Saturday, April 7, 2012

Aerie patrol

I spent some time in the front of the house, doing a bit of yardwork, and taking frequent breaks to photograph several rufous hummingbirds visiting my feeders (I'll post those images tomorrow). Rufous return to western Washington in March. Although I've seen a couple at the feeders, today there was a crowd. Another harbinger of spring, swallows, made a brief appearance in the morning. Three tree swallows briefly scoped out nesting areas in the neighborhood.

There was lots of eagle activity up here on the hill into the early evening. A few times, I spotted papa eagle over our block, then circling back to the nest area. Later in the afternoon, three juvenile bald eagles soared on thermals above the park, then disappeared. When we took our dog walk past the nest, papa was nowhere to be seen. While we watched for any activity in the nest, a juvenile flew in very close to the nest, then circled the "trainer tree" and moved on through the woodland beyond the nesting area.

Mama was definitely in the nest, although we didn't see her. We heard her talking to the juvenile. It sounded like the chortling call we hear eagles make with their kin. But there was a bit of a warning tone to it. The juvenile was clearly interested in what was going on in the nest. I wondered if this was kin or a troublemaker. Less than five minutes later, papa showed up, circled the nest to make sure no one was harassing mama, then flew off.

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