HK Builds His Nest

HK Builds His Nest

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Exciting goings on at Honey Bee with a possible mating between HK and Sterling. Time will tell......: 2.22.15

A quite interesting day at Honey Bee. The weather forecast called for rain, but when it did not materialize, I drove out to Honey Bee after being snowed in for 4 days. I immediately found HK on a tower. And he immediately took off....

and flew, right over my head. I think he looked at me!

 I drove to the nest, just in time to see HK come in carrying a stick in his beak.

HK deposited the stick in his nest. He did some arranging and left.

The golf course was closed due to the melting ice and snow, so I decided to take a walk. I spent some time photographing some ducks and herons. I was on my way back when I heard Eagle chatter and turned around to find HK and Sterling on the feeding tree. Below is Sterling.

HK appeared to be checking out his bling.

Sterling finished up a fish while HK watched. Sterling on left.

They flew across the river to a cypress tree. That's Sterling on top.

Then, they flew to the Osprey tower. They spent about 30 minutes looking around and looking at each other.

HK left abruptly, but Sterling remained and hopped into the Osprey nest.

About 60 seconds later, HK returned, vocalizing.

HK landed extremely close to Sterling and she bowed down.

Sterling was out of sight behind the sign for 10-12 seconds, but HK seemed on top of things!

HK hopped off to the left side. Sterling remained in the nest.

I walked back to my car and telephoned Reese Lukei. I was thinking that this was a possible mating. After reviewing the photos, he agreed that it was possible. So, now we wait.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

HK, a squirrel, and a touch of Sterling. February 14, 2015.

The weather is crazy here in VA Beach. Temps in the 20's to 50's with the forecast for teens made me get to Honey Bee. HK was very busy. The water sources were mostly frozen, so HK turned to a furry critter (squirrel) for sustenance. HK brought it to the nest tree.

And took it into the nest. And then out again.

He sat on a branch adjacent to the nest.

Although I didn't mean to, I probably was too close and HK left abruptly. I was able to relocate him several minutes later, eating the squirrel on another tree on the golf course. This time, I kept my distance.

It took HK about 25 minutes to finish that squirrel. After that meal, he cleaned off his beak, a process called feaking.

HK provided several in flight opportunities.....I was thrilled!

 I lost track of HK for a while, but eventually he showed up back at his nest, doing some nestorations.

 HK again disappeared for a time and I had called it a day, when I spotted him and Sterling on the Osprey nest tower.

They didn't stay long. Sterling left first.

I was so entralled with watching Sterling that I missed HK's take off.
But, they did fly off together.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HK and (a little) Sterling. February 9, 2015

When I arrived, it appeared that the nest was empty. As I sipped my morning coffee though, HK appeared.

He again seemed to be waiting for something, and after several minutes, he left.

I was determined today to find out if by chance Sterling was in the nest incubating eggs. There was no other movement there.
After an hour, HK returned. He resumed nestorations.

He seemed to admire is work.

And left again.

Another hour went by and I heard very loud eagle chatter. Both HK and Sterling flew in!
Sterling arrived first, flying in right over my head.

They both landed in the nest and after 30 seconds, Sterling left.

HK watched intently from the nest.

Sterling circled high overhead.

HK joined her.

They flew out of the area, following a Red-tailed Hawk that had invaded the airspace.

After another hour,  HK returned once again to the nest tree. Sterling never reappeared.

I relocated HK again on a nearby tower, where I left him after dark clouds rolled in.

Friday, February 6, 2015

HK: The Golden Hour. February 5, 2015

The "Golden Hour" in photography is typically the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset. I found HK in the afternoon "Golden Hour." The weather conditions were extremely windy and bitterly cold. HK was hunkered down in a pine tree.

He didn't stay long and I hope I didn't make him fly. That surely was not my intent. But, he did fly and I was actually glad that he ended the shoot. Brrrr. I hope and pray he found a warm place for the night.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

HK and Sterling: Together Again. February 4, 2015

As I drove down S. Independence Blvd., I could see there was an Eagle in the Osprey nest. I pulled over. I took a few photos. They are not shown as my camera had night settings so they were quickly deleted. Just as I reset, a second Eagle flew in. It was Sterling. So, it had been HK in the Osprey nest.

Sterling is just so big and beautiful! She makes a dramatic landing!

The two of them disappeared behind the sign in the nest for less than a minute, When they reappeared, they did some "chatting."

I don't know if they mated out of sight or not. Time will tell, I guess. But, it sure is exciting to see them sitting side by side! That's HK on the left, Sterling on the right.

Sterling left first. I missed HK's departure.

I relocated HK at his nest. He appeared to be dining on a bird.

He finished quickly and hopped into the nest.

Then HK left abruptly.

But, returned quickly, carrying soft nest material trailing behind him.

I did find him in the nest, although not visible for several minutes. He did appear briefly to admire his work.

And left again.

I lost track of both of them for a while. I was there for several hours. But luckily picked them back up, perched together, seemingly watching this Navy jet. I imagined them saying, "I hope our children grow up to fly like that."

They flew again. And after a time, Sterling showed up in the Osprey nest.

HK came by.

 And landed in a tree directly across from Sterling, by the first tee.

HK left, and Sterling gave me "the look" before she also left.

An Eagle landed at the Ware Neck Drive end, but I called it a day. An EXCITING day!