the delivery. The sibs were all real clowns and I remember watching them first start to jump and wingersize and flap in each other’s faces. What an active bunch. Everyone loves the little D14 who was also a camera jumper Now D14 has a transmittor and we will know where he goes when he leaves the nest. Beam me up Scottie D14 says. I remember one hilarious rainy downpour where the sibs were flapping their wings and poor, patient mom. They acted like a bunch of kids jumping in rain puddles. There is always fun at the Decorah nest.
D12 I won’t forget you.
Linus at Delta 2 in British Columbia also lost a sib in the nest. Poor Goldwing maybe died of poisoned food. The parents also perservered and really doted on Sir Linux. He is a great strong eagle who also survived. He also went to the ground almost right after he fledged. He was rescued and returned and the doting parents took care of him. I believe in intervention when humans can help. Harmon and Linux would not have the opportunity to be free birds without it. I know people don’t agree and it might be a little humiliating for them. (LOL)
But we made this world a mess and made it difficult for them to survive near extinction. People have dedicated theirs lives for the survival of the species. How can you help? Just ask Sir Linux:
The AEF eaglets at Dollywood are so much fun to watch. With four cameras you can watch them from every angle. They were removed from the nest at about six weeks and taken to a facility where the possibility of human interaction is minimal. If they get too much attachment to human voices they will not be able to go into their natural environment. They should be released soon and I will look forward to hearing about their success. If I ever get in the area of Dollywood I would definitely take a visit to learn more about this amazing project.
Some times it is as though Foxy can not take her eyes off Echo. When Echo fledged, Foxy was right behind him.
Foxy was also a hot mess not long ago with a twig in her hair but Echo took it off for her. I feel these two will be inseparable when they leave the nest. Also a few days ago the dad returned with an anonymous juvie who hung out. No one knows who it was or how the parents allowed it since they are so fiercely protective of their nests, but it may be that dad took on feeding a juvie whose parents left the nest for some reason. Thanks WR dad. What a guy. Who would not want to be here.
TO THE PARENTS:
The beautiful Dollywood parents Indy and Frank.
They are rescue birds who mated at Dollywood. The American Eagle Foundation is committed to the protection of the American Bald Eagle. Both Indy and Frank were injured as wild birds and brought here after being shot in the wings and are non releasable birds. These were separate events. Although they were not able to return to their natural habitat, they mated here and this year had three terrible little babies. The babies are removed from the nest at some point and are brought into a simulated habitat where they learn to fly and eventually hunt, relying mostly on instinct. Good job this year and Indy and Frank!
The White Rock parents are beautiful. What a great environment. I wish I lived in that area in British Columbia. They are great at fishing and taking care of their two babies this year, Echo and Foxtrot:
The Minnesota parents had a tough year with the loss of precious Kirby and then the struggle with HARMON THE HORRIBLE. They have been relentless at nurturing and taking care of and turning him into a bold and beautiful juvie. I love the dad especially. The moment he found Harmon was so touching. He is a great example for this little guy.
Finally the Decorah parents, my first nest! These parents really had their beaks and talons full with this crew of clowns. They were there every second watching and protecting. I remember the middle of the night attack on the raccon that tried to sneak up on the babies. Dad was on him in a second. There is not messing with these two. How tragic that they lost D12. I have no doubt they will come back into that beautiful nest and have three more next year. I hope to visit them at fledging time 2013.
Also to all the people who chat and give good information thank you. Also the moderators. Being antisocial I do not chat but find the information is so useful as well as the love and support that people have provided to the times these great birds had difficulties and suffered with their loss. We all suffer when another being does. These sights are great for people who are going through difficult times. It is very calming and soothing to remove yourself and observe a whole new world if you are suffering yourself. It takes you out of your own ego and helps you see the bigger picture that we all suffer, survive and thrive at different times.
I will look forward to the new babies of 2013.
And I will leave you with Harmon’s special song: