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Ospreys have "moved on"

Esquimalt Osprey Nest Cameras
Following is a message from the Esquimalt staff:

Employees at the Esquimalt Graving Dock were hopeful this season that with the return of a pair of Osprey at the nest at the Dock, we'd have another successful season of observing the pair as they nest, breed and have another young.  We watched as they seemed to take to their old nest, built it up (as you may have seen from the footage, they dragged almost anything they could find from the facility up there-rope, rags, gloves, etc.).  They seemed to be quite happy.  We observed them fishing, eating their catch on one of the cranes on site, communicating with one another (including obvious signs of breeding) and fighting for their territory with another pair.  We were hopeful they would stay, and were excited about having this pair spotlighted through the Hancock website.  They are such fascinating birds!  Unfortunately it's appears that they pair has moved on.  There has been no regular sighting of them in "our" nest for a couple of weeks now.  It looks like we won't be able to watch in awe as they raise another young onsite this year, but we're hopeful a pair will return next year, and plan to work with the Hancock crew to have the camera back up and running next year.

We've also been keeping an eye on the activity of Osprey in the area, including a watchful eye on an always active nest just up the road (there has been a pair with young during the past 6 years I've been watching it).  But this year, there is no pair, and very odd behaviour from the Osprey spotted in the area.

Perhaps 2007 just wasn't the year for these birds in this area.  Till next year...

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Two Golden Eaglets Killed One Wounded

St.George Utah
Two golden eagles found killed in Iron County nest
Third eaglet is found injured at the bottom of a 100-foot-deep pit

CEDAR CITY - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are offering up to $3,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting of two golden eaglets in Iron County.

The birds were found Thursday at a historic eagle nest site north of the Iron County Firing Range near the Three Peaks Recreation Area.

Two eaglets, within a week or 10 days of being able to fly, were killed at the nest site. A third eaglet managed to escape the poachers and was recovered at the bottom of an adjacent pit approximately 100 feet deep. This male eaglet is being treated for its injuries and will be in rehabilitation for some time. A preliminary examination of the two eaglets indicated that the shooting occurred within the past few days.

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Watching Eaglets Grow

Bald Eagle BiologyI've recently added an area for eagle pictures and statistics to my website. At first glance, that may sound a bit redundant at best, given all the websites around the world with cams and discussion but as I wandered from site to site, enjoying the antics of the eaglets and wondering at the fact that some were near fledging while others were newly hatched, I found that something was missing.

I might notice that one eaglet has stubby down-covered wings while another that I thought was about the same age has suddenly sprouted feathers and, having a bit of scientific curiosity, my immediate question is "just how much older is the eaglet with the feathers?"

That isn't as easy to discover as you might think. At the very least, it requires checking the web sites for the two eaglets in the hope that they have an announcement of the hatch dates posted. If not, one needs to wander through the website blogs and the various forums where that nest is discussed until one finds the date in question.

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Violet-green Swallow nest cam active - enjoy

Goldstream Park CamerasThanks to the help of Richard Pitt and Bob Chappell, we've got our Violet-green Swallow nest box camera up and running. This was one of the first nestbox cameras that Bob built for us, and has helped us learn much more about the nesting habits of these swallows. If you watch carefully over the next few days, you'll be able to see the female (much less "crisply" coloured on her head) lay more eggs. As it stands today, there are two recently laid white eggs that are about 15 mm long. She will typically lay 4 to 5 eggs and then start to incubate for 14 to 17 days, until they hatch. The young will be fed by the parents in the nest for 3 to 4 weeks.

If you look carefully, you'll see that the nest is made up of a lower layer of mostly dry grasses, which is completed with a downy layer of feathers. The birds create a cup shape as they are building the nest by pushing towards the sides with their wings outstretched. When they do this you can hear their little legs trying to get a good grip on the floor.

If by any chance you have violet-green swallows nesting near you, I suggest you try offering light, downy feathers to them. If you blow one up into the air, they'll probably swoop down to catch it and take back to their nest. If you are interested in plans for building your own nestbox, we'll be sure to post.

We hope you enjoy viewing these birds over the coming weeks as much as we do! I'll post more information soon, including photos.

Darren

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Drama at the Dutch Peregrine Falcon Nest

Wildlife NewsPeople from all over the world have been watching events unfold at the Peregrine Falcon Nest in Noord Brabant, The Netherlands, via the Live Streaming Video. Two cameras were installed in February, 2007: one inside and one outside the nest box.

Three eggs were laid. Before they were hatched, a female falcon entered the nest while the father was brooding the eggs. He flew away, she inspected the eggs, then left, never to be seen again. The three chicks hatched April 14 and 15. On April 22 another female falcon arrived and attacked the mother. The fight began at the nest box and continued in the woods a short distance away. The mother was driven from the nest and possibly mortally wounded because she did not return. The father then took over the responsibilities of feeding and raising the chicks by himself. The chicks were 7 and 8 days old, much too young to be without a mother.

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