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03/15/09
Meet Hope and Justice!
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Bald Eagle Nest
Posted by: Ken @ 8:15 pm

Most of you know that we have asked the public to participate in selecting the names for the two Pembroke Pines eaglets, from a list prepared by students at Silver Trail Middle School. Thank you all for casting your ballots. The results are in!

The polls just closed, and the two most popular names were HOPE and JUSTICE. Commonly, there is one male and one female chick. Since females are usually larger, we will arbitrarily call the older and noticeably larger one “Hope,” and her smaller sibling, “Justice.” At about 8 weeks of age, both chicks are nearly as large as their parents.

Hope (L) was hatched on or about January 17, and sibling Justice about 5 days later. This morning they heard a parent arriving with food, and they suddenly became very alert:

Chicks Calling 20090313

A total of 176 votes were cast from 17 states. Here are the detailed results:

NAME US TOTAL US % Florida
TOTAL
Florida %
Ares 20 11 14 12
Apollo 16 9 11 9
Hope 87 49 58 48
Justice 23 13 17 14
Sparta 16 9 11 9
Zeus 14 8 19 8

One of the parents brought in prey and the two chicks begged to be fed:

Two Chicks Begging 20090315

As usual, Hope, being older and larger, ate the first morsel, but now the parent turns away and feeds little Justice:

Feeding Younger Chick 20090315

After feeding the chicks, the parent bird (which here appears to be the female) flew to clean her bill and rest on a favored roost in a nearby Australian Pine:

Adult Departs Nest 20090315

She was quite hot after hunting and then feeding the prey to the chicks. Panting in the 80 degree heat, she welcomed the shade offered by the pine tree:

Adult Panting 20090315

She then flew up to the top of another pine, snapped off some branches, and brought them back to freshen the nest (click on photo to see a series of images):

Flight Sequence 20090315

After a little while she soared high into the sky, becoming but a speck that quickly disappeared (again, click on photo for more images):

Eagle Soaring 20090315

Lisa Baumbach, Board Member and Conservation Chair for Broward Audubon Society, provided these observations later in the day:

“Hi everyone-

“Yes, the long-lost birder finally made it to the nest tonight!! Sorry Ken for not letting you and Kelly know but for me, this is always a last minute thing! But I am planning to get back there Wed night- so I’ll let you know for sure!

“I was there from 6:15-7:30pm tonight- there were a fair number of people today- but not an overwhelming number- what I love is that it is a huge diversity of people- from bikers to avid birders/photographers- to families (many!) to just curious people- but overall, everyone was very respectful of the cones, the signs and being quiet! The traffic noise (and the noise of the monk parakeets on the high light pole in the meridian of Pines Blvd) is overwhelming! But somehow, the Eagles have come to ignore this!

“We saw some movement of the eaglets prior to 7pm, but at 6:55pm, things got lively! Both of the chicks were on top of the nest for full viewing from that time until I left. And they are big!! About the size of a hawk right now - they were preening, exercising their wings, and waiting for the parents to come home! At about 7:10pm, one of the adults (I think the male, based on size) came into the nest from the Southwest (low among the trees) and brought a snake (as far as I could tell) -  the adult stayed in the nest for a few minutes to make sure they were eating, then flew to the favorite Melaleuca tree stand spot where he/she was when I left. I never saw the other adult come back, but it was not quite dark yet.

“When I left, I saw the cutest little blonde girl about 3 yrs old with her parents- she was looking through binoculars at the adult eagle!

“It was great to be there! We should remember this experience for all it’s been for our community.

 

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