Sunday, March 22, 2009

American Bald Eagles

Any day you see an eagle is a very good day.
~Frank Leonard
Truer words were never spoken, thank you Frank. We are fortunate to have an increase in the bald eagle population in our region and there are several nests that are actively incubating right now. My hubby and I went to two of them today and we were able to observe one eagle on each nest, each tending to incubating duties. I was hoping I would observe an incubation duty exchange or a feeding, but was happy just to be able to see one of these regal birds on the nest. The pictures below are of a nest that has been active for over ten years now, some people tell me it's actually been as many as twenty years. Although the nest is fairly close to the road it is within a state game lands and the area is restricted to all but authorized personnel, which keeps the area close to the nest relatively undisturbed. There is also an abundant food source including fish in the creek that runs below the nest. In spring the creek is swollen, attracting many migrating and resident waterfowl that are fair game for the eagles.

In a couple of months from now the nest won't even be visible from the road as the leaves fill in.

This red-tailed hawk was soaring near the nest looking around the game lands for its next meal.I don't think that the eagles' nest near my home will be active this year. Tom Wasilewski from the Presque Isle Audubon Society Eagle Watch Program thinks that there might be another nest further up the creek. I think he may be right because the eagles are still being seen up there. We are trying to get permission from the landowners to go further up the creek. I'll let you know if we find anything:)

Toni and I will bringing you more information about the local eagles on our new blog, Presque Isle, Naturally. The eagles' nest that is on Presque Isle does not appear to be active at this time but we are not giving up hope yet.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wild Wednesday at Presque Isle

It was a sunny but chilly day on Presque Isle when I headed down to test drive my knee and search for all the wonderful waterfowl and other wildlife people had been reporting on the park. I was not disappointed, by my knee or the wildlife, like the pair of ring-necked ducks above.

A handsome male ring-necked duck, head held high.
This is a great black-backed gull in flight. The great black-backed is the largest gull in the world. Presque Isle is lucky to host this gull as well as the smallest gull in the world, the little gull during migration.

A pair of turkey hens trotting to catch up with the flock.
The resident great horned owl appears to be incubating in the same snag as last year.Perhaps the highlight of my trek was seeing this immature bald eagle scare up a large raft of ducks and swans.

As I sit here now posting this, looking out my window at the sunny day, I wish I were back at Presque Isle. Then I think, how could I share this beautiful place if I weren't sitting here posting this? There will be more sunny days as spring draws nigh and more good fortune to share.

Stay tuned to more highlights of Presque Isle as Toni and I debut a new blog, Presque Isle, Naturally where we will both share our adventures at Presque Isle and introduce guest contributors who share our passion for Presque Isle.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Weekend Matinees

Since I fell and sprained my knee a couple of weeks ago on my way back from the eagles' nest I've been relegated to bird watching out my kitchen window and door. I didn't mind it too much because the weather was quite frigid and wet and besides, the birds put on a great show. I even had another visit from the yellow-bellied sapsucker:) & the Oregon Junco is still coming around too.

A pretty song sparrow doesn't find much to sing about these days.

This red-bellied woodpecker listens to that strange clicking noise.Mr. Cardinal seems to be ready for a molt.This white-breasted nuthatch loves Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter!And, yes, the Carolina Wrens are still here! Their pronounced "eyebrows" just remind me of Groucho Marx!

Toni from A Spattering and I have been working on a new blog dedicated to sharing information about Presque Isle and the Erie region. It will be called Presque Isle, Naturally and we are very excited to be bringing it to you. We will certainly let you know when you can start tuning in!

Another blog that you all might find very interesting (I know I do!) is Moonfire Film Productions. My cousin, Tracy Graziano, and her husband, Ben, are involved in a coyote tracking project and the blog offers a wonderfully detailed and interesting account of how the project is progressing. It is both entertaining and educational and allows a behind the scenes look at how real wildlife research is conducted. The project has just gotten underway so start following now to get an up close view of this years long undertaking from its inception to its fruition.