Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 170, Thursday, 6/26/08, Year Four Dancer & Daedee: Snow Falling on Eagles

Hello Eagle Friends,

It was extremely hot and humid today as temperatures hung in the high 80s. The sun peaked out behind the haze late this afternoon.

We went to the kid's carnival at Rochesterfest today and Em had a good time playing the games.

Then we all went down to do my eagle project. There was no activity on nest 7.

We all hiked out to nest 1 and could hear the twins, but I could only spot D'ODEE. Daniels is 11 weeks old today and I couldn't find him until I hiked to the north side of the nest. On my way I found a beautiful emerald green damselfly resting on the curve of grass blade.

When I broke a new path through the 8 foot nettles, I found Daniels staring back at me. There he was way up on the north limb.

Seeing him there up above his nest where his younger, less experienced sibling could only watch seemed to give him an exuberance of glowing confidence. It wasn't until Daedee flew in about an hour later that he lost it. There is nothing a hungry eaglet wants more than to eat.

He didn't budge from his perch he stayed centered and I think he must have actually considered the consequences of trying to fly back in and getting bumped out of the nest either by Daedee, or D'ODEE. Daedee sat there for about five minutes holding the food while D'ODEE pecked at her talons.

The mom seemed to sense her eaglets struggle on the limb for she spent that five minutes just staring at him, in some sort of encouragement spoken through her eyes to come home into the nest to eat.

She flew off and D'ODEE took the food. That was enough. Daniels stood up, stretched, turned and walked further north on the curved branch. I don't know if he thought following the upper curve of the branch would lead him to the nest, or what he was thinking, but as the branch narrowed his steps became quick as he turned and literally ran back to where he was sitting.

It took another ten minutes before he got his courage up to try again, but he did try. He walked about ten feet from the nest and leaned forward, rocking back and forth and then leapt up into the air flying into the nest with a perfect landing.

Then he turned and flew back to the perch. I think he'll fledge this next few days. I didn't expect him to be ready this soon.

We left and moved on to nest 2 where Terry Gail was eating on her nest.

At nest 6 the twins were both up on the nest and taking turns flying across the nest.

We stopped at nest 5 and found the twins both sitting up on their north limb. They are almost 12 weeks old, and will be fledging any second of any day. Even from my far distance I can tell one is waiting for the other to leave first. You can see it in the way one won't move for the other on the perch, forcing the other to fly around him while the first leans back making it difficult.

There was an old dead tree up ahead, actually two of them with a half dozen great snowy egrets in one and four in the other. The lightening was golden for that moment and cast one long ray of early evening yellow across their faces just as one of them flew off.

Then Em and me went looking for monarch caterpillars. She found a half dozen of them chewing on the freshly bloomed milkweed blooms. Then we went searching for bullfrogs. We found two males peaking up under the duckweed.

Then she wanted to see who could throw rocks the furthest across the pond. I guess I need more practice. Enough said.

Victory Bell was up on his nest at nest 3. It did appear that there were two eagle shaped silhouettes sitting on the edge of nest 4, but I can't confirm that.

When we got home I made up some homemade tacos. You just can't get the homemade taste from a fast-food meal, and my kitchen is open late every night. I gave Dave and Em their dinner and sat down to eat mine after we said our prayer and I was just about to take the first bite when Em said, "Let's make a toast. She held up her glass of water against mine and as we tapped them together she said, "To a very fun day!"

I'm looking forward to day 171.

See you on the journey--


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