HK Builds His Nest

HK Builds His Nest

Thursday, January 30, 2014

HK and the Banded Female. January 28, 2014

I arrived at Honey Bee with my husband Joe at 2:54pm. We observed an eagle in flight over the golf course, headed in the general direction of HK's nest.

We drove to the nest just as HK hopped out and began feaking.

Suddenly, another head appeared in the nest! It was the banded female. That's HK on the left and the banded female in the nest. HK then took off and the female hopped out onto the same branch and began feaking.

She hopped out into the open and gave me a few pretty photo ops.

Then she also took off.

We drove some more and spotted an eagle perched on the golf course.

We had a flyby of HK.

We lost HK but them found him again perched on a tower being harassed by this crow.

We left him there but saw a young eagle perched on the river as we left the area.

Total observation time: 1 hour.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

There's a new gal in town.....but the banded female was still there! 1.21.14.

I managed an early arrival this morning. At 8:30 am ,I found the Banded Female in Osprey nest. She promptly flew at 8:32, in the direction of HK's nest.

I arrived at HK's nest 8:34, just in time to see an eagle on a branch, then leave the area. It turns out that HK was also in nest.  He flew at 8:38.

I relocated HK on the Osprey nest tower at 9:35.
There was a new, unidentified eagle across the river on a cypress tree.  This appears to be a younger eagle.

This eagle leaves the tree at 9:46 and flies to the Osprey nest tower.

The new eagle lands beside HK.

There is a lot of chattering. That's HK on the left.

The new female hops up to the Osprey nest and back down beside HK.

They sit for a while.

HK departs at 9:54. Female departs at 9:56.

I drove back over to HK's nest just in time to see the new female land there.

Apparently HK was already there. He did not appear very pleased.

HK moved to an outside branch. The new female is in the nest.

HK flew from the nest at 10:26, followed by the female at 10:32. I relocated the new female by the Honey Bee clubhouse at 10:38. Perhaps she had a date. She left at 10:43.

Total observation time: 2 hours and 13 minutes.
I was glad to see that the Banded Female had not given up on HK. She is of breeding age, while the new female is a 4th year eagle, according to my Bald Eagle mentor, Reese Lukei.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HK and I all alone at sunset. 1.20.14

I enjoy immensely the camaraderie of other photographers and nature lovers when I am "in the field" birdwatching. But every once in a while, you encounter a special bird at a moment in time that just lifts you spiritually and emotionally. Such was this occasion with HK at sunset. It was just the two of us.

 HK at 5:10pm at the Honey Bee maintenance building.

He only stayed 2 minutes.

But circled around.

And landed in a tree nearby.

 Indeed, a magical few minutes. Thank you, HK.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

From the tower to the nest to the tower: 1.15.14

I arrived at Honey Bee about 10:22am and found an eagle perched on the tower at the entrance to Honey Bee on S. Independence Blvd. At 10:24, the eagle took off and I was able to determine by the bands that it was HK.

HK landed in a tree on the golf course.

He didn't stay there and left yet again. I was able to relocate HK in the nest tree eating something.

It took HK 28 minutes to consume whatever it was. He eventually turned in the nest, affording a better view.

Then began cleaning his beak (feaking). His purple band is clearly visible in this photo.

He hopped into a higher branch, and gave me this amazing photo op. Thank goodness I didn't blow it!

He didn't stay there long before he hopped into a higher branch in the nest tree, with an obscured view. He stayed there a very long time.

He stayed so long up there, that I needed to get out of my car to stretch my legs. I walked about 30 feet and discovered he was actually in the open. I took several pics then returned to my car.

HK eventually left and I relocated him back in the same tower by the golf course entrance.  I left him there and went to a late lunch.

Observation period: 3 hours.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HK has lunch. January 13, 2014

I arrived at HK's nest at 11:55 am. He was just beginning lunch. It appeared to be a squirrel. It took him 38 minutes to consume it. I had never been this close to an eagle feeding before. I found it surprisingly fascinating. This is nature. This is how wild things survive.

HK started chattering.

There was an eagle overhead. It was the banded female.

 Nothing materialized. HK finished his meal and began "feaking."

"Feaking" is the process Bald Eagles use to cleanse and grind their beaks. They rub the beak back and forth on a tree branch or other hard surface.  Again, fascinating to watch.

HK turned so I could get a good look at his "HK" purple band.

HK spread his wings and hopped into the nest.

I missed his departure because I was distracted by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. But, that is another story.
Observation time: 2hours and 25 minutes.