HK Builds His Nest

HK Builds His Nest

Monday, December 30, 2013

Afternoon Delight: the Banded Female, the Mystery Male, and HK 12.30.13

Early arrival at Honey Bee for me, about 9am. HK was perched on the golf course in a favorite tree.

HK flew and I went searching. I didn't find him but I did come across these 2 eagles perched on a tower in the Glenwood subdivision. One was the banded female, but the other was.......a mystery eagle. I could not get a good look at him.

The banded female was busy with a late morning squirrel breakfast and she was not sharing.

The mystery eagle seemed to be protecting her.

 Suddenly, the mystery eagle started chattering and took off.

The female was not happy.

The mystery eagle landed again, and they squawked at each other. I could hear another eagle chattering nearby.

 The mystery male took off again.

 And he returned again.

The mystery eagle whispered some sweet nothings in her ear.

They dropped down a bar on the tower. He quickly moved over and mounted the banded female.

She did not object.

More eagle chatter and here comes........HK!  The pair took off (I briefly lost track of them). HK circled around the area and a fourth eagle flew up....and away!

Lucky for me, HK landed in a tower on S. Independence where I had just parked.
He immediately started chattering and when l looked down the tower line,

There they were!

 HK sat dejected on this tower for about 20 minutes until I left.

Total encounter time: 3 hours.

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 26, 2013 VERY quick observation

Busy, busy time during the holidays! I snuck out to Honey Bee about 3:30pm and was lucky to find HK perched in the Osprey nest tower. I parked just in front and as is common practice, stayed in my car so as not to make HK change his behavior and fly off.

Unfortunately, another photographer didn't know or maybe didn't care about any of that. He deliberately walked onto the golf course at the first tee and proceeded to click away with his huge lens. And, of course.....HK flew off.

Yes, I got the photographer's photo as well. He knows who he is!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bonding or was exciting to watch. Observations from Decemer 23, 2013

I got to Honey Bee way later than I wanted to. But as I rolled down S. Independence just before 10:30am, my heart skipped a few beats! There were two eagles on the Osprey nest tower!
 I was able to determine that it was the banded female in the nest and HK perched protectively on the tower. I pulled my SUV off the road and parked. And settled in to watch and learn.

HK hopped in and hopped out of the nest several times.

 At one point, he looked directly at me. I was still in the SUV.

The last time he hopped in, both eagles disappeared for about two minutes. What were they doing?!
This is what I saw when they reappeared.

It seemed as though it was bonding or perhaps mating. Maybe HK was dismounting her. He moved off to the side. (HK on the right)

Then he hopped to the right side of the tower and she remained in the Osprey nest.

They stayed there for a good while.

And eventually flew off.
And I was left with a couple of hundred photos! I had never witnessed this and I was breathless! An amazing experience!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A quick late afternoon visit

Lots going on in preparation for Christmas, but I did manage a short trip to Honey Bee. I was able to find HK right away, perched in his favorite cypress tree. He sat there the entire time I was there. REALLY appreciate that, HK!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

HK Feeling Flighty 12.19.13

I was so looking forward to encountering HK today! I had been away for a brief trip to Florida and needed an eagle sighting in the worst way! I was not disappointed! When I arrived, HK was perched in the eating tree, surrounded by countless Crows!

He didn't stay there very long. He flew to the river and when I caught sight of him again, he was flying with a fish in his mouth!

It was a rather small fish, which HK consumed rather quickly. Then he flew to another tree.

 Eventually, he flew to the river for yet another fish!

He flew around some more.

He landed again and hopped around a bit.

Then, coasted down into the water for a bath, and back to the tree to dry out.

He flew again.

Then landed once again, only to deal with those pesky Crows!
Great afternoon, HK! Thank you!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HK at sunset 12.11.13

I had to get an eagle "fix' before my quick trip to Florida. I drove by HK's nest late in the afternoon. Empty. I drove through the neighborhood adjacent to Honey Bee and did get a distant glimpse of him through the trees. I stopped by the pro shop and he was perched across the river in his favorite cypress tree being mobbed by crows.

He flew very low across S. Independence Blvd. towards Rosemont Forest Elementary School. Since school had been dismissed for the day, I drove over there. I followed the noisy crows and found him perched in a tree on the golf course eating a fish. I guess he picked that up on his way over!

As I had been told by staff that the course was closed for the day, I drove around and parked on a side street and walked on the cart path until I came across HK in the same tree. He seemed to be enjoying the warmth of the sunset.  I took his photo and left him there at 4:49pm.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rain, rain....go away..........! December 10, 2013 observations

So much rain and depressing gray skies have kept me indoors. This afternoon, there was a glimmer of brightness, so I did venture out to Honey Bee.
I came down S. Independence Blvd.  from the Stumpy Lake area and an eagle  came into view perched on a tower off Bellspring Drive. I was able to determine that it was the banded female.

She did not stay long, and flew off in the general direction of Salem High School. I looked down S. Independence and viewed another eagle perched on a tower. I drove down there and was able to see HK's bands.

HK didn't stay long either and also took flight. These photos were all shot through the sunroof of my Honda Pilot. Thanks, Honda......for heated seats!

HK flew off very low and I was eventually able to find him in the eating tree, just perched. That's where I left him.
Observation time: 3:48pm - 4:40pm.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 4, 2013.....lots of action and lots of pics!

I arrived just before 11am. An eagle was sitting beside the Osprey nest on S. Independence Blvd.

I parked close by and stayed in my SUV. After a few minutes, the eagle hopped into the nest, and immediately hopped out and moved to the other side of the tower, as if waiting for someone.

I was then pretty sure that  it was the banded female after reviewing a few pictures. At 11:35 she inexplicably flew down river towards Ware Neck Drive.

I began driving across the bridge and suddenly saw an eagle coming back from the same direction.

 I assumed it was the female returning, so I backed up and this time got out of my SUV just in time to catch the eagle landing in the Honey Bee clubhouse area.

I was still unsure of which eagle it was, when it flew down river again and landed in another tree. Suddenly a juvenile eagle showed up and took that perch and the older eagle flew across the water to a Cypress tree. The juvie soon followed, there was some interaction, the juvie flew towards the Osprey nest, changed its mind about landing there, and disappeared. After I caught my breath, I was able to review some photos and determined that the older eagle was HK.

I was now back at the Ware Neck area, when HK took off and....landed on the riverbank! He hopped down on a branch, into the water, and came up with a fish! And flew to the eating tree to eat his lunch.

After HK finished dining, he decided to clean up a bit. So, he flew back down towards the clubhouse area and went into the water.

He bathed for about 10 minutes shook himself a bit, gave me a long look, and flew off.

I was able to find him again after driving through the neighborhood for about 30 minutes. He was behind a house in a pine tree with wings spread and feathers ruffled.....drying out after his bath.

It was  wonderful to observe HK fairly close and I was able to take a few close ups. It was a grand end to an awesome day with the Bald Eagles at Honey Bee.
Observation period 10:48am - 3:45pm.