Another Break

You know what's fun? That bee people really aren't that different than bird people. During the bee class there's been a guy behind me answering questions loud enough for all in the immediate area to hear. He hasn't raised any bees but has read so much, he is an expert (his words, not mine).

So, we're at another break in the bee class so I thought I would catch up on the doin's that transpired at Carpenter banding yesterday.

It was a veritable junco 'sploxion. we trapped and banded a ton yesterday. And they were a little chirpy. I wonder if the warmer weather was stimulating them? They will be heading north soon.

We didn't have the mist nets up, only the Potter's traps to get smaller birds. Somehow this female mourning dove lumbered her way in. Interesting: you can sex mourning doves in hand by checking their neck. If there is quite a bit of iridescent rosy pink the bird is male. If there is mostly tan coloration then it is female. She had mostly tan on her neck.

After banding, it was so warm out I couldn't just go home and decided to head down to Red Wing to take a quick look at eagles. I passed a bank sign that said the temperature was 47 degrees. I ditched my coat, gloves, earmuffs and scarf and wandered around the marina.

The warm weather was helping the eagles feel the love and there was some flirting going. Above are two eagles on the same branch. That's the raptor equivalent of second base. There is a nest at the marina and I did see an eagle sitting inside the nest.

Many were across the marina, but a few lurk in the trees right over the walking path at Colville Park, fairly oblivious to humans. That's what I love about this area, these eagles are not delicate flowers to be given distance. They see the humans, they get what we're about and they will hang out fairly close to us. Heck, they nest right off of highways and here at the marina with high boat traffic. These birds made an informed decision and will nest in an open area, easy for humans to watch and enjoy. Raptors nests aren't always as fragile as some would like you to think.

While at the park an eagle picked off a large fish, probably a carp. As soon as it landed in the tree all the other dozens of eagles in the trees were screaming and squeaking. I'm not sure if they are saying, "Way to go, dude, nice catch!" or they are saying, "Aw man, I'm so hungry. It's not fair, I was thinking of going for that fish."

While this guy was eating, another eagle came over to check out the situation (above).

This eagle was really, really interested on watching the other eagle eating its fish.

It kept looking down at its toes. Our eagles at the Raptor Center do that all the time. I wasn't sure if this bird was watching fish bits fall and debating with itself if it would be worthwhile to go get them or if it was hoping that at some point a fish would magically appear in its talons.

Breaks over.