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!

 

Winter Wildlife

Every day over school vacation week, I’ve gone to visit Tami, expecting her to be working hard on the manuscript for Cooper and Packrat’s fourth camping adventure. And every day David tells me she’s put on her snowshoes and trudged through the 35 inches of snow we got, to go down to the lake and visit the otter.  Sheesh!  Who’s the mascot around here anyway??

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Buuuuuut, I have to admit, that otter is kinda cute.

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Tami says those little ears, hear really well. And that nose, he can smell well, too. But otters don’t see so well. That’s how she’s able to get some good pictures of this shy guy.

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Today she was down there for two and a half hours!  As long as she stands really, really still, and she uses her adapter to extend her camera lens, she gets some okay pics when the little guy isn’t looking.

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While she was standing there a couple days ago, waiting for the otter to show up, a Common Merganser flew in!

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These duck-like birds act a lot like loons. They dive for fish, and carry their chicks on their backs.

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Loons don’t have that messy hairdo though!

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There wasn’t a lot of open water down there by the beaver hut, but this guy made the most of it.

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Today, the eagles soared as a pair over the house. You should have seen all the squirrels run for cover!

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There are extra sticks on the nest, so it won’t be long now. Nesting will happen sometime in March and I’m sure Tami will get pics for you!

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We’re looking forward to eagle chicks this year . ..

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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Shhhhh! The Eagles Are Expecting

I think Spring is in the air!

Tami and I trudged down over the snow to the lake’s edge. I was surprised to see so many people and ice shacks down at the State Park beach.

“What’s going on?” I asked Tami.

“Hmmm – must be the Ice Derby.”  But she wasn’t looking at me, she already had the camera to her eye . . .

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“Wow!” I exclaimed.  “They’re already nesting!  Isn’t that early?”

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Tami and I watched as snowmobiles traveled by, ice fisherman called out to one another and a couple even started fishing right under the nest.  Still, the eagle stayed on her eggs, only her head moving around.

Her mate was not so calm however.

He fidgeted.

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He wobbled.

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He shifted.

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Eventually he settled down for a little bit, and Tami was able to focus in to get a good shot.

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He eventually flew off.  And it was just us and the nesting eagle.

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Do you think their nesting early is a sign of an early spring?

Tami and I like to think so.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Little Fox

Wow!  My little fox friend, sure does get around in the winter months.

He crossed by the second trail camera location too!

Still, Tami was hoping to see something different when she collected the pictures this time, so we moved the camera to a new, top secret location where we’d seen tracks in the snow.   David had given her a really big Bio Rock salt lick for Christmas, and she’d saved some veggie peelings and greens to lay out, so we made a cool feeding station.  I can’t wait to see what the camera captures!

While we were out, Tami took some lake photos . . .

and of course a photo of the eagle nest!

Does it look a little different than normal?  Tami took it further up the lakeside trail, almost across (and through the woods from) site 24!   Even at that distance, and cropping it, you get a good view across the top of the nest, don’t you?

Remember last year?  When Tami was freaking out starting to worry because she thought the eagles were late in nesting?   And then she figured out there had been an adult sitting on eggs in the nest all along?  She just wasn’t able to see it because her lens wasn’t strong enough and the eagle was sitting so low.

Well, that won’t happen this year!  She just can’t wait to start taking pictures this spring!  Check back often for updates!

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.

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!