Eaglet Naming Contest ends June 15
Tuesday, June 13 2006 @ 10:39 PM EDT
Contributed by: davidh
CONTEST TO NAME EAGLETS NEARLY OVER! - Update - see the results
I am now back after a months commitment in Alaska ( with the excitement of the WEB cam what a time to have pre-committed to leave! I don't deserve any great sympathy as I have been the Biologist-Naturalist on the Island Princess visiting all the great glaciers, whale and eagle areas of Alaska!! ) but on return I am so pleased to see that the eaglets are both doing fine. My earlier worries that the smaller eaglet was not getting enough food, and that was the reason for his very small size, changed the day before I left for Alaska. Almost overnight the parents seemed to find a lot more food and the bigger bullying chick, once his crop was full, stopped bullying the smaller eaglet. In return the little chap got fully fed and now seems to have caught up in his development. At least we hope this. Lots of other areas of strife, potential conflict and even just accidentally falling or being knocked from the nest still exist, but only time will tell if we have a fully successful nest. We wish them well.
Age of chicks: Today, June 13, It appears that the older chick is about 9.5 -10 weeks old – the smaller chick is probably 3 or 6 days younger than the bigger one. From this it would appear that the first should fledge about June 28 - 30. Lets keep our fingers crossed they both make it. ((Comment: the eggs are laid and hatch about 3 days apart - if the smaller chick is 6 days younger then it was because the middle egg failed to hatch or survive!)
NAMING CONTEST: The last days! Have you suggested a Name? There is still time! - Nope - Over - see above.
I see that we now have thousands of names suggested and we will be undertaking the evaluation over the next 7 days. The announcement will be made the evening of June 20 as promised in the Contest Rules.
BONUS PRIZE: With such a response I have decided to sweeten the pot of prizes -- but as of yet I have not decided how. The contest enterers will all be somehow rewarded. I am working on how to also reward those thousands of children following my eaglets -- I am so pleased with your interest and concern. Please name your school in any entries.
So far I have only rejected two names: The bigger bullying chick, likely a female due to her size and probably because she was first hatched, is not going to be called President Bush , nor consequently is the weaker spindlier one going to be called Bin Laden as has been suggested!
NOTE ON 'CANTERED NEST'!
The nest appears at an angle because the adult eagles use the camera mounted on the crane as a perch -- and their weight has tilted the camera. So much for the concern that the eagles might be disturbed by the crane. On the last trip to inspect the Victoria-Sidney nest before I departed for Alaska (Note below) I was waiting in the BC Ferries parking lot to go over to Vancoouver Island and there in the parking lot next to my car was an adult bald eagle (probably from my Nest # 19) sitting on the parking lot lamp post. The Urban bald eagle responds differently from the wilderness bald eagle! A lamp post, a telephone pole or a crane can simply be a good perch.
The whole issue of eagles being bothered by some human disturbances is very much dependent upon the pair of eagles. Some are reared in the urban environment and have to resort to sitting on man-made objects such as houses, telephone poles or cranes. Others, reared in a more wilderness area, won't approach made-made structures and are totally put off nesting by the presence of people. We have to bring common sense to what is a disturbance to the specific eagles -- it greatly changes depending upon the upbringing of the eagle and what it is accomodated to. If an eagle chooses to nest in a city park beside the noisy playground it is not logical to shut down the playground and alter what the eagle thought was a fine habitat!
Every time I find myself not giving the public their full credit for intelligence I find I get bitten! On the other hand often emotions get in the way of common sense. I was recently startled at one of the nest observers total hostility that barking dogs were disturbing the nesting eagles -- the barking was from a group of sea lions 'barking' as they swam past the nest. Can any barking bother eagles? Perhaps I don't like it but I am not sure about the eagles concerns. Others commonly commented that the passing cars and urban noises would surely disturbe the nesting eagles. Obviously the 150 plus pairs of eagles nesting in Greater Vancouver have chosen the presence of city noises over wilderness quiet for other reasons -- a good safe and secure, food-rich habitat in which to raise their young! More recently, someone phoned to complain that the poor smaller eaglet had a large growth or tumor under its chin -- a full crop of dinner was clearly apparent!! This live CAM has been an incredible lesson for me in both eagle behavior and in humam behavior! We are all learning and of course this is the reason for the CAM.
Seeing and hearing the adult eagle go through labor as it lays an eggs, watching the incredibly delicate act as the parent so carefully feeds the new chick or stands guard giving shade or rain shelter to the eaglet is indeed touching and rewarding is our hectic hruman world. It is this that I shall remember most.
-------------- --------------- ---------------- --------------- -------------- --------------
NOTE FROM MY ALASKAN JOURNAL: On board the exquisite Island Princess
It is interesting to note that along the Alaska coast during the past month from Prince William Sound to the Juneau area that many of the very abundant eagle nests seen from the Island Princess were still at the incubation and small chick stage. This places them 6 to 10 weeks behind the southern British Columbia nests. It was incredibly affirming that 42 percent of the audience of the first 625 lecture attendees onboard had knowledge of our Victoria-Sidney Live Eagle Cam -- and this from a totally international audience!. I had a great time inspecting eagles, humpback whales, bears, puffins, orcas and calving glaciers to name but a few of Alaska's rich treasure house of that enriched our cruising adventure. ((PS: I would love to hear from any of the Island Princess passengers that I travelled with.))