Monday, March 21, 2011

Eagle attack!

I'm fortunate to have two great horned owl nests to monitor and photograph. When I checked on one this morning, I saw a large bird sitting next to the nest. My first thought was "the chick/chicks have pushed the adult out of the nest". But as I got closer, I could tell that it wasn't an owl. It was a juvenile bald eagle and there wasn't an adult owl in sight.

The eagle sat starring at the nest for about 30 minutes before leaving and the entire time the owlet did not move(see light colored lump in the nest in the picture above). Once the eagle flew on the owlet's head popped up and he started looking about.

That was early this morning. I've checked on the nest 2 more times, but I've yet to see an adult owl. I'm afraid the eagle may have attacked the owl on the nest, but I guess I'll have to wait awhile to know.

While I was working on this update a neighbor called to tell me there were 5 or 6 large birds screaming and fighting between his house and the bay. I hurried over and parked a couple of hundred yards back in the woods. I could hear eagles fighting but, unfortunately the trees were too thick to get a picture of the 4 juvenile eagles trying to take a fish away from a 5th bird. The one with the fish was shielding it from the marauders with its wings and screaming it's head off!

Eventually the attackers saw me and headed out over the bay, while the 5th eagle took his fish deeper into the woods.

We have a bumper crop of eagles this year and like most youngsters these are into everything in sight.

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