Yesterday Albert was photographed sitting in his favorite cottonwood tree on the south shore of Union Bay.
The eagles have been "on vacation" or at least away from Union Bay and the nest for roughly 2 months. This is similar to what happened last year. No one seems to know precisely where they go. Dan Reiff suggests that many eagles go to the upper river watersheds for a couple of months. After spending 4 or 5 months tending the eggs and the eaglets in the nest it seems logical that the adults would need to get away. Still it makes one wonder, Where do they go?, Do they go to the same place every year?, Is it instinct or do they follow a food source, like maybe salmon?
Here is one of the last photos taken towards the end of July, just before they left.
Si'ahl was the lone eaglet (and fledgling) from the Broadmoor nest this year and he looks very different from the adults. It will be four or five years before he matures and develops the white head and tail. Also similar to last year the adults returned without their young. Si'ahl may not be mature but young eagles apparently get only 4 or 5 months of coddling and then they are on their own.
One week is not an adequate sample size to say much about changes in eagle behavior. However it does seem odd to have not seen either of the adults sitting on the the 520 lamp posts this week. Not being a 520 commuter it could be I have just been missing the opportune moments or it could be that the new 520 construction is causing the eagles to avoid their old haunt. If you are a 520 commuter it would be wonderful to hear your next week's worth of 520 eagle sitings or sightings e.g. which mornings and evenings you spot the eagles on the bridge.
In the past Eva has tended to be on the bridge more often than Albert and he could often be found in the cottonwood where he was yesterday. Although there have been times when both birds were on 520 lamp posts at the same time. It will be very curious to find out if they return to sitting and hunting from 520 as they have in the past. If they don't, Will they still keep the nest? Will we still be able to call them the 520 eagles? We will just have to watch and wait to find out the answers.
On Friday Cedar Waxwings invaded a hedge (Could this be a Laurel hedge?) along the east side of the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary.
The waxwings are migrating south to warmer weather and looking for fruitful feasts along the way.
On Friday they found the fruit they wanted.
The mottled coloring on the breast of this bird indicates it is an immature bird.
The mature birds have more of a smooth yellow breast. This bird also shows one little drop of "red wax" on the wing tip.
Seeing only a single dot of red makes one wonder if later in the fall more of these red drops will appear. (You can see more in this post from last November. Click Here In this post the Waxwings were eating Hawthorn berries in November. Which could imply that they will be hanging around Union Bay for another month or two.)
On Saturday morning dozens of Waxwings were sitting in the sun near the top of an alder tree in the Arboretum.
How many waxwings can you see in the photo?
Every few moments one or more of the birds would fly across Foster Island Road to feed on the berries of a Black Gum Tree. The Waxwings do not seem to mind at all that this North American tree is not a native of the Northwest.
The Waxwings are not very particular about which fruit they eat, as long as the fruit is ripe and fits in their mouths.
On Friday and Saturday a Flicker was seen hanging around the Waxwings. At one point it chased one of the Waxwings from the Gum tree back to the Alder. Maybe the Flickers are just too big to sit on twigs and pick their own fruit like the Waxwings. It must be irritating to watch the smaller Waxwings eating their fill of food that only needs to be picked.
Actually in this case with so many Waxwings feeding all at once it looks like it is raining fruit.
It has certainly been a beautiful weekend and a wonderful time for waxwings and eagles to be returning to Union Bay.
Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature lives in the city!
PS: By the way I counted 9 Waxwings in the 8th photo.