Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay and a higher level of harmony between humanity and nature.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Eagles Disappear

Thursday morning for the first time in her life Beatrice, the elder eaglet, was not to be found in the nest or the nesting tree. Also both parents were gone. For the last four months the parents have almost always been near the nest or on a 520 light pole looking for more food. 


Thursday night the situation was the same. 


On Friday morning a more thorough search of Foster Island, the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary, the 520 light poles and the skies above Union Bay revealed no trace of the parents or Beatrice. Beatrice has apparently learned to fly, left the nest and moved up from eaglet to fledgling. This leaves Eleanor, the younger eaglet, all alone in the nest.

Even though she has not yet learned to fly she is as large as her parents and should be able to defend herself from most any creature that can reach the nest. There is no reason for concern. It is possible the parents have just taken Beatrice on her first hunting trip. 


The most important lessons for the young eagles this summer are:
     a) Learning to fly and
     b) Learning to hunt.
By winter they will need to be completely self-sufficient in order to survive.


If you see the fledgling please be aware that an eagle learning to hunt may appear to be doing nothing. While simply sitting in a tree above the bay they may be watching a distant fish or bird that you or I cannot even see. At any moment they can dive out of the tree and attempt to catch their prey. It is important for the young birds survival to not interrupt this learning process.


All of us who visit this blog have a healthy curiosity to learn more about these beautiful creatures. So this weekend if you happen to visit Foster Island or Beaver Lodge Sanctuary, if you are sailing on Union Bay or even just driving over 520 please watch for the eagles. If you do see them please add a comment at the end of this blog. The more we learn about these creatures the more we can do to ensure that the neighborhood we share is a viable place for eagles, as well as humans. to live and raise their young.


If you are curious about what Beatrice looks like the August 1st posting (just below this post) has a number of up-to-date pictures.


Thank you for your help.


Larry Hubbell




14 comments:

  1. One of the adults was on a 520 lamp post Friday night at around 7:30pm.

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  2. Thank you!

    I am now out of town, so of course this makes me wonder if the fledgling returned to the area of the nesting tree in Broadmoor.

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  3. Maybe the Blue Angels frightened her.

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  4. Anonymous mentioned the Blue Angels, and I know I asked about that, too. Was she seen early in the morning, before they began their rehearsal? Or was she missing from even the earliest hours? That could at least narrow down the possibilities. ;) How long do eaglets usually stay near the nest after fledging?

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    1. They were gone on Thursday morning which I think was the day before the Blue Angles started flying. They were still gone on Friday morning which was also before the Blue Angels came by so I do not think there is a relationship. I was expecting that as long as the young eagles are being fed (at least some) by the parents that they would stay in the area. I remember seeing last years eaglets perched in the cottonwood on Foster Island and I think that was in August or later. I will have to look those photos up when I get the chance. From what I have read it is late fall or winter before the young eagles are totally on their own. So I am expecting them to be in the nest area or around Union Bay for at least another month or two.

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  5. Both fledglings were in the nest at 8 pm Friday night.

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    1. Thank you! It is great to know that the fledgling has returned. Hopefully, I can get in-flight photos when I get back early in the week.

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    2. Excellent. So glad to hear it. I'll look forward to your photos ....

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  6. Wed. night August 8 at 8:45 p.m. one of the adults spotted high in the tree along with the eaglet which was on one of the lower branches near nest.

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    1. Thank you! I was actually out on the Beaver Lodge dock watching Eva on a 520 light pole just before she flew back to the nest tree at about 8:30pm. During that time Albert returned from the N.E., flew over 520 and landed in a cottonwood. The tree is on the shore a couple hundred yards east of the dock. (This is the second time I have seen him at this perch.) This was also the first time I have seen Eleanor out of the nest and sitting on a branch. I saw no sign of Beatrice. The light was poor so I didn't get any great photos. However, I did get one interesting shot of Eva on the 520 light pole which I will include in my next blog. It is great to have your comment confirm what I was seeing. It also lets me know that there are others besides myself who may spot Beatrice. She should be learning to hunt somewhere in the area. Even if we could just learn which direction she goes when she leaves the nest it would be a start. Thanks again.

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  7. I just found this blog because I am new to commuting to east side from Seattle for work, and I couldn't believe my eyes some weeks ago to see these beautiful creatures.At first I thought they were decoys!! (ignorant me) but today, 8/9/2012, at about 1:30 PM I saw an apparent adult (pure white helmet) pearched on the lamppost while I was heading eastbound at the west end of the highrise. Clear as day. My gosh, what a treat:>

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    1. Welcome! Glad to have you watching the eagles and the blog. I have been struggling with how to let more commuters know about the blog. If you have any ideas I would be glad to hear them. Thank you for your interest.

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  8. On Monday, August 6, at about 12:30 pm, Ernest (sorry....I call them Ethel and Ernest, so it would be the one you call Albert) was on the light standard above the 520 bridge. He was still looking a bit rumpled, but it was definitely him. So I guess we can assume that all is well? I will be updating my Ethel & Ernest 520 Eagles blog today.....I've been derelict about updates this summer, and that sighting was the only one I've had of the eagles, either one, lately.

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    1. Thank you for the info. I have been spending all my available time looking for Beatrice, without much luck. However I have seen a number of other birds in the process so I guess I will look at that as the silver lining to my search. My latest blog has more details. Thanks again for your comments.

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