The following entries are from the Eagle Journal Teresa has been keeping since she and Michael started their research seven years ago at Jim Habasco's farm in Charlevoix County in Northern Michigan. Their first season they spent December through March in a roughly constructed "eagle blind". It was a 6' x 4' wooden structure with no insulation and little peepholes with plexiglass covers for shooting out of. They had a port-a-pot and a five gallon bucket to sit on and a little "buddy" heater to help stave off the cold Northern Michigan winter. That did not deter them from going every chance they could that winter. It paid off in aces as they say (see photos of Ripper on the Eagle page).
The following year they had moved on up to the big times with a 1955 travel trailer that Michael was in the process of remodeling to become their summer home/studio in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It did at least have some insulation and a little bed for one of them to lay down on when boredom over took them. And they had real windows! And best of all room to move around in. They were actually able to get the now fully remodeled travel trailer positioned before deer hunting season began in November. So they spent many a day, sometimes even back to back days out enjoying the beauty of Nature at its finest. When not shooting eagles, ravens and hawks Teresa spends many ot this days updating her journal, website and FACEBOOK page. We discovered Jim and ‘his’ eagles over seven years ago. Wewere out for a Sunday ‘exploration’ drive when we ran across a field of deer carcasses. On further study we discovered eagles in the trees. We visited the area several more times that winter. On one of those visits we met Jim and the rest as they say is history.
Eagle Journal March 11, 2012
Daylight Savings Time is here meaning we spring a head an hour. It is a balmy 45 degrees at 7:30am. The winds are picking up out of the southwest.
We hear the sounds of the crows and ravens shortly after we settle in. by 8:10am we have a rough-legged hawk on the ground. Hopefully, this is a good sign but as we know that is not always true.
It heads back to the trees. A raven swerves at the poor hawk around 8:30 so it moves further down to the east. It lands on the ground briefly then flies east.
9:00am two ravens are on the ground but gone in the blink of the eye. Then a crow and raven are in and out squawking all the way.
An adult red-tailed hawk flies in from the north and sits in the maple tree at 9:30 then gone by 10:10 without coming in. I see it soaring over the swamp soaring higher and heading north.
Seriously…nothing is going on and it is already 11:30am. Woopie, a crow comes onto the carcass.
There aren’t even any seagulls around. I saw a couple early in the day high in the sky then heard one later but nothing in.
Two crows are bouncing around the carcass then gone. A rough-legged hawk comes into the trees around 11:45 then takes off soaring.
12:20pm two rough-legged hawks are soaring to the east. One lands in a tree to the east and the other keeps soaring.
A red-shouldered hawk flies over the swamp around 1:15pm. About a half an hour later I tell Michael we might as well leave. Then we have three rough-legged hawks in front of us, flying and fighting. Two land in the trees while the other keeps soaring.
Well, are they going to come in? We decide to wait a while to see, but, no luck. They both end up flying to the east as usual. So we pack it up and say goodbye to our eagle blind for another season. It was a great season for hawks. We got footage and photos that would be hard to capture if we hadn’t been in our blind. Thank you, Jim, for all of your hard work and the love and commitment you have given for further the conservation of our great eagles and other birds of prey.
Eagle Journal March 5, 2012
Start the early morning at ten below zero but luckily no wind. Around 7:00 we hear the crows and ravens. I thought they might not be too active with it so brute cold.
We have a mature and a 1st year eagle in at 7:25, no make that two matures! Yeah maybe we will get some early action!!
Hawk in from the east around 8:00am. It is a dark morphed rough-legged and it lands on a post right in front of us. There are so many heat waves that it’s hard to get a crisp shot of it. It flies off to land on the old post to the east of us out in the field.
9:00 one of the eagles is chattering must be Smudge. There are still three eagles and the RLH in the trees.
9:55am the dark RLH is back on the old post, but the crows and ravens attack it when it tries to fly in. Then it disappears.
Seagulls are in around 10:30 but don’t hang around. Same thing with the ravens and crows, they mess around then leave.
11:00 NO ACTION!! The eagles have hardly even moved a toe!! Are they frozen to the trees?!!
11:30 we have another mature come in. I think it is the 5th year Smudge had a thing for early. But it is chased off by Mudhen.
The crows come to the carcass then they are gone. A raven is in pulling the wing of a poor seagull till it takes off. A rough-legged hawk comes into the post around 12:45 but quickly takes off.
Finally about 1:00 one the eagles changes trees. I think it is Smudge and she goes in the tree with Mudhen to hassle him.
The 5th year tries to come back in but is once again chased off by Mudhen. Mudhen settles back into a tree to the east away from Smudge.
Crows and seagulls are now feeding on the carcass. Finally around 2:00 all three eagles are on the ground! The baby actually sat for almost 7 hours in one spot!! And ACTION!
Mudhen finally lands near the carcass and pounces on it. Smudge actually flutters overhead but doesn’t land. She is screaming at Mudhen but he isn’t paying any attention to her. He feeds for a while then goes back to the trees.
Two young rough-legged hawks actually come in but don’t stay, just a quick land on the post then gone.
2:30-3:00 Mudhen is back for more. Smudge actually lands on the ground but doesn’t come in. While Mudhen is eating, one of the young RLH lands on the ground behind him. He ignores it even when it finally lands on a post. It is actually still there even after Mudhen takes off. The other young RLH comes in and knocks it off but neither of them comes on to the carcass.
Meantime the baby tries to come into the carcass but the matures chase her off. Tough love! They are about ready to nest so no one else is being tolerated too well.
We have had sun, snow, wind, clouds and a great afternoon in the great outdoors. Only in Northern Michigan can you have 10 below temps, 2-3 feet of snow, 4 eagles and 5 hawks entertain you!
The hawks fly in and around the rest of the afternoon but don’t come in. The eagle couple actually hangs out till we decide it’s time to leave. What a great day!! It felt like January and the eagles acted like it was January!!
Eagle Journal February 26, 2012
It is a calm 15 degrees with partly cloudy skies. We hear the crows calling at 7:00am. There is a crow on the perching tree by 7:20 and ravens coming in out of the swamp.
7:40am we have three big ravens quietly on the ground. It is a very quiet morning. It is spitting snow with the wind picking up after 8:00am.
We have one seagull on the ground at 8:30am. By 8:20 with have a rough-legged hawk in the trees to the east.
We have a 2nd year eagle come into the trees and knock the rough-legged hawk off. The RLH changes trees.
By 9:30 we have 20 plus starlings, one rough-legged hawk, a 2nd year eagle and 5 seagulls in the area.
9:45 another 2nd year eagle flies in from the south and knocks the other 2nd year off its tree.
10:15 the other 2nd year circled back and came into a tree to the west. A red-tailed hawk came in and knocked the other 2nd year off to another tree then the RTH headed south.
Well the red-tailed hawk circled back and headed northeast. A little later another red-tail joined it as they continued to fly northeast.
By 11:00 we have 14 seagulls on the pile and one 2nd year eagle in the tree. All of a sudden a seagull takes off with something and, of course, the eagle takes off after it. A raven gets in on the chase which is so comical to watch.
The red-tails flyby again but don’t land. A young eagle comes from the south but heads northeast just like everything else.
There are now over ten crows surround the 2nd year eagle I the tree at 11:30. The crows hassle the eagle for a while then off they head. They are cackling and jawing as they search out their next ‘victim’. They are just like gang members always more mischievous in numerous.
We have a red-tailed hawk in the maple for a short time then…poof… gone in a few minutes.
Fluffy our young rough-legged hawk does a flyby then off to, you guessed it, the northeast.
20-30 seagulls are now on the pile around 12:15 so hopefully something will take place soon. I’m ready for a nap, it’s been so dull.
Finally, action! The 2nd year does a flyby then another 2nd year comes out of nowhere to do battle. Love to watch these amazing creatures flip and turn and spiral in the air. It’s a wonder they don’t hurt each other more often.
Now we have a 3rd year eagle into the perching tree and a 4th year eagle does a flyby. Lots of aerials and acrobatics in the air!! One 2nd year came down and nabbed something and took it to a tree. The other 2nd year landed in the field then headed to the trees. The 3rd and 4th years flew off across the road. FUN!!
Now we have over forty seagulls on the pile. We have a 1st year fly into a tree to the west around 1:25.
The 3rd year is back and does a flyby. It circled then went across the road to sit in a tree again.
We have a 1st year that is changing into its 2nd year plumage sitting on the perching tree. Another 1st/2nd year comes over and knocks the other 1st/2nd year off to claim it for itself. The other one headed across the road to sit in a tree around 2:10.
We have a 5th year into a tree to the west around 2:15. Then it quickly comes onto the perching tree in front of us. Another mature comes in from the west then heads east. We have a battle going on to the southeast of us. Looks like a mature and a 2nd year fighting.
3:00 mature nabs something out of the field which brings in the 2nd year from across around the road. We also have a beautiful adult red-tailed hawk trying to come into the pile but the ravens are too aggressive with it so it heads to the northeast. A rough-legged hawk is flying over, too, but isn’t allowed to come in either.
One of our 2nd year eagles does a flyby around 3:40 then disappears. Our 3rd year is back still thinking about getting something. It does several flybys around 4:00.
The seagulls have dragged a piece of meat out in the field to the east. The 3rd year seems to have its eye on this piece of meat whenever it flies over. So Michael & I decide it’s time to focus on the 3rd year and the meat. We know it is going to come in before too long to nab it.
Well, the 3rd year took off, so I quickly went to focus on the piece of meat…surprise, surprise… there is what I thought was a young eagle already on the meat. But when I check it out I find out it is a dark morphed rough-legged hawk!!! Yeah!!!! We are so excited!!! We, of course, immediately start shooting it. It takes off but lands on the ground further back. It then flies into the perching tree to sit. It comes back on the ground but not into the pile. Bummer! It takes off but before we leave I told Michael to check the maple tree to the west. Sure enough, it is sitting in the maple. So we decide to wait to see if it might come in. Well, we had a couple of other rough-legged hawks flying around but nothing comes in.
So we call it a day. But what a good day it became!!
Eagle Journal 2-19-2012
It’s a cool 6 degrees but no wind which makes it much more bearable. The ravens start talking around 7:10am. By 7:25 we have a dark morphed rough-legged hawk into the trees!!! Yeah!! Hopefully, it comes into the pile.
By 7:30 we a raven on the ground and twenty minutes later we have another rough-legged hawk come in. It knocks the dark morph off and it flies into the tree right in front of us!! We have ten ravens on the ground around us that is a good sign. If the ravens feel safe around us maybe the hawks and eagles will come in.
We have a two year old eagle come into the trees around 8:05am. There are ten starlings on the pile with no sign of seagulls yet. Yeah!
The dark morph drops onto the ground to the east of us with some ravens. Unfortunately, it is too far east to be able to photograph. Now we have over fifteen ravens around us.
8:45 the first seagull is on the ground but doesn’t stay long. It actually sits on the roof of our blind waiting for some buddies to arrive.
9:00 the 2nd year lands on the ground in front of us but out quite a ways. We have a 4th year come into the trees where the 2nd year had been. The 2nd year got a piece of old tallow and took it to another tree to eat it.
Now we have a 3rd year in the tree with the 4th year!! Maybe it will be a good day even though it is overcast.
We have twenty plus starlings on the bones pile. The ravens are all around chasing each other and having a good time.
One raven with a piece of old bone gets the 2nd year to chase it. It is such a game with these mischievous birds. They taunt the eagles and hawks constantly.
10:00 the 2nd year does another flyby. It acts hungry so hopefully it will come into the pile at some point today.
The sun breaks through the clouds around 10:20!! Yeah, now bring on the birds!
10:40 the right band 5th year male, Smudge’s new ‘friend’ is on the perching tree. By 10:45 the seagulls start to come in.
We have a 1st year that flies in from the south to the tree with the 2nd year at 11:00. We have lots of ravens playing on the ground and 40 plus starlings on the pile.
11:10 another 1st year flies over from the south but swings west and keeps flying. A red-tailed hawk flies over and heads into the swamp.
Well, the eagles left us one by one heading east then circling northeast to soar together. So much for that, well maybe now the hawks will come in.
I was right, twenty minutes later the young rough-legged hawk did a flyby! Then an adult rough-legged came to the post for a minutes then back to the trees.
Now Fluffy the young rough-leg is back on to one of the post. It is acting skitterish probably because of the adult in the tree. But no, there is another young rough-legged hawk that comes on to another post. The first young RLH takes off back to the trees.
Well, Fluffy II doesn’t waste any time pouncing on the meat! It eats and eats and eats. The starlings come back in all around it. I guess they figure the ‘prime rib’ the hawk is eating is more appetizing than their skinny little bones.
Some of the seagulls actually stand guard waiting for their turn back on the meat. It is comically to watch considering the hawk could take any of those birds out in a flash.
It was so cute, after it was done eating it actullay cleaned its talons and washed its face in the snow!!
Well, the little hawk finally had its fill and heads back to the trees. We thought maybe the other young one would come in but no such luck.
Well, I decide to post photos to Facebook. I am typing away when I peek out the side window and spot the dark morph coming in from the east!!! Oh my gosh!! Michael and I immediately get to our post. It flies over the pile so I get can get a few shots of it. Then it goes and sits in the maple.
Michael watches it so we can be ready as soon as it takes off again. It does yet another couple of flybys then heads east. I was able to get some decent shots but poor Michael could get any.
By 2:15 the 4th comes back to the trees and sits and sits and sits. The 2nd and 3rd year eagles make it back around 3:00. Another 2nd year comes in around 3:30 then all of a sudden the 5th shows up in another tree.
We have three matures kittling to the west of us around 3:45. They are joined by one of the 1st year eagles.
By 5:00 we have the 2nd year and the 5th year in a tree together with no one else in sight. We decide to call it quits around 5:30 as they both head to the east for the night.
Eagle Journal 2-12-2012
It’s a very cold windy morning as we head out to the blind. It is 23 degrees with a windchill of zero.
At 7:30am we have a red-tailed hawk fly into the trees to the west followed by the cawing of the crows, a sure sign of morning out in the blind. The ravens start to show up shortly after that.
We have a few starlings in at 7:55am. Yeah! At 8:15am we have a 2nd year eagle into the tree where the red-tailed was. It knocked the hawk out of the tree and out of the area. Shortly afterwards we have a mature eagle coming in. It flies in and knocks the 2nd year out of the tree. The 2nd year eagle flies off to the south and out of sight! Bummer!
Well, the mature just sits, of course, playing sentinel to make sure nothing else comes into the pile!
We have four big ravens out on the old carcass further out in the field. They are tugging and pulling o the old dried up bones. They are so comical to watch.
We have our first seagull circling at 8:45 but nothing more. Around 9:45 we eight + ravens on the ground all around the perimeter. They are digging in the snow looking for frozen treats.
Our mature eagle is still just sitting in the tree to the west. We finally have a seagull on the ground at 9:50am.
There is only one poor seagull trying to get a snack from the pile. It will take a few pecks then fly off, squawking all the way. It does this time after time. Quite comically to watch!
A raven joins the seagull on the pile, bouncing and hopping around trying to irate the seagull. The raven finally picks up a small snowball and flies off without. If it was hoping something would chase it, it was disappointed.
We finally have a rough-legged hawk flying in from the east around 10:15. It flew over and dived bombed the mature eagle! Gotta love the nerve of these little buggers!
The ravens are closing in on the pile strutting around. A raven is messing with the seagull again. It keeps trying to sneak up on it and pull its tail. The raven finally nabs a piece of frozen meat taking off with. It flies all around in front of all the other birds including the eagle saying, “Look at me! See what I have!”
Thank goodness for the entertaining ravens, otherwise it would be a very long cold dreary day!
The seagulls aren’t even really interested in the meat pile. The few that finally came in are just sitting in the snow to the east of the blind.
Finally the rough-legged hawk acts like it wants to come in. it gets as close as the old post in the field when the ravens start in on it. They chase all the way to the east and beyond. Darn ravens!!
The mature eagle finally flies only to change trees. Whatever!!! She changes trees about an hour later but that’s as much as we get from her.
Finally the 2nd year eagle flies back into the area only to keep soaring high over the pile and into the swamp.
Surprise, surprise while I was shooting ravens the eagle flew in to the east of the pile. Of course, I wasn’t able to get on her before she took off back to the tree. URGGHHHH!! L
Finally another mature flies overhead around 2:20. The sun is finally starting to break through the clouds! Hope we get some action soon!!
The seagulls are finally working on the meat. One breaks off a piece and takes off with it. Now we have some action. The eagle takes off chasing the seagull. I manage to get a few shots off before she heads back to the trees at 3:15pm.
A 5th year comes into the tree next to the tree the mature is in at around 3:20pm. We have another mature soaring overhead.
Smudge, our mature matriarch is doing a flyby at 3:50pm. The sky is blue and the action is awesome!!
She makes a quick third attempt as she eyes a large piece of red meat that the seagulls have torn off.
On the third attempt she snatches and grabs the prize. She flies into the trees where the 5th year eagle immediately lands. She takes her treasure and drops into the swamp with it. The 5th year eagle follows her.
A little later another mature comes out of the swamp followed by the 5th year. Smudge eventually comes back out of the swamp to the perching tree. The one mature disappears, the 5th year eagle heads across the road to sit in a tree where one of our hawks was hiding.
Around 5:00 the seagulls disappear and so do the eagles, so we decide to pack it up and head out. As we leave the trailer we see two eagles sitting side by side in a tree across the road. We assumed it was Smudge and Mudhen but when we got to the truck and I took a shot of them, we found it to be Smudge and the 5th year male eagle. Hmmmmm….I wonder what’s up with that???? Is Smudge two timing Mudhen? It is a known fact that eaglets in the same nest can have different parentage.
Eagle Journal 2-6-2012
The wind is blowing out of the SW with the temps at 30 degrees. The crows are in the trees at 7:30am
We have our first hawk at 7:40am. Shortly afterwards we have a raven on the ground.
A seagull does a recon around 8:05 with ravens scattered around the field.
Our young rough-legged hawk came in to the trees from the east. It changed trees around 8:25am. At 8:30 the seagulls circled and disappeared. The sun is finally breaking through the clouds.
We have some starlings in at 8:45 then the seagulls finally on the ground at 9:05.
Fluffy, as I call the young rough-legged hawk, comes into the pile for a minute. At least it was long enough for me to snap a few pictures.
9:45-10:15 Fluffy sits on the ground to the east of the trailer. The adult rough-legged hawk visits on the old post in the field. I thought it might try bothering the young RL but it just flew back to the trees.
We finally have a mature eagle in to the trees to the east.
Fluffy is back in the field a little closer this time. It lands on the old carcass farther out in front of us then off to the trees. What a bummer! Not looking good for photos today.
Our mature eagle flies to the east then circles back then into the swamp around 11:00. The seagulls left, too.
11:20 a red-tailed hawk flies from the south into the trees. The young red-tailed hawk shows up. Then the adult RT dive bombs the young RT then takes off in to the swamp.
The adult RT is back into the trees. The young RT flies into a tree in front of us but stays low. The hawks eventually fly off.
12:30 the red-tailed hawks are soaring around. A little later the mature eagle is back into the tree to the west. Another mature comes into the same tree. Smudge is chattering as Mudhen flies into the tree. I am shooting them when they actually mate!! OMG! I can’t believe we were able to witness this amazing event!! I guess Spring is just around the corner.
The young red-tailed hawk is in briefly to the post then gone. The young rough-legged hawk is back into the trees.
We have the right banded mature eagle onto the perching tree at 2:10. Oh my gosh!! The young rough-legged hawk just dive bombed it. Then fifteen minutes later it does it again!! You gotta love the tenacity of these hawks.
Then a couple of ravens take over pestering the mature eagle. The mature eagle flies over to a tree to the east then decides to hide in a tree. It is so comical to see the mighty eagle hiding.
The ravens that took over the perching tree are entertaining me! The one raven takes a hold of the thick unmovable branch in its beak then lets go and hangs from its beak!! I have seen them do this on willowy branches but not one that is unmovable. Amazing!
Well, the rest of the afternoon is pretty uneventful. Since we had a long, but fun weekend with the munchkins, we decide to call it quits early. Hope for some winter wea
Eagle Journal January 30, 2012
Well, we thought Michael would have to do some major plowing when we went to bed Saturday night with the snow blowing and the wind howling but… He did plow a couple of people. So we headed out Monday morning to the blind.
It is 11 degrees at 6:30am with minimal wind. I caught a quick glimpse of a red-tailed hawk at 7:40 land in a pine just beyond the tree line.
It was 7:55 when I heard the first ravens and crows and 8:05 before I saw them. We have an eagle sitting in the big pine to the east at 8:15.
By 8:20 we have a hawk in the maple tree to the west. A rough-legged hawk flew into the swamp from the east.
9:00 the first seagull is circling but doesn’t land on the roof of the trailer till 9:15. We have four starlings enjoying the meat. The seagulls land on the ground for a couple of minutes then fly off?
9:30am the rough-legged hawk lands in the perching tree. Yeah, maybe we will get some action. At 8:50 it pounced down on the ground at the edge of the woods but came up empty clawed.
Seagulls are not sure they want to come and land on the pile. Strange.
Yeah, the young red-tailed hawk came on to the post but the rough-legged flew over. The red-tailed only stayed for a couple of minutes then flew off. The two are fighting in the air!! The go to separate trees to the east. Bummer it was snowing too hard to get on them to get any action shots!!
It wasn’t supposed to snow today. What’s up with that? It is a fairly quiet day. No eagle action. L
Our first eagle comes in to the tree to the west at 10:45. It’s a mature eagle probably Smudge or Mudhen.
There are only six seagulls and a couple of ravens working on the pile. The rough-legged hawk is back in the trees hassling and messing around with the ravens. It does a flyby chasing a seagull that took off with a piece of meat.
Another mature comes into the west tree with the other one at 11:00am.
The rough-legged hawk is on the post then the red-tailed hawk lands on another post! Sweet, maybe we’ll have a fight. Nope, the rough-leg takes off then comes back. They both fly off! Bummer!!
One of the mature eagles has disappeared.
11:30 the adult red-tailed hawk makes a brief visit to the post then off to the trees. It is really snowing now. It is hard to see the trees.
The other mature is back. The young red-tail does another flyby at 11:40. It does another flyby later and is attacked by a raven. Then the rough-leg does a flyby.
12:05 the seagulls are back eating and taking off with meat pieces. The ravens are chasing the heck out of them. The ravens love this cold snowy weather. They are all prancing around each other out in the field. But every time I try to ‘shoot’ them they take off. URGGGGHHH!
The rough-leg does yet another flyby. When are they going to come in???? Now we have three hawks flying around to the east fighting. It looks like two red-tails and a rough-leg.
The young red-tailed hawk lands on the ground to the east end of the field with the snow falling so heavy it is hard to focus on it. It takes off then the rough-legged hawk lands in about the same area. A raven drops down to bother so it takes off.
One of the mature went over to the maple tree then flew around to the west then back. It is just making sure the hawks no it is there and watching them.
12:45 the rough-legged hawk is chasing then being chased by ravens. It’s like they are playing games. Whatever!!
The mature eagle flies to the west with the ravens to see what’s up. Finally, it comes onto the perching tree to sit at 1:10. At least, I can keep a better eye on what is doing this way.
The seagulls are really eating on the carcass. They can’t get the meat loose from the pile so they aren’t flying off with stuff. The eagles aren’t happy about it but we are. There are at least twenty ravens out enjoying the winter weather! It is 25 degrees and snowing to beat the band!
The rough-legged hawk is flying back and forth driving me crazy!! You know it wants to come in…but will it?
The red-tailed hawk flies by being chased by the darn rough-legged hawk at 2:00.
The red-tail lands on the meat then the rough-leg comes by and scares it off. URGGGGHHHH!
This happens several times in the afternoon with nothing really coming in to the meat. Bummer.
The eagles are definitely Smudge and Mudhen. Smudge flies over to the perching tree where Mudhen is sitting peacefully. She is chattering up an storm and messing around flapping her wings. Pool Mudhen just sits there and takes it.
Finally she settles down on the top rung, of course, right up tight to him. Little lovebirds, so sweet!
3:30 the young red-tailed hawk is back to the post then gone. It comes back but the rough-legged hawk flies over and chases it off again. We decide if they haven’t come in to yet, they aren’t going to.
Smudge and Mudhen take off for the evening and so do we.
Eagle Journal January 22, 2012
It is a damp 21 degrees at 6:30am with a southeast wind blowing.
7:40am two ravens fly over; 7:50am eight ravens and crows at in the tree and by 8:00am three big ravens are on the ground. And the first seagull circled the pile at 8:10.
By 8:25am the young rough-legged hawk swooped over the ravens that were on a carcass further out in the field.
By 8:30am we have six seagulls on the ground six ravens in the trees and a red-tailed hawk and a rough-legged hawk in the same tree.
The rough-legged flew off to the east and the adult red-tailed flew and landed on the carcass the ravens we near. It didn’t stay long. The ravens were hassling it too bad so it headed east, too.
We have what looks to be a 4th year eagle in the big pine tree to the east. That is the first one we have seen so far at it is already after 9:00am. It doesn’t look to be a very promising day.
At 9:05 we have a mature flyby heading east then circled back around and landed in the perching tree.
A 3rd year with a Lower Peninsula band on came from the big pine to the trees.
The ravens and crows are finally on the pile around 9:35am. Yeah, Fluffy, the young rough-legged hawk landed on the post then on the ground but only for a brief minute then off to the maple.
It is definitely not like last week, the eagles are just sitting tight. It is very monotonous! It is 10:05 and 23 degrees out. We have sixteen seagulls on the pile but even they are not being crazy like usual.
We have a little musical trees going on with the eagles but not coming over. A red-tailed hawk is in the east tree at 10:55. Maybe at least we will get a hawk to come in since the eagles aren’t doing anything.
Bummer, both eagles flew off to the west soaring around at 11:00am. Then we have two matures come out of the swamp area but they, too, are just soaring around.
We have rough-legged hawk flying to the west. Then at 11:05 we have a red-tailed hawk on the post then off and back to the trees. What is up with that? It’s not like there are eagles staring them down.
Our 3rd year eagle is back to the perching tree. She does a fly by then lands near the carcass out in the field. She gets a frozen piece of something then back to the perching tree.
Smudge makes an appearance at noon. Maybe we will get some action now then again…maybe not.
A few minutes later another mature comes in but five minutes later heads to the east. Smudge goes to a pine tree in the swamp and the 3rd soars away.
We now have over 40 seagulls on the meat pile but luckily it is still so frozen they can’t pull it apart. This, of course, makes the eagles unhappy. They actually like the game of ‘chase the seagull’. J
A mature comes back in from the west to the trees. The one comes out of the swamp at 12:20. It is a Lower Peninsula banded 5th year.
1:30 a seagull flies with a piece of meat. The mature takes off after it. Then a raven has something and the mature decides to chase it. It found out it really wasn’t anything more than a piece of snow which the ravens love to carry around. I think it is so darn cute to watch them fly by the eagles like ‘come and get me’.
We have a fly by at 1:40pm and it is 32 degrees. Then we have another flyby.
The red-tailed hawk flies by around 2:00pm. It is now sunny and warm. It is time for something to come in for us to shoot but probably not. It’s too nice out.
In the blink of an eye the seagulls took off and a mature eagle sped in and snatched up a piece of meat they had been pull around in the field. Dang!! It flew back to the west tree.
The eagle and a young red-tailed hawk are having a confrontation. The red-tailed wants to stay in the tree with the eagle. The eagle keeps moving. Finally the ravens chase the poor hawk back into the swamp where a 2nd year eagle is soaring. So we have had three matures, a 5th year, a 4th year, a 3rd year and a 2nd year today but not all at once.
Well, the red-tailed hawk is back to the perching tree then to the tree with the eagle. The eagle did a flyby then back to the trees. The red-tailed hawk heads into the tree the eagle went into. It dive bombed the eagle and landed in the very top of the tree to keep an eye on the eagle. It is so interesting to watch how these birds of prey interact.
Yeah, a rough-legged hawk is on the post….not for long. It headed back to the trees with the eagle. The eagle has two red-tailed hawks bothering it now. The rough-legged hawk decides to leave the red-tails to bother the eagle and heads west.
The eagle changed trees with one red-tail on its tail. The other red-tailed hawk goes into the swamp.
The poor eagle doesn’t know what to do with the aggressive red-tailed hawk. It keeps changing trees but the hawk likes to dive bomb it.
Yeah, the red-tailed hawk came out of the swamp and on to the post then on to the other post. It finally landed on the ground. It played with a small piece of meat for a minute before pouncing on the large red meat ball where it stayed and ate for over 45 minutes!!! Sweet!! I was able to get some good flight shots!! Also while the one young hawk was eating the other young hawk that had been hassling the eagle made a couple of appearances!! Awesome!! I was able to get some good shots of that one, too.
It was a typical day… nothing…then… intense shooting for about an hour!! Totally awesome!! Makes our patience and perseverance pay off. We thought for sure the other young red-tailed hawk would come in and feed after the other one went to the trees with a very full crop. But I guess it wasn’t really hungry after all. It headed into the swamp.
That left us with one eagle. It just sat and waited while the seagulls started to decimate the meat balls after it warmed up enough to unthaw them.
So we spent the rest of the day with eagle doing high speed chases. The seagulls would take off with something and the eagle would try to get it. At one point we thought it was going to hit the trailer it was flying so hard and fast! It did this till finally it was time to leave. The hawks all made a quick fly by in the late afternoon but no takers.
It was a good day despite the lack of eagle action. At least it didn’t rain like they said it was supposed to.
Eagle Blind January 15, 2012
It is a cold one below zero at 6:30am. Luckily it’s not very windy out, yet.
Around 7:50am we have a few crows in the trees to the east and then a couple of ravens in front of us. They are being very quiet probably too cold for the little buggers.
8:10am they are getting a little noisier maybe because it’s warmed up to five above. LOL!
The ravens seem entertained by the old bone pile back by the trees.Then we have a red-tailed hawk in a tree to the west @8:25am. It flew in from the northeast.
This is the first snow really big snowfall we have had all winter. Yeah! It helps make everything lighter and brighter. It will be also better for photographing the birds when they land on the ground.
We have a crow on the ground near the carrion pile around 8:40am. 8:45am we have a starling, a raven and one seagull circling the carrion pile.
Yes, we have a 1st year eagle in at 8:50am. Shortly afterwards we have a mature into a different tree. The ravens are flying in and out, hassling the poor 1st year eagle in the tree.
All right we have another mature into the tree to the west with the other mature around 9:00am. The 1st year decided to keep the matures company in their tree.
Oh my gosh, we have yet another eagle in. It looks like a third year. Then a red-tailed hawk flew over from the north heading south just scoping out the area.
All of a sudden the seagulls swarmed on the pile. Then yet another mature flies in from the east, a 2nd year eagle flies over then to the Big Pine to the east.
So we have two mature and the 1st year in one tree, one mature in another tree, the 3rd year on the perching tree and the 2nd year in the Big Pine.
The 2nd year takes off after a raven then the 3rd year gets in on the chase heading across the road. Yet another mature flies over and still another mature comes into the trees. So we have 4 matures, one 3rd year , one 2nd year and one 1st year in the trees. Sweet!!
9:30am two of the matures are chasing each other over Jim’s house.The ravens are annoying the seagulls which so much fun to watch when I’m not too busy trying to keep track of the eagles. LOL!
The seagulls are being very hyper probably because of the quantity of eagles sitting around watching them! It is so funny because the ravens will bombard them and they think they are eagles coming into the pile so they scatter.
The 2nd and 3rd year are back into the trees, the 2nd year in the perching tree and the 3rd year in the next tree. The 1st and 3rd year eagles land on the ground back by the woods to the west. Then the 1st year and 2nd year go to the perching tree. Then action…eagles flying everywhere!! But none of them are coming in any closer!
The 2nd year does a flyby and the 3rd year takes off after it to the west then across the road to the east. They circle back around and land in front of us in the trees. The 2nd year lands on the perching tree, the 3rd year knocks the 1st year off. The ‘baby’ knocks off Smudge, the mommy who takes off to the west. That leaves daddy, Mudhen, and the third year still sitting in the tree.
The baby has a stick it is flying with playing with a raven. The 3rd year chases them then heads to the perching tree with the 2nd year. The 3rd year then goes to the next tree. Baby comes over and knocks the 2nd year off the perching tree. The 3rd year is being hassled by the ravens and heads across the road with another mature. And all this happens before 10:00am!
Smudge is back chattering in the trees. We have eight eagles in the trees then the young red-tailed hawk lands on the post in front of us. But it doesn’t stay very long, too many eagle eyes watching.
The baby went to the west and knocked off a mature who went a tree to the east. Eagles are flying everywhere!! We have four matures, the 1st year and 2nd year eagles in the trees. It is only 10:30 and it is now 20 degrees.
Then action again, it is too fast and too furious to keep track of who is flying where and doing what!! We have a mature on the ground to the east at 10:45am.
Two matures are in the west tree, the 3rd year is on the perching tree, one mature is in a pine tree and one mature is in the maple. We have a mature fly right over the pile looking and looking and looking. This mature has one lone black tail feather. We haven’t seen this one around this winter. Interesting.
The heat waves are causing me a major pain!! So unfortunately, I am not getting the shots I should. It is very hard to hold focus on these moving targets with the added nuisance of the added heat waves. Add in the reflections from the now snow covered ground and dark and light from the moving cloud cover, it is a constant adjusting of shutter speed and exposure.
The 2nd year in on the perching tree with a mature, the 3rd year is in the tree to the west with another mature and one mature is in the maple tree at 11:00am and 20 degrees.
We have another flyby from the mature, Black feather. It really wants to come in for some treats. Another mature flies over, too.
The 2nd year and the mature from the maple fly to the east where another mature has dropped down on the ground looking for something one of the seagulls had dropped.Then we have more eagles flying all around us!!
Four eagles are behind us near the road fighting. The one eagle drops whatever it had and another swoops down to get it. And then the chase is on!! Wow if someone had been driving by they would have really gotten a show!!
Our hungry Black Feather is still on the perching tree keeping an eye on the pile.
One seagull just took off being chased by another seagull. A mature comes zooming across. The seagull dropped the meat to the west. The 2nd and 3rd year went after it, too, but it didn’t appear any of them got anything.
So at 11:30am we have two mature eagles, one 2nd year, one 3rd year and the baby in the trees.
Dang a mature came out of nowhere and dropped right down in front of us to get something then off to the maple tree to enjoy it. But…..I did not even get a chance to shoot it!!! L Urrgghh!!
More fighting, more flybys, the baby then Black Feather flew by at 11:45am. What a morning!!
Smudge and Mudhen went across the road to sit in the trees there to keep a distant eye on the action. But it is amazing how quickly they can be right back in front of us licketty split!!
The three young eagles chased a raven that had a snowball!! Oh my gosh, they are so gullible. The ravens are always trying to get the eagles to chase them. They try to make them think they have something delicious to eat so that the eagles will chase them.
Our lower peninsula banded mature eagle is still in the area looking for treats. Baby has another stick that she is playing with on the perching tree!!
We actually have two 2nd year eagles now; the second one came in from the east. It is now snowing at 12:15pm and 25 degrees.
Finally our baby lands on the ground to the northwest of us just beyond the posts. She hops and walks around a bit coming in a little closer. We are both able to get some nice shots of her before she flies just beyond our vision. A mature lands nearby, they both sit and stare each other for some time then…off they flew.
One of the matures lands to the west after something. Then it takes it to the maple where it is joined by two others. We have one mature with the two 2nd years in front of us.
We have two rough-legged hawks flyby at 1:00pm. Two younger eagles are soaring around enjoying the wind that is coming out of the southeast.
We have two matures on the ground to the east briefly. The red-tailed hawk flies over along with a rough-legged hawk at 1:30pm. Every time we open the east window to shoot the cold winds freezes us out but we keep it open just the same. Getting the shot is much more important than being comfortable! J
Oh my gosh!! We have a dark morph rough-legged hawk in on the post!!! Luckily Michael had his camera on, too, so we both got some good shots.It was on the post briefly then off to the east. We are so geeked. Hopefully, it will stay in the area for a while. We haven’t seen a dark morph since about eight years ago on Jim’s farm.
Dang we just had a mature eagle nab a big piece of meat a seagull must have drug over to the east side of the trailer. Of course, I didn’t have the window open because of the brute wind so I missed the shot!!! URRGGHH!!! Oh well, one of many, many, many missed shots today. But it’s the ones that I get that are important. And I did get a few good ones.
The eagles are flying all around again! One of the adult rough-legged hawks landed on the post briefly then on the ground and then off. Smudge came over then landed on the ground to the southeast of us. She walked and hopped around then flew off back to the trees. Mudhen did a flyby then went to the perching tree. These two keep a constant eye on the coming and goings here at Jim’s. They are the territorial pair here in this area. This has been their breeding grounds for at least three years.
We still have four matures in the trees near us along with the two 2nd years.
Then Fluffy the young rough-legged hawk comes on to the post but it is really flighty and takes off after a few minutes. We haven’t had it in to the pile for some times now. Nice to see it is still here and healthy.
Smudge and the 2nd year have a game of tag with Mudhen. Then they all end up back where they started. It is so interesting to watch their antics. The matures actually try to get the young eagles to go into the pile first to make sure everything is fine or maybe just to teach them how to take care of themselves?
We have five eagles flying around. It is amazing to watch their acrobatic abilities. It is a wonder there isn’t more damage done to each other.
We have two mature and a 2nd land on the ground with the other two flying back to the maple tree. Smudge and Mudhen head back to the west tree along with the 2nd year. Fun!! It is now 4:00pm and 26 degrees.
The poor young red-tailed hawk has tried numerous times to come into the pile but to no avail. This time a raven is right on its tail, literally, hassling the heck out of it and chasing it right into the swamp.
Smudge does a couple of flybys then back to the trees just enough action to keep the hawks out of the area. We have seen the dark morph in the Big Pine to the east but it didn’t try to come back to the pile. At this point nothing else will come in while the eagles are here. And they will stay till we leave.
We head out about 5:00. It is too dark and snowing and blowing too hard to get anything else. Our eagles are heading over to roost for the night. We will be back next week for, hopefully, just as much excitement.
Eagle Journal January 8, 2012
It is a mild 25 degrees when we get to the blind around 6:30am without wind.
7:50am the first raven comes into the trees. There is a red streaked sky this morning….sailor take warning?
The first eagle comes into the trees around 8:15am. It is our “yooper” bird, the third year from last week.
The seagulls are circling around at 8:20 with a couple of crows and ravens on the ground but they are being very quiet.
A couple of seagulls land on the ground around 8:45 with lots of ravens in and out of the trees. One raven took off with a piece of nothing followed by a slew of other ravens and crows. A raven is now chasing a seagull and being very aggressive! They keep scaring them off the pile but all this is being done in quiet undertones. Strange morning.
9:00am the third year is on the ground back by the trees with several ravens around it. It then flies to the perching tree where I can see it is our ‘yooper’ bird from last week.
A mature eagle comes into the trees chattering the whole time around 9:25.
The ravens are playing along the tree line in the old bone pile.
We have a second mature eagle into the trees. Then the young red-tailed hawk flies on to one of the posts. It doesn’t take it long to come on to the meat pile.
The eagles are chattering and carrying on but the red-tail just keeps eating. The eagles even flew around trying to spook the hawk but it wasn’t budging. It didn’t leave until it was full and content then….off it went.
Then everything got quiet again. A lone starling was on the bone pile just a chattering. It actually made a lot of sounds similar to R2D2. Funny.
10:30 it’s starting to snow a little one mature and the third year went into the west tree and the other mature is in front of us in a tree. There is only one starling on the bone pile, eight seagulls to the east of the trailer on the ground and several ravens scattered across the field.
Smudge is on the ground to the east with a raven. She took a piece of crap & flew to the tree where the other mature eagle, Mudhen, is. She says, “look what I got”.
Mudhen then flies west near Old State Rd. He finds something then flies into the maple tree.
We finally get sunshine around 11:00 but…of course, nothing is flying. Urrggghhh!!
The clouds start to move in and I decided to start up my computer. Of course, all heck breaks loose!! The third year, the two mature and a juvenile eagle are flying everywhere. One lands in front of us but out too far. Smudge is on the ground to the east of us, Mudhen is in the trees and another mature comes in from the north. The juvy flies northeast just soaring around.
11:30-11;45 we have three mature in the west tree no make that four matures, one third year and the juvenile all playing musical trees! There are eagles everywhere!!! Awesome!!!
OMG! We have seven eagles now!! Five of them are mature eagles. It is utter chaos!! Two matures are in the west tree, the third year is on the perching tree, one mature is in a tree to the east and the juvenile is in the big pine tree to east.
It is 12:10 and we have another battle going on with five eagles. It ends up with two matures in the tree along with the third year and the others flying off over the swamp.
Then we have two mature on the perching tree, two matures soaring the third year in the west tree and the juvenile in the big pine, then more musical trees. Then the two matures and third year take off after something whether it was a raven or seagull with something we weren’t sure. Whatever it was they ended up with nothing.
1:15 Musical trees then…chaos again!!! Too much going on to keep track of where everything is!! The rough-legged hawk flies through but doesn’t want to get involved.
The red-tailed is trying to get involved but gets harassed by the ravens.
More eagle coming back from the swamp. A fourth year flies over but doesn’t hang around. It heads over across the road from Jim’s.
The third year lands in the field to the east with Mudhen right on her tail. She doesn’t get anything but Mudhen is chasing her with her screaming the whole way back to the tree. It is so fun to watch the interaction of these amazing creatures.
At 2:25 we still have five mature eagles and the third year in our sights. It has been nonstop action! One eagle flies this way the other flies that way and they do this over and over!!
I forgot to mention we had to open the east window again in order to keep up with where the eagles were. I have been able to capture quite a bit of good aerial shots.
The third year finally got something but I was able to get her in action. Bummer. Then a mature comes flying around the east end of the trailer. I was able to stay right on it as it snatched a big piece of meat the seagulls had hauled over there. Sweet!!! It is 3:15 and I have not even taken time to eat anything.
3:30 the rough-legged hawk does a flyby. Not too long afterwards it lands on the post then on the ground to the east for just a couple of minutes.
Then we have three matures flying, one lands on the ground behind us with two others swooping around. Then off they go without actually getting anything. Then a mature come from behind where it got some meat. Another mature is in front of us then to the tree to the east where another mature is sitting. Wow! What a day!!
Smudge dropped down behind us and snatched up a couple of pieces of meat then flew to the trees. Greedy little girl and she doesn’t even share with her mate, Mudhen.
We have a mature eagle chasing a seagull to the east at 4:10. Three mature eagles are still in the trees.
Smudge and Mudhen circle around us a couple of times. Then we have Smudge flying to the east where another mature is on the ground. It got some meat then took off with two others swooping and diving after it!!!
Then another mature comes in to the east end of the trailer and snatches a piece of meat right in front of me, talons first!!! Awesome!!! This has been one of the most long term active days we have had!!!
It is 5:10 and we still have a mature that is sitting in the tree even when we leave the trailer. It finally flies across the road where another eagle is. They both head east for the night. It is probably Smudge and Mudhen going home after a very rewarding day(just like us)!
Eagle Journal January 1, 2012
What a great way to spend New Year’s Day! It is mild and 34 degrees with no winds.
The ravens start in around 8:10am. They are on the ground at 8:20am. Then the seagulls start circling around 8:25 and it is raining. L
There are two hawks flying around 8:30am but it is too dark to tell if they are red-tailed or rough-legged.
8:35am we have our first eagle in to the trees. 8:45 we have 14 ravens actually on the carcass! There are another 20+ all around. About 10 seagulls are on the ground at 8:55 and it is really raining now.
I love to watch the ravens interact with each other. We have a really big raven snapping its beak and ‘grunting’ at the others, pushing them around.
The eagle in the trees is a third year that does a flyby at 9:08. It snatches a piece of meat from the field behind and took it back to the trees.
About 15 minutes later a seagull takes off with a piece of meat. Of course, the third year eagle takes off after it! It nabs the meat the seagull dropped and takes it back to the perching tree to eat it. Once I checked out my photos I noticed that the third year was banded on its left leg denoting a U.P. bird. Could it possibly be Princess our Seney bird that is that age? Stranger things have happened.
Ten minutes later it is chasing another seagull but…no luck this time. It is really raining and gloomy out. Yuck!
There is a hawk in a tree to the east looks like maybe a rough-legged at 9:40am. The seagulls are acting strange in the pouring down rain. They are circling and circling then the land to the east of the trailer and just sit.
Yeah!! The rain is finally turning to snow around 10:00am!!!!! It all turns to snow fifteen minutes later!!
The seagulls are back to the pile by 10:20 by 10:30 we have an adult rough-legged hawk to the post!! It then lands to the east of the trailer where I was able to get the window open in time to get a couple of shots off.
It then goes to the meat pile where another adult lands on a post. The one on the ground went to another post. Then the second hawk in flies over and knocks the first hawk off the post. They both take off with neither of them get any treats. The one goes into the maple tree the other heads over to the big pine in the east
Around 11:00am one of the seagulls takes off with another piece of meat. The third year eagle swoops down and gets but it totally encircled by the ravens. They hassle her all the way back to the tree where they continue to hassle her.
The third year eagle does another flyby. This time it is joined by a second year around 11:30.We have a raven that takes off with a piece of meat and the chase begins. It is so darn fun to watch the acrobatics that takes place! The third year gets the treat but the second year lands on the ground to the east of the trailer before heading back to the trees.
The wind is picking up coming from the west-southwest and snowing harder now. The third year eagle does another flyby around the trailer followed by the second year then both back to the trees.
Another flyby led by the second year. The third year nabbed something from the ground then back to the trees. The second year landed on the ground with the ravens. The ravens hassled her for a while then she took off back to the trees, too.
It is continual action! The second year flies over with the third year on its tail. The second year heads east with the ravens surrounding it. The third year went to the tree to the west. And now there is a rough-legged hawk in the maple tree at 12:30.It then flies into the trees in front of us. It is nonstop action!!! These birds all love this crazy weather!! The wind is like a game to them. Soaring and diving all around.
Finally a mature eagle comes in from the south to the tree where the second year has returned. The poor second year is knocked out of the tree by none other than Smudge. The second year then goes into the maple.
Then we have yet another mature fly in from the north over the swamp. Smudge takes off to the west with a ‘murder’ of ravens after her. She swings back around causing the second year to fly back to the trees in front of us.
We have a few more flybys with two mature, a second year and a third year eagle in and out of the trees. The third year lands on the ground in front of us where a dozen or more ravens are playing in the snow. It picks up a piece of old bone that the ravens had. The ravens weren’t too happy with the eagle so they chased it back to the trees.
Oh my goodness the ravens are having a blast in the blowing snow. They are on and off the pile. They seem to take turns bouncing and flying backwards like leap frog.
One of the mature flies to the east of us and lands on the ground looking for something but nothing so back to the trees.
The third year is on the perching tree with the two matures sitting in one of the other trees around 1:30. We have two rough-legged hawks flying to the east. Then the second year eagle reappears back to the trees, too. It comes in to pick up something the ravens were playing with. It wasn’t much looked like a snowball actually.
Wow when I think of taking a break action breaks out again!! They all really love the blowing snow and strong winds! Smudge takes off again to the east to soar around. The other mature is chasing and being chased by a couple of dozen ravens. They fly around and finally all settle back to the trees and ground surrounding us. Smudge comes back from the east to land in the maple.
The second year eagle does a fling by. The mature is chasing ravens to the east around 2:30. A third mature flies into the tree with Smudge. The third year did a quick drop and grab then back to the trees.
It is none stop action again with eagles flying everywhere at 3:30. It is really snowing and blowing now making it hard to capture any good footage but awesome nonetheless!
OMG! We were watching the crazy ravens and seagulls when one raven grabbed on to one of the seagulls tail feathers. As the raven was pulling on the feather it also bounced up and caught some wind! That caused the seagull to be raised right off the ground via its tail feather!! I laughed so loud it spooked the ravens and seagulls. They all came back as quickly as they left. Oh what a fun way to start the new year.
We are watching the ravens to the east of us out the side window we opened to be able to capture additional action. The ravens are rolling in the snow just totally enjoying it. One even laid on its back like a dog will do.
The second year dropped in amongst the ravens then back to the trees where the three mature eagles were sitting.
Around 4:00pm one of the mature eagles came down to get something from one of the ravens which amounted to nothing. So it walked looking for something else being hassled by the raven it stole from. The eagle just sat there looking around for some time. It started to preen itself when a raven dropped down behind it and pulled the wing that the eagle was holding out. Oh, my gosh!!!!! The raven bounced up causing the eagle to lift off the ground wondering what the heck just happened to it!! Gotta love those ravens!!
Well, the weather was progressively getting worse. Two of the matures flew off to the east. The one mature and the second year were still in the trees until we decide it was time to leave.
By the way once I looked at my photos of the last mature eagle on the ground it was banded. It had the silver USFWS on the right leg denoting L.P. bird and the lavender band denoting inland bird on its left leg. Cool!
Eagle Journal December 26, 2011 It is a mild 33 degrees with the wind coming out of the southwest at 6:30am. At 7:50am. the ravens waking us up. The seagulls start circling around shortly after that. By 8:15 we have a 4th year in to the trees, followed by a rough-legged hawk flying into the trees to the east. A 2nd year eagle lands in the same tree that the 4th year is in at 8:30am. The 4th year did a flyby at 8:50!! I managed to get a few quick shots of him. We have twenty plus ravens that keep popping in and out of the pile!! I love my ravens, they are so darn fun to watch! The 4th year flew back along the trees after its fly by. It knocked the 2nd year out of the tree. They both flew around then the 4th year landed on the perching tree around 9:00am. We have sunshine!!! Another mature flies over. It heads to the perching tree where it descended from above the 4th year with its landing gear down. It landed right next to the 4th year then put out its talons to ‘gently shove’ the 4th year off its ‘throne’. It was, of course, the matriarch, Smudge!! She always has to make a dramatic entrance. The 4th year did a really close fly by at 9:45am!! I was able to get some good shots of it. It is banded on its right leg making it a Lower Peninsula eagle. Then it went and sat in the maple tree. It is now 37 degrees. By 10:00 the 4th year took off after another mature. They ended up soaring over the swamp and disappearing. We have two red-tailed hawks flying out of the swamp to the north of us. We hope they will make an appearance. Well, now that Smudge sent the 4th year packing she decides to take off and soar to the west of us. She makes another pass back over the trees stirring up everything. The ravens are back around 10:30 with no eagles in sight. But we have the rough-legged hawks making an appearance. Fluffy the young RL is in the tree around 11:00 but Smudge comes zooming out of nowhere to chase them off. L Finally around 11:50 Fluffy comes back into the trees but plays musical trees. What’s up with that?! The ravens were bothering it so bad it took off. Fluffy showed back up around 12:25. It is still playing musical trees then gone. A red-tailed flew over the swamp but headed east. L I thought for sure that we would have hawks in on the pile by now with the eagles gone. At 1:15 we have the two rough-legged hawks fighting in midair! So sweet to watch! It is 42 degrees with sunshine!! So not like what the day after Christmas weather is normally! The seagulls flew as they have been doing on and off all afternoon. They like to change the pecking order. But this time we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of a beautiful mature eagle. It came in from the east. It circled the carrion pile went right past the window and landed to the right of the trailer!! Totally awesome!! I got some great aerial shots!! It was on the ground for about ten minutes. We thought for sure it was going to come into the pile but…another mature was flying over being chased by the young rough-legged hawk. That spooked the mature on the ground and it took off. We end up with two matures in the maple tree and the young rough-legged hawk in a tree to the west. Then the adult RL comes in to bother the young one and we have musical trees at 2:00pm. The 2nd year made a quick appearance at 2:10 but continued to soar to the east. We saw it again around 2:40 but it went across the road to set in a tree. Fluffy the rough-legged hawk is back in the tree to the east at 2:45. The 2nd year soars over again at 3:30. And one mature is still in the maple tree. Bummer! We thought for sure we would have someone come into the pile by now. Now we probably aren’t going to get any action but it is nice out so we will just enjoy the day. Fluffy is back in the treeat 4:25 and a mature eagle is in a tree to the west. So we have a stand-off, who will leave first- the eagle or the hawk? Well, it was us, followed by the hawk then the eagle who turned out to be Smudge. I had my camera ready as she flew over us in the setting sun. She went across the road and landed in a tree with her honey, Mudhen. Then as we headed to our vehicle they flew to the west of Jim’s to sat in a tree in the ravine.
Eagle Journal December 19, 2011 We arrive at the blind at 6:30am. It is 38 degrees with partially clear sky and winds out of the west. By 7:30 it is overcast, of course, the wind is blowing in dark clouds from the west. Jim gave us a call to see if we wanted him to bring out some meat. He did and it didn’t take too long for the birds to come in. The ravens started first around 8:00 the seagulls came screaming overhead. Within five minutes they were on the ground ripping the meat pile to pieces! The adult rough-legged hawk quickly flew by. A raven took a piece of meat and flew off with it. The hawk followed, the raven dropped it and the hawk nabbed it and took it to the trees to eat. By 8:30 we have a mature that flies over and gets some meat that the seagulls scattered when it came in. The eagle flew back to the trees where it was surrounded by pesky ravens! We had the young rough-legged hawk fly over then the adult rough-legged hawk landed on the post out in the other field around 8:45. We have the mature eagle which is actually a fifth year in the trees in front of us. The young and adult red-tailed hawks are in the trees to the east. The rough-legged adult is in the maple tree. By 8:30 the meat pile is decimated and scattered across the field!! L The young red-tailed hawk lands one of the posts for about two minutes at 9:00am. The adult rough-legged hawk lands on the ground for a few seconds around 9:20. Then it comes back briefly again at 9:30. Little buggers are being very skittish because the mature eagle is hanging around watching everything waiting for its chance to nab some free flying meat. LOL! The eagle flies over scattering the seagulls who, of course, take off with some meat. And, of course, the seagulls drop the meat out in the field where the eagle swoops down but doesn’t get it. It flies over several times but no luck. Unfortunately, just when it almost got a piece, another mature flies in and sends the fifth year packing! This mature is Smudge who sits in the tree waiting for her opportunity for easy pickings. Her chance comes when a couple of ravens are playing with some meat to the east to us. I had to open another window in order to capture the action. She flies down nabs her treat then hides in the trees trying to stay away from the ravens. We have some quiet time so I work on my photos so far. The ravens come back around 12:00. The rough-legged hawks are flying around the east end of the field. They fly by a couple of times but they don’t land. The young red-tailed hawk lands near the east end of the trailer where it was being hassled by the ravens. I had to take the cover off the window to get a quick shot of it before it took off. Jim brings out more meat around 1:15 hoping that we will be able to bring in the hawks to the pile but… The rough-legged hawks fly all around and back and forth but…The seagulls are even acting weird not coming into the new meat piles. The wind is changing, coming out of the northwest now. Does this have anything to do with the strangeness of the birds? Changing pressure systems and other weather patterns seem to affect all of us Well, there are a couple of mature eagles soaring around up high. They soar from the east to the north and then back again just keep an eye on their territory. I am sure it is Smudge and Mudhen. The seagulls finally go into a frenzy around 2:25. They can demolish pounds of meat in a matter of minutes. Amazing!! Disgusting but amazing!! The rough-legged hawks are still in and out of the trees but… Finally the adult touches down but doesn’t even take a piece of meat but heads right back to the trees way down to the west of us. We finally call it quits around 3:00pm. Hope for colder, less overcast weather next Monday, the day after Christmas when we come back out.
Eagle Journal December 11, 2011 It’s a mild morning 33 degrees at 6:30am with winds out of the West/Southwest. That will be great for us. The birds will land and take-off in the wind which will be coming from behind us!
7:45 we have a rough-legged hawk sitting in a tree to the west. Ravens start calling and flying around 7:50am.
By 8:00 another rough-legged hawk flew in and knocked the other one out of its tree. It flew over and hovered for a few seconds then went to the east.The seagulls flew over around 8:10.
One of the rough-legged hawks was in the maple and flew to the tree in front of us. Then both of them ended up in the same tree. No make that a rough-legged hawk and a red-tailed hawk are in the same tree! Unusual, they usually scream at each other to get out of their territory.The rough-legged hawk didn’t like sharing so it went to another tree to the west.
And now we have eight seagulls on the ground at 8:15am. So the ‘alarm’ is in place for whatever may fly over. LOL!!The young rough-leg and young red-tail are back in the same tree again. Then we have some musical trees. The rough-leg does a flyby. At 8:20 the red-tail is on a post for about ten minutes. It then lands on the roof! But quickly moves back to the trees.
We have over ten ravens flying around carrying on trying to get everything stirred up. The seagulls come back to the pile and continue their gorging. Unfortunately it is still overcast!! It was supposed to be partly sunny but… we will see.
The adult rough-legged landed on the post for a split second then off soaring after the young one heading east. Every time the seagulls come back to the pile more come in! They are breaking lose the meat that was frozen. As they break off more, they all get in a wild frenzy!!
All of a sudden they fly off with one of them having some meat in its beak. It, of course, is going to drop it in the field somewhere especially since a mature eagle just appeared! The mature nabbed it up quickly and headed to the perching tree to eat it at 9:05am.The mature keeps flying over stirring up the seagulls.
Each time them come back they go into more of a frenzied state. They spook at the simplest movement then off they go scattering more meat over the field!Another mature comes in to the area. They are now playing games with the seagulls. They fly over working the seagulls into more of a frenzy.
The seagulls start eating more, fighting more and getting spooked so they fly off with pieces of the meat. The meat gets scattered around the field then the eagles swoop down to try to get it.A raven dropped a piece of meat in the field that an adult red-tailed hawk nabbed.
Another mature comes into the perching tree. Yet another mature comes in from the south and chases a seagull. The seagull drops the meat and the eagle catches it midair!! Awesome!! It is only 9:45 and we have lots of great action.
We have two matures sitting in the maple tree, third one head west and the fourth is I the perching tree. Then musical trees as the eagles go every which way. A young red-tailed hawk comes into the trees to the east. A mature eagle is soaring overhead. The young red-tailed hawk is chased by the ravens.
Fluffy the young rough-legged hawk flies over and lands in the maple tree around 10:20. The poor red-tail is still being hassled by the ravens.Two mature eagles do flyby in and out of the trees. Three matures soaring over.
The red-tailed is back into the tree at 10:40. And we have blue skies!!! I was able to get some great aerial shots of the eagles as they fly over to scope out the carrion pile. The red-tailed hawk flying around at 11:00 and it is 40 degrees.
The eagles are really putting on a show for us!! They are actually flying in front of us so even Michael can get some shots! Eagles and hawks and ravens oh my!! We now have four eagles in the sky chasing each other. The one has a piece of meat and the others are having fun chasing it. They are like kids playing games!!FUN! FUN! FUN!!
11:40 one mature flew to the east another soaring overhead. The adult rough-legged hawk does a flyby. The red-tailed hawk is in and out. The rough-leg went to the trees to sit. I can’t actually see any eagles right now.
Then suddenly a seagull dragged a piece of meat near the end of the trailer and bam! Mudhen came onto the ground!! He sat long enough for me to shoot some great shots of him. He really wanted to make sure he had a good grip on the meat before he took it back to the trees to eat it. 12:00 we have a mature, a fourth year and a third year eagle soaring over. Then they soared off.
By 12:20 the hawks were back. One landed in the trees. They were in and out for a while then we had all four-the young and adult RT and the young and adult RL all soaring above us. It was very interesting, they weren’t screaming at each other as they have done in the past.
The young red-tailed hawk landed in the field around 1:45. It started to walk toward the carrion pile then flew to one of the posts. It then pounced on a piece of meat and began to eat. It ate for about 45 minutes before the adult rough-legged hawk flew in.
The RL landed about 15 yards from where the RT was eating. As soon as the RL flew in the RT instantly covered its ‘prey’. It continued to eat with wings spread while the RL just watched.After about 15 minutes the rough-leg flew up onto one of the post but instantly flew off. The young red-tailed hawk continued to eat. After another 15 minutes went by the adult red-tailed flew in and landed on one of the posts. It stayed for only a minute or two before it flew back to the trees. And the young continued to eat.
That little bugger gorged itself for almost two hours. It finally flew up on one of the posts. I wasn’t sure it would be even able to fly! LOL! It then finally flew back to the trees.What I found interesting was that the adult rough-legged hawk did not bother the young red-tail as it ate. Could it be because the adult RT was watching from the trees?
The afternoon was spent with the hawks all flying in and out of the trees. They soared around together which was very interesting. They have all seemed to come to an agreement with each other. They are sharing the territory since there is plenty of food to go around.
Fluffy the young rough-leg played musical tree in the late afternoon. We had hoped it would come in but it finally flew off to the east with the adult. We had such a great day!!! With blue skies, warm weather, eagles and hawks to entertain us, what could be better?!!
Eagle Journal December 5, 2011 We arrive at our blind around 6:30 with some wet snow falling and 31 degrees.Hopefully it doesn’t turn into rain. At 7:55am I hear our first raven before they arrive into the trees.Shortly after that we have a young red-tailed hawk in. Then just for a split second an adult red-tailed hawk lands then takes off for the swamp. The young hawk spends twenty minutes on the pile before taking off when a RLH flies over. It returns again for another twenty minutes but just sits on the post before being chased off by eight naughty ravens. The gulls are circling at 9:10am then land only to be spooked off when a second year eagle lands on the perching tree. Then total quiet. Finally the gulls come back in a wild frenzy around 9:50am. The second year decides to do a flyby. Then a mature eagle flies over then yet another mature eagle comes into the area!! Yeah!! Finally we get some action with the eagles and ravens. They really do love the cold and snow!! Smudge is one of the mature eagles that are here. She flies over quickly followed by the second year eagle. They scrimmage then are joined by the other mature eagle. They chase each other over the swamp and out of sight. It is snowing again at 10:30 and the gulls are in their glory! They think the eagles have left but…they’re back. The second year flies into the trees. Smudge flies in and knocks the second year off the tree. Then the other mature arrives and knocks the poor second year off its branch on another tree. But the second year just pops up above the mature and settles down. Smudge and the second year have another squabble. And action ensues!! It is musical trees!
Then all of a sudden they are flying over the east end of the trailer where some meat has gotten scattered by the gulls. I opened the east window so I can get some aerial shots. Sweet!! They are so awesome to watch as they circle and dive. Smudge does a flyby several times. The second year and other mature which I think is Smudge’s significant other, Mudhen, have a little battle then back to the trees. Smudge has a squabble with Mudhen, probably telling him to behave. LOL! It is now 11:30 with the gulls and ravens on the ground enjoying the snowy weather. I love the fact that the gulls are like my alarm, whenever they fly up, I know that an eagle or hawk is probably in the air. Although, that is not always true, sometimes they do it just to irritate each other, if one is not sharing the treats. Well, it looks like Mudhen must have gotten a piece of meat from the other side of the trailer. The second year eagle is sitting above it in a tree and Smudge is chattering from another tree. I am sure she is telling him he should be sharing with her. LOL! It is now noon and the northwest winds are picking up. The eagles decide to have a game of tag so off they fly to the north over the swamp. Hopefully, they will return again. One never knows with eagles that may have been the end of their games for today. Well actually the second year comes back and goes to the east to the big pine tree. It knocks off the red-tailed hawk who has been keeping an eye on all the activity. A few minutes later Smudge heads over and knocks the second year off. The second year goes to the south across from Jim’s barn and sits in a tree. A half an hour later a fourth year comes from the east and goes in the tree with second year. Smudge flies out of the pine tree and heads into our trees where the other mature has returned. Well, she knocks him out and he heads to the south where he proceeds to knock off the poor innocent fourth year! Gotta love the chain reaction that happens-the matriarch to the mate to the subordinate, just like their human counterparts! LOL! Eventually the eagles disappear and the hawks reappear. The hawks have never been gone but quietly sitting out of sight biding their time. Two rough-legged hawks are coming out of the swamp where they are being bombarded by ravens. I so love to see their crazy antics!! By 2:30 we have a red-tailed hawk on the post!!! Awesome they are so darn skitterish! I am able to get a few shots off before it heads back to the trees to sit. Poor Michael couldn’t get his video camera on fast enough to get any footage. I so could not do the video thing. I have to have fast immediate satisfaction!! Well, we now have a rough-legged hawk in our trees but we know have a waiting game. Who is going to move first?? Well, no one moves for thirty minutes. Then another rough-legged hawk is in the maple tree to the west. And we wait. Then one of the rough-legged hawks lands on the old post to the east but sits for about ten minutes then gone. The red-tailed hawk finally moves but just to another tree in front of us. Whatever!!! Then ‘Fluffy’ our baby RLH shows up and sits and sits and sits. Finally at 4:15 we have to leave. I need to change out my cell phone before my old one dies and I lose my internet connection. It was a great day even if the sun did not shine like they said it would!
Eagle Journal November 28, 2011 We arrived at the blind at 6:30am to 32 degrees, a few snowflakes falling overcast but no wind. It was a very quiet morning. It’s like the animals were recovering from the Holiday weekend, too. It was 7:40am before the ravens started to arrive and 8:00 before our first gulls made a brief fly over. By 8:05 we had a second year eagle in the big tree. By 8:15 the rough-legged adult came into the tree. It was screaming and took off to the east. Shortly afterwards the young rough-legged hawk made a quick stop on one of the posts. The second year eagle changed trees around 8:20 while the gulls circled but didn’t land. Finally at 9:45 the gulls started to come in. we had 60+ on the ground in front of us and more all around the trailer. The adult rough-legged hawk was in the maple tree to the west. It is spitting snow again at 10:00 which is keeping it overcast. L I was hoping for a glimpse or two of sun but….probably not. The second year eagle flew over to rile up the gulls then back to its post on the perching tree. Then its got bored and went into a tree to the east. 11:30 I got bored so decided I had better finish typing up last week’s journal. Of course, as soon as I started we had some action. T he adult and young rough-legged hawks flew over and landed on the post to the far east away from the trailer. They had a squabble. The young one stayed on the ground as yet another adult flew over. The first adult chased that one to the east screaming all the way. The young one slowly advanced toward the trailer. It finally landed on one of the posts closer to the trailer where it looked and looked at the meat but…after about five minutes it flew off. The second year eagle is still the tree with still 60 + gulls on the ground feeding noisily. The gulls are definitely our alarm system. When they scatter you know there is something in the air flying. At 12:20 the adult rough-legged hawk fleetingly landed on one of the post then… back to the big tree. What a pain!! It doesn’t even land long enough for poor Michael to get his video camera turned on and focused. Thank goodness for my camera, I can capture the action quickly. A mature eagle flies into the cedar behind the big tree the rough-leg was in. The rough-leg decided it didn’t like the eagle being there so it swooped and knocked the eagle off the tree.
The mature eagle turned out to be our matriarch, Smudge. They both took off…? Finally 1:0 Smudge did a fly by and sent the gulls in a frenzied circle and landed back into the trees. Then bam… in came the rough-legged hawk and the fight continued. The rough-leg swooped and swooped at Smudge finally knocking her off one tree. Then she moved to another tree and the same thing took place. Cool!!! Then poof… they were both gone. Then it was back to being just the gulls…and the noise…and the weird sounds they make. I heard alarms going off, cats yowling, chickens clucking and donkeys going ‘heehaw’ along with kids screaming. And it was just gulls making a racket!! Well, I talked to the fourth year eagle that came into the trees. I asked it to fly into the pile. But when it did the darned gulls flew up and messed up my shot!!! URRRGH!! 2:00 the fourth year flew to the east to the big pine tree. When it did the rough-leg flew out of it and went into the cedars. I was busy on the computer when I looked up the fourth year was back in front of us in the trees again. I don’t rest when I am in the blind. As soon as I try to something cool happens. And after all that is what we are here for to observe nature interacting with nature. The chain of ‘irritation’ is fun to watch. Starlings were chasing a raven, which, of course, chases the hawks and eagles. The hawks chase the eagles and the eagles spook the gulls that are afraid of everything flying. Gotta love it!!! At 3:40 the young rough-legged hawk is in the trees but…just sits. We finally call it quits at 4:00pm. It has gotten darker and colder and boring. The eagles are all gone, the hawks aren’t hunger and the gulls are driving me nuts!!! Hopefully, next Sunday we will have colder weather, hungrier raptors and some sunshine!
Eagle Journal November 20, 2011 We arrive at our blind around 6:30am. It is 35 degrees with strong NW winds. We don’t have too long to rest before the ravens start coming around squawking. They show up around
7:15am followed by one of the rough-legged hawks hunting low over the field. It was, of course, being harassed by a raven. It landed on the ground to the west of the trailer for a minute or two before flying off. By 7:50am we had a second year eagle in a tree. The rough-legs were in and out, sitting on a post then off it flew. Twenty plus ravens were out on the ground beyond the post. It looks like a carcass got carried out there, probably by a coyote. The young rough-legged hawk landed on the post again then into the field where eight ravens harassed it. The eagle is still sitting in its tree then decides to switch trees.Lots of action and its only 8:15am. I hope the skies clear before all the actions is done. We’ll see. The seagulls fly over yet again then disappear. We have another second year eagle into the trees. Yeah! It is 32 degrees at 9:00. The seagulls are back at 9:30 screaming and swarming but still didn’t land. Yeah! The rough-legged hawk is stilling on the post to the far east. Then suddenly at 10:00am over 200 seagulls descend onto the carrion pile. What a racket they are making. The rough-legged hawk comes to sit on the post in the middle of all the chaos. It comes and goes trying to decide what it wants to do. Finally some eagle action, a mature eagle flies in and out several times before nabbing some meat and then heading into the swamp. The rough-leg is back on the post. A second year eagle does several flybys. The rough-leg is on the ground. The other second year flies over. Now we have two rough legs on the ground.
Then one of the second year eagles lands on the ground but too far away for photo ops at 10:40am. A raven takes off with a piece of meat. The second year takes off after it! This is what is so comically to watch. The ravens so know how the eagles are going to react. What a morning!!! The adult rough-leg is in and out. Another second year eagle is back in the trees at 11:05am. And the seagulls are still devouring the meat!! Unfortunately, it is still very cloudy and overcast. Definitely, it’s not great lighting for pics but it sure is fun!! A mature eagle flew over to the tree with the second year in it. The mature landed on the ground, the second year flew over. Then they chased each other over the swamp to the north of us. We have two mature eagles flying around chasing each other. The rough-legged flew over to the east and landed in a cedar around 11:30. 11:40 the one second year is back to the trees. The two rough-legs flew over then landed and fought on the ground. The adult took off leaving the young one dazed and confused. The adult is definitely teaching a lesson. After all when there are four big eagles sitting in the trees watching you must keep vigilant. The mature eagle flew in to the tree with the other second year who returned. The adult rough-leg flew to the southwest. The young one is still sitting on the ground. The gulls have left for a little while so it is nice and quiet! Yeah! I can hear myself think. They don’t stay away very long though. The mature eagle flew to the tree to the east. Then the one second year and mature flew into the tree with the other second year. It is a continual movement of raptors in the air!! Awesome!! The adult rough-legged hawk came on the carrion pile for about ten minutes!! Yeah! The mature eagle flew over and spooked it, of course. That is what the eagles really love to do, stir up the other birds. The eagles continued their tree tag till about 1:00. Then the mature came done and nabbed something right in front of us! But the darned gulls flew up and caused a major blur. Urrrgh!!! We have a fourth year and a third year eagle now in a tree together. I love to shot these stages of the bald eagles plumage. It can be so diverse as the stage progresses. They are also at a stage that they don’t like to sit still for a picture either. They are so messing with the gulls. It is so comical to watch. It is definitely a game to the eagles. 3rd years are like adolescent kids, stirring up trouble. 3:00 we have four eagles and two rough-legged hawks in the trees!! The gulls continue to stuff themselves. My computer battery is down to 10% so I have to shut down. I will finish up tonight with my photos and post of facebook. The mature and the fourth year eagle fly then one of the second years. The other flies over then back to the trees. The adult rough-leg flew over the eagle in the tree just to try to irritate it. The third year and fourth year are back. Then the second year took off. The mature comes back and lands in the tree with the third and fourth years. Then the fourth year flies off. It is a constant movement. I definitely haven’t had time to get bored today!! Then the two second years fly over and chase each other. The mature comes back and follows suite. The mature flies over again, snatching a huge piece of meat on the ground to the east of us. It’s just out of reach of our cameras though!!!! L The adult rough-legged hawk dropped down on the ground and quickly grabbed a bite to eat then off to the trees. 4:00 we have a second year fly over and snatch some meat. It then heads to the east side of the trailer. The fourth year and second year converge but the second year kept its treasure. Still eagles at 4:50, we have one second year and the fourth year keeping a close watch on the carrion pile even though it is so dark we can hardly see it. The young rough-legged comes on to the ground and has a quick snack before heading over to the cedars. We finally have to call it quits with one second year eagle still in the trees. It was a great day for observing these majestic raptors and the quirky things they do.
Eagle Journal November 5, 2011 Our first day out in the eagle blind for this season, it is 35 degrees at 6:50am. The ravens start in around 7:00am by 7:20 our first eagle is in the trees. It is a second year. It sits in the tree with the ravens all around it. 8:15 the seagulls move in to sit on the roof of the trailer. Nothing exciting happening, the eagle just continues to sit in the tree. 9:00 the seagulls come back but…a rough-legged hawk flies over and spooks them. It would be sweet if the rough-leg would come in and sit on the post. A little sharp-shinned hawk flies into a tree where it is hassled by a raven. Then a Northern harrier flies in and hassles them both. Sweet! I love harriers. Most of them have migrated to southern Michigan. But with the weather still so mild this one is hanging around. Sweet! The young rough-legged hawk landed on one of the post out front of us! It spends over forty-five minutes with us. It lands down on a juicy piece of carrion and digs in. It feasts on it without too much interference till an adult rough-legged hawk swoops down and attacks it! The adult takes off and the young continues cautiously to eat a little more. Then the eagle soared over and sent the hawk on its way. The Northern harrier flies over around 11:00 looking but not landing. The young rough-legged is back in around 11:30 in and out. It is now 58 degrees and actually hot in the trailer! The young rough-legged hawk came in on the ground but didn’t stay. Then we have the two rough-legs fighting then soaring around together. This is what is so fun, to be able to watch the interaction of these raptors. They really don’t seem to want to hurt each other. I think it is parent teaching the child some lessons in life. The eagle took off across the road without coming into the pile. Actually with the eagles not around the hawks feel safer to come into the carrion pile. Around 1:30 the young rough-legged hawk is back for another forty minutes or so. It is a little more leery this time. But we were able to get some more nice shots and footage. Then we have the Northern harrier and the two rough-legs soaring around together. The eagle even joins the action for a short while before disappearing again. The clouds start to move in around 2:30. The rough-leg pops in and out again. Then the rough-legs seem to be playing musical trees. Then off they go to the east. The Northern harrier fights with a raven. The ravens fight with the rough-legged hawk. Then the other rough-legged hawk attacks them both. Quite entertaining!! Then they all soared off together. 3:15 one of the rough-legs is in a tree then both. Then they both go back to fighting ravens. 3:30 the young rough-legged hawk comes onto the post for about ten minutes. We get some nice shots before it takes off to the east. There it attacks the other hawk sitting in a cedar tree. Once again a raven gets involved in the fight chasing them both. Finally, around 4:30 the adult rough-legged hawk lands on a post, poses for a minute then poof!! It is gone! What a great first day in the blind. Michael and I were very happy with the shots we were able to get of these gorgeous raptors today! And who couldn’t help but be fascinated and entertained by all the interaction between the hawks and ravens that we got to experience!! We won’t be back out next week. We don’t want to upset Jim’s hunting on Tuesday. So hopefully, we will be back out the following Sunday!
All Photographs Copyrighted by Michael & Teresa McGill/McGills Nature in Motion-Unauthorized use prohibited