Friday, July 19, 2013
It has been a rather slow summer for me wildlife-wise. Summer brings tourists to this area, and some of my favorite spots to visit and explore are crowded and noisy right now. I have also been working extra hours. My feeders and BirdCams haven't attracted much of interest either. Then there are my endodontic issues. This was not my first root canal rodeo, but it has been the bull that gored me.
This morning, I woke to fog and overcast skies. Then came the tell-tale calls from one of the hunting perches in my yard. After an absence of two or three weeks, a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) came to call. She is looking a bit bedraggled. Is that spit-up on her breast? Perhaps this provides evidence of young eaglets back in the nest. That white head isn't so white right now either. It could be the clouded lighting, but I think she may be due for a good molt.
Her calling was accompanied by a cacophony from the neighborhood Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri). I believe I have a gang nesting in the yard this year, because they have been a constant presence in a group of trees on my west side. They keep their nests hidden from me, but I have been looking for young. Their noisy eagle protestations, of course, were carried out from a safe distance. In this photo, the eagle has her eye on them.
Just when I think the interesting wildlife experiences are over, there are always eagles to save the day. Right after her visit, the skies cleared in Pacific Northwest fashion and gave us a beautiful, sunny day.