Our Eagles Are Nesting ~ 2017

Tami is obsessed. Obsessed, I tell you!

I showed up at the house to talk to her about all this snow, and how it’s piling up, and will it ever melt?!

But she just said, “Uh huh. Uh huh.” She never even looked up from her computer. I peeked over her shoulder and saw her editing photos of eagles on the nest.

That figures!  It must be April. She always does this when the our eagles nest . . . from now until those chicks hatch, it’ll be the eagles did this and the eagles did that . . .

 

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For example, last week she came back from her trek in the woods, all smiling and giddy.  She’d come from the lake and as usual, the eagle was sitting on the nest. She took a few pictures and had turned to head home when she heard a ruckus. When she turned back, she saw a juvenile eagle soar into view, the second adult eagle not far behind . . .

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At first, she thought the juvenile was after the nest, perhaps the eggs, but when she looked more closely at the photos, the adult had something in its talons.

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The juvenile was after the food.

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The second adult came back to the nest and together the two adults warned the juvenile off, as it soared over their heads.

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Eventually, the juvenile moved on and the adults settled down again.

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Once the danger had passed, Tami said the the second adult took to the air, it’s lunch still in its talons.

 

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I’m not sure I’d want to tangle with those eagles!

Then on April 1st, we had a giant April Fool’s snow storm, 13 inches of heavy wet snow. Tami and I trudged to the lake, worried about the eagles . . . and this is what we saw.

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Under all that snow, lies our eagle, with her eggs tucked under her.  I thought she’d be cold, but Tami said she suspected the snow acted like an insulation of sorts, keeping her and the eggs warm.

The next morning, when the sun came out, Tami and I went down again. She took this photo from the shoreline across from site 23, at 1,000 feet away, hoping to see down into the nest. At the time, she didn’t see anything but snow.

But once she cropped it   . . . see? See the white head?

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From our shoreline at 500 feet, this was the image Tami captured. That poor eagle!

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But by 3 o’clock in the afternoon, everything was back to normal!

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Be prepared, Tami’s gonna post a bunch of eagle photos from now until we open. They’ll be no stopping her, I’m afraid.  But as soon as you all get back here to camp, we can distract her with Clean Up Weekend and Spring Special Weekend photos. There’s so many of you camping with us this Spring! We’re going to kick off the season with a bang!

 

2016 Eagle Nest

 

Yesterday, I donned my snowshoes to trek through the campground to the lake. I was anxious to check on the eagle’s nest. Not that its time for them to be sitting on it, but one of the sure signs they’ll be nesting, is if I have proof they’ve added to it recently.

Here’s the nest last March, just before nesting season began.

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Here is what I saw yesterday . . .

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You can see where they’ve added a stick here and a branch there.

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Things are looking good for a nesting pair!!

Every year I worry about the weight, though.  The wildlife biologist who’d come to band the eagles a few years ago had said it weighed approximately 700 to 800 pounds!  Can you imagine!?

I saw no sign of the eagles that day, but they’ve been here.  These pictures prove it.

I’m looking forward to documenting our nesting pair this year!  To give you a timeline, they were sitting on eggs March 24th last year. I happened to be at the lake during one of their mating attempts a few weeks before that. And the eaglets were born a week before we opened the campground May 1st.  We still have a few weeks to go!

But it’s worth the wait.

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Eagle Photos

If Tami’s gone missing, you can bet you’ll find her on the lake with her camera.

Springtime is the best time for photos.  All of nature is waking up, finding mates, making nests and dens, feeding their young ones.  The eagles are one of her favorite subjects, not just because they’re nearby, but because she’s always able to capture some new-to-her behavior.

You’d think that after monitoring them for over ten years, she’d have seen it all.  But just last weekend, she was able to record new research, the eagles moving branches around on the nest.

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They didn’t bring them in. So these are branches that were already on the nest. Maybe as the eaglets grow, they make room?

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So far, the eaglets are healthy and strong.  The adults feed them equally and you can quite often hear them hollering for food from our shoreline.

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The adults are very active, bringing food to the nest.

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Poor things are probably quite tired!

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Tami often says how grateful she is to be able to monitor and study them year round.  All that research paid off too, when it came time to write her second book, Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest!

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We’ll keep you posted on the young ones progress!  But it looks like we’ve got another healthy pair!

 

And We’ve Started the 2015 Nesting Season!

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The happy couple is expecting!  And if Tami’s calculations are correct, they should be born right around opening day.  Which means, we’ll be able to get a head count (when they can hold up their heads) around two weeks after that.

Tami has marked it on her calendar. She’s all ga-ga and well, you know how she gets about her eagles and her loons.

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Look at how big the nest has gotten!  Isn’t that like, an eagle mansion or something?

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The last time we saw the nest grow to this size, there were triplets.  But Tami keeps telling me that we already had triplets, just a couple years ago.  And THAT was a miracle.

But I can’t help wondering . . .

Because they’re still adding to it!  Tami just watched the mate of the nesting eagle bring a branch in today!

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Tami still has to put on the snowshoes to get to the lake.  She tried to go without yesterday, ’cause she was in a hurry, but she sunk up to her knees one too many times.

There’s still ice on the lake too.  We can’t wait for the wood ducks, geese and loon to get back.  Tami’s getting a little tired of taking pictures of chickadees, Red-breasted woodpeckers, and nuthatches, as cute as they may be.

We’ll keep you posted on those eagle babies!

 

Our Eagles Are Twitterpated!

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Can you see the difference?  It’s bigger, and higher.

And just today, there were even MORE sticks on the nest.

The eagles are getting ready to nest!

Last year, they were sitting on eggs, March 8th.  Tami is going down every day, hoping to see an eagle nestled in, only the top of her white head showing.

But for now, they keep adding sticks and twigs and pine boughs, waiting for just the right time.

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Pileated Woodpecker

Oh, for heaven’s sake!

It took forever to wrestle the computer away from Tami.  She’s been hard at work on Cooper and Packrat’s second adventure, Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest.  As she loves to tell us over and over, she has to meet her deadline so it can be released in August 2014.

And of course she’s been hard at work putting together the Calendar of Events for 2014.  I got a sneak peek and we have a new theme weekend!  It’s a space/alien/sci-fi kind of thing, from what I could see.  Cool!

So how did I finally get the computer away from her?

I told her I’d seen the eagle at the lake.

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Of course she dropped everything to put on her snow gear and to pack up her camera equipment.  Crunch, crunch, crunch, went her boots in the snow as she trudged away from the house.

She called me from the frozen lakeside though.  “Where did you say he was?” she asked.

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“Ummmmm – way across the lake. Down by the beaver hut-” I told her.

She sighed.  “You’re on my computer, aren’t you?”

“Maaaaaybe . . . ”

“Well, keep it fired up.  I have some great photos for you to share with your readers.”

“Eagle?” I asked.  If it was, I’d be surprised. It isn’t time for them to nest yet, we don’t usually see much of them until February vacation.

“Nope, but something new!” Tami exclaimed.  Then she hung up.  Made me wait an hour to see what she’d found!

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It was this Pileated Woodpecker, feasting on carpenter ants in a small birch tree at the edge of the lake.  It was probably harvesting all the food it could before the two ice storms we had.

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The Woodpecker’s beak hitting the tree sounded more like a “crack”, so at first, Tami  thought it was ice shifting on the lake.

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Chips of wood about an inch long flew everywhere!  This is female. The male Pileated Woodpeckers have a bright red stripe on their cheek.  A pair of them will stay together year round, defending their territory.

Pileated Woodpeckers can be a nuisance, the way they cut through trees with their sharp beaks in search of insects.  This leaves the trees open to disease and rot.  But the holes these big birds create become great nesting spots for other animals, such as owls, bats and Purple Martens.  And imagine the ants and termites we’d have if the woodpeckers didn’t think they were so yummy!

We have more great news to share .  . . but all in good time!

 

 

Post Blizzard Update

 

In spite of the Jetport reporting 30 inches of snow, we really only saw 22 inches here.

Mostly Tami found the snow to be halfway to her knees . . .

Some of the drifts were waist high, but down on the point,

most of the snow had been blown away by the wild Friday and Saturday winds.

What a glorious walk we had!  It was quite warm along this stretch of the lake.  We felt as if we were the only ones out and about . . .

We could see the eagle soaring high over the treetops, but not on the nest yet.

Tami knows it’s early, but she’s really, really driving me crazy with her worrying over whether or not they’ll use the new nest.

“Chill!” I told her, which Cookie thought was kind of funny, seeings how we were standing in a knee deep drift of snow at the time.  “Why would they build it, and not use it?”

Sheesh.  She’s such a worry wart sometimes.

We went home along the edge of the lake, up  through the back of the playing field, then down main street.  Tami checked all the campers, and everything seems good.  Some have a foot of snow on them, but most have about half that much, due to those wild winds I mentioned earlier.

Did you see on Facebook, where Tami’s trail cam captured a photo of a fox at the den she’s been stalking watching?

She isn’t sure why the same den had a smaller, darker animal going in and out of it in previous photos  – but David thinks the fox is the one living there and the other must have been checking it out.  When Tami went back after the blizzard, you can see that it’s definitely being used, with tracks coming and going.  Tami’s put the camera back and we’ll keep you updated on it!

We hope you all stayed safe and warm during the blizzard.  Some of our Massachusetts friends really got clobbered, didn’t you?  Let us know how you’re doing!

Think spring everyone!  It’s right around the corner now!  Only eighty-ish days left!

 

 

 

 

 

Images from the November Snowstorm

Alex, Tami and I couldn’t resist walking the campground during the November 23rd storm.  We trudged our way through a foot of snow to bring you the following images . . .

One of our seasonal campers, buttoned up tight

 

the tree that Ed planted . . .

 

The lakeside trail . . .

 

The wind was blowing pretty hard . . .
The island with the house . . .
The Eagle's Nest
A splash of color
The ice is forming
A tipped picnic table in the 60's
Interesting . . .

We aren’t sure yet if this round of snow will melt . . . time will tell!  It was a pretty snowfall, to be sure.

A Note from Tami

Everyone here at Poland Spring Campground hopes you and your family had a fun, safe, relaxing Labor Day Weekend.

Our recreation program has sadly ended, but we’re still open till Columbus Day Weekend with off season rates.  My campers will attest to the fact that Lower Range Pond is so quiet and gorgeous time of year.  In the last two weeks, it’s been reported that the loon family has been out and about, and the gray heron has been seen quite often too.

If you like a quieter pace, Poland Spring Campground in Fall is the place to be!

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Boat rentals are still available; we have kayaks, rowboats and canoes.  Lower Range Pond is a long, 290 acre lake with a 9.9hp limit.  There’s lots of room to explore!

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Early morning by Kathy Edwards 2009

To see more fishing pictures, click on the fishing tag on the right.  There’s small mouth bass, large mouth bass, perch, rainbow trout and pickerel.  Brown trout is stocked by the wardens every Fall.  The largest reported catch this season was a a 6lb 22 inch small mouth bass.  And yes!  I do have proof of Joe Fowler’s catch!   Look for a 2010 fishing post, soon.

Warm days, cool nights, the soulful cry of the loon

and a crackling campfire with gooey s’mores.  Fall camping is the best!

What a beautiful day!

Hey, Maax here!

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I was heading up to the house today to see if Tami wanted to go for a walk, and it looked like she had the same idea!

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Great minds think alike!!

“Heading to the lake?” I asked.

“Where else, big guy?” she said, patting my antler.

So we started down the main road, and tromped into the middle of the playing field.  Tami checked the seasonal sites on both sides of the field

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before we walked under the basketball  hoop into the woods. As always, Cookie had to be in the lead

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She’s such a five year old!

Tami stopped a lot  ’cause she said she wanted to take pictures.  She thought I couldn’t tell, but she was really getting winded from the wicked bad cold she has.  I asked her if she wanted to go back, but she really wanted to see if the eagles were down at the point.

When we first stepped into the woods, four huge ravens started squawking and shrieking.  They swooped low over us

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and landed on a branch where they kept taunting us.  They didn’t worry me at all . . . really!  But Cookie was so freaked out, she ran back to walk next to Tami.

“Never mind them,” Tami said.  “They’ll stop.”

It was so pretty outside today.   The sky was a bright blue, and the sun was shining down.

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The animal prints above came all the way across from the beaver hut to the campground point.  Then it followed  our marked trail alongside the lake and up  into the 20’s.  Tami tried to take a picture of the prints so she could look it up, but they just looked like blobs in the snow.  They weren’t big like mine, so they weren’t moose.  But they didn’t look like Cookie’s either, so they weren’t from a dog. I guess they could have been from one deer, but deer usually travel together, don’t they?

When we got to the point, Tami called Cookie back off the ice and made her sit.  “I thought I heard the eagle cry,”  she said.  We stood quietly,  looking up and down the lake.   Tami even used the telephoto lens.  We saw some ice fisherman down by the state park.  We saw some snow mobilers out on the lake.

But we didn’t see the eagles.

“Did you hear that?” Tami asked.

“That squeaky, squawky sound?” I said.

We listened some more.

“Um, Tami?”

She held up a hand.  “Shhhhhh!  I still hear it.”

“But Tami-”

“Maax! What?”

You’re making the squeaky, squawky sound.  When you breathe.”

Tami just looked at me for a minute, and when she squeaked again, she started giggling  . . . which made her cough . . . which made her decide it was time to head for home.   We took the path alongside the lake that lead us out of the woods across from site 29, and we walked up the hill through the 30’s

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Tami’d like to go out tomorrow too.  I sure hope her cold is better, and not worse!