Date: 4/16/18 5:29 pm From: 'Dorian Huneke' <huneked...> [osbirds] <osbirds...> Subject: RE: [osbirds] Bald Eagles in Treadwell
I’ll have to keep a close watch to see if there are only three, or possibly four. I would think an adult would always be at the nest when chicks are pretty newly hatched, but… maybe there are two or possibly three chicks this year and the adults really have to hustle for food. In which case I may have seen all the adults, and there is not a fourth one. The creek just got stocked by the DEC for fishing season, so the eagles are going to have an easier time getting food for a while, until they clean out all but the most wary fish. There was no sign of the eagles today, but that is to be expected in this weather. Both morning and evening chores were done in the pouring rain, so I couldn’t see much of anything.
From: <osbirds...> <osbirds...>
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2018 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: [osbirds] Bald Eagles in Treadwell
There was a long-term nest in NY State--I can't remember the locale--where three adult Bald Eagles successfully raised broods for a number of years. I think the gender mix was 2 males/1 female.
Even the arrival of a few of my favorite song birds this past week couldn't top Sunday's bald eagle activity. I went out of the barn to dump a wheelbarrow to have an adult BE fly right by me, upstream, with something in its talons trailing a streamer of plant material. Just moments later another adult BE flew in the same path, but without any prey. And moments after that a HUGE dark, splotchy raptor circled, flapping, over the park and creek. For just a second I thought Golden Eagle, and then realized this must be Stuart, last year's offspring. Stuart headed downstream. And then in just a few more moments another adult BE flew upstream, but veered off after passing over the bridge, circled back over the park and headed downstream in the same basic path Stuart took. About five minutes later an adult flew upstream carrying whatever in its talons.
So, there are three adult BEs here! There did not appear to be any territorial displays, just this travel up and down the creek, apparently with prey involved. This explains why Eric told me he saw two adults near the creek Friday evening. I was concerned that this meant they were both off the nest, not a good sign at this point in time, especially given the horrible wind storm of last week (although the nest appeared fine, I didn't get where I could spot adults on it). But now it makes sense. I suspect an egg or eggs have hatched and there is quite a hustle to feed the young. But to have a third adult in the mix?? That seems odd unless it is a newly matured relative that does not yet have a mate. I've no idea if "family" participation is common or rare in the eagle world. And to see them each, one after the other, means there couldn't have been an adult remaining at the nest. Unless there are actually four adults here and one was still at the nest! Not counting Stuart, I don't think she would be participating, just coexisting with her family.
As the morning wore on and I continued my chores Stuart and one adult perched in a tree about 150 feet from the barn, staying there for a good 20 minutes. Stuart wasn't perched out in the open quite as much as the adult, but a while after they both had left Stuart returned and picked a very open perch, no branches in the way. Stuart is just plain huge! In flight this bird appears to dwarf the other adults, and even sitting on a perch 150 feet from me her tremendous size is so obvious.
I was back at the barn to give a young friend a riding lesson from 11:30 to 12:30, but didn't see the eagles again. However I did see a pair of red tailed hawks circling around near the old nest site, and a kestrel flying around near the creek. Oh, and a pair of Canada geese, and a merganser. It was quite a busy day at the Treadwell creek.