On January 26, I accompanied a group of 7th grade science students on a field trip to Flamingo Gardens, a private arboretum, preserve and wildlife rehabilitation facility in Davie, Florida. These students are studying the effects of traffic on the behaviour of the Bald Eagles nesting only about 200 feet from a busy boulevard. They designed forms, upon which they record traffic density and check off the various actions of the birds, whether one or both of the adults are present at the nest, their vocalizations, and any indications of nervousness or avoidance.
Greater Flamingos and White Ibises make a pretty picture, even with my old 2 megapixel point-and-shoot:
A curator exhibited a Great Horned Owl with a broken wing that was beyond repair:
Other obligations (including much correspondence with Florida officials about our concerns for the safety of the nest because of the planned construction) have kept me from going afield for the past few days, but I hope to get out to see our neighborhood Bald Eagle nest tomorrow. For an update on the status of the planned construction, visit this link. I last visited the nest on Tuesday, January 27th, when the first chick was 11 days old.
The female was sitting quite high in the nest. Perhaps this is an indication that a second chick has hatched and the eagle does not have a third egg to incubate:
While watching the nest I saw movement through the sticks that make up the nest cup. Several times. a spot of white appeared and then disappeared, just a few inches away from the adult bird, which often looked down into the nest. I assumed the spot of white was the down of an eaglet’s head.
Here is a photo showing what I believed to be the rounded head of a chick, with the left half partly in shade (click on the photo and select the full sized view):
Moments later, the white spot disappeared, and I assumed the chick had crouched down:
Now I am not sure, as I may have things reversed. It is possible that the white area is a view of the sky, along with the right margin of the tree trunk, and actually the second photo shows the area obscured by the chick. In any event, the chick was moving about, and we are anxious to see it reaching up to be fed.
Staying at home did not deprive me of a few backyard photo opportunities. A Palm Warbler foraged on our patio, and I photographed it through the window glass:
This Cooper’s Hawk flew right over my head, but I still have troubles focusing on moving targets, and my full-screen image was just a blur. Here are a couple from farther out, when I had time to focus (click on photo to see the other image):
A Great Blue Heron was cooperative as it fished in thigh-deep water just off our back lawn:
Sunrise from our patio: