Great Tragedy at Lafarge/Pandora Nest

Wildlife News

Hancock here:  Great Tragedy at Lafarge!

The Lafarge territory and pair of eagles have had a terrible season.  Last fall the nest tree succumbed to a combination of trunk rot, a heavy nest and high winds.  Down the nest came in a storm including the supporting limb necessary to support that or a new nest.  Would our insurance policy of putting in the artificial nest and pole pay off?  Only partially to this point.  The adult birds frequently use the nest pole perches for resting and feeding but they did not immediately, upon loss of the nest, switch to the artificial structure.  Somewhere in this I failed. 

However, just up inland was the old territory nest in a Douglas Fir and it apparently had greater appeal in spite of the extra half mile of return flights to the harbor.  This pair normally lays 3 eggs but apparently, and of course without the benefit of nest cams on the old nest, it is suspected they have 2 chicks about 7-8 weeks old.

Now a new tragedy -- Ma was electrocuted last evening.  The fire department responded to the flaming incident but she is dead.  Can Pa keep up the food supply coming and finish the rearing?  Time will tell.  There are a couple of positive options that have happened with other nests.  Pa might be able to solicit another lady to join him.  Of course at 7 -8 weeks of age in our relatively warm climate he does not likely need to do any brooding so will have more time for food gathering.

We have a whole bevy of Ma and Pa followers so you will be hearing updates to this continuing drama.  At this time we need good observations.  JUST NOW at 10:24 AM I got a call from Sharon to say some of the observers are not yet convinced the dead bird is the female  -- maybe it is the male.   So we hope OWL will undertake an autopsy to proof this.

So sorry to report on this pair that is such a favorite pair.  No eagles have been more catered to than this pair. Lafarge did so much to protect the nest and even undertook construction of the artificial pole and nest.  Certainly the artificial structure has been annually a good feeding perch and a constant fledging landing platform.  I hope this all continues.

I look forward to our groups -- the HWF and OWL teams -- keeping track of these interesting but sad happenings  -- and hopefully to a positive conclusion.



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