Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feathered Friends

Wednesday May 11 2011

The Great Horned Owl pair that raised three young last year moved downstream one nest (taking over a red tailed hawk nest - and the red tail is in their old nest), raised two young this year. The Great Horned Owl gets first choice - they begin nesting earliest. The owls are on just about exactly the same schedule as last year: these photos were taken May 1, an evening after I'd seen them lumbering around the edge of their nest, flapping their gangly wings, getting ready for their first launch. A couple of days later, they were gone.

The Great Horned Owls up the creek did not nest. I could not find a Long-Eared Owl nest (last year there were two).

The Raven cliff nest up the canyon that produced 2 or 3 young last year is empty this year. The Raven tree nest up the crick whose two babies died is occupied by red tailed hawks this year. The Ravens nest earlier; they apparently chose not to nest this year.

And the best for last: the golden eagles in the tree nest down the crick - after sitting on an egg(s) then abandoning the nest last year - have successfully fledged a chick this year! The mother (or father - they switch off) - sat for weeks low down in the nest; a couple of weeks ago we saw mom (or dad) sitting on the edge of the nest, but we could never see anything in the nest - until today, when I spied a white fluffy eaglet sitting up begging from an adult!

I'd parked as far as I could from the nest while still being able to see it with my binoculars. Mama ignored her baby and eyed me the entire time I sat there, so I didn't linger too long. The eaglet showed himself just in time, as spring has suddenly hit with full force, busting out the leaves on all the trees almost overnight. Soon the nest and everything in it will be invisible behind a curtain of green.

We're looking forward to seeing 3 golden eagles flying along the crick soon!


  1. What a great update! Too bad about the Ravens - I'd love to see an ugly baby!

  2. do the crows harrass the eagles like they do the hawks here? i have learned their various calls and i know the sound of "hawk, leave!" as they torment the beautiful hawks.

    i feel bad for the hawks! do you know that sound they make when they are mobbing a predator bird? usually it's just one or two crows so mobbing sounds extreme.

    we have a large society of crows by our creek and i am so glad i have not been attacked yet (twice in seattle though!)


  3. How cool is that?! Owls and eagles, both pretty spectacular birds.

    Glad to hear the eagles raised a baby this year. I do worry about some of our birds of prey.

    On a much smaller note, my barn is filled with noisy, adorable barn swallows. It seems the babies from last year and the year before are all joining the clan in a swallow housing development. They are small, but bold little birds, that's for sure.

  4. What a fabulous story ... The Eagle nest is huge! It's wonderful and thank you for sharing!