Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Bald Eagle Nestling

I intended to chat about a birding class I'm taking and the birds we saw on our first field trip today. But I'll Leave that for tomorrow.

It's more interesting to give a brief update on the Bald Eagles and their nest at Lake Henshaw which I've written about during the past couple of weeks. While I was on my field trip a local birder here in San Diego took the opportunity to visit the Bald Eagles to observe today's happenings. And, wow, did he have good luck. He watched one of the adult eagles feeding a chick. Yes, there is now proof that a chick has hatched. The nestling was visable all during this feeding and appeared to take all the food. There was only one eaglet, as far as he could see. It seems reasonable that if there were two in the nest they both would have been seen. While one adult eagle fed the young the other was out flying over Lake Henshaw evidently in search of another tasty meal. However, the eagle didn't have any success and was harrassed by one of three Red-tailed Hawks that live in the area. The eagle returned to the nest but then left shortly and was again harrassed by the hawk. Then the eagle attending the nest flew out over the lake with the same result.

The birder also noted three Turkey Vultures drifting in and out over the nest, sometimes simultaneously with the hawks. By the time the birder left the eagle originally tending the nest had settled down over the nestling.

So it is ... a morning in the life of Mr., Mrs. and Junior Bald Eagles. Now here is my dilemma. Do I take a trip to Lake Henshaw myself tomorrow to see all this drama for myself? It sure is what I want to do. But I may not have the opportunity. I'll have to wait and see what is on tomorrow's agenda.

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