The Autumn of the Eagles!
As mentioned in an earlier blog posting, Bald Eagles have been seen on an almost daily basis this fall. It is possible that some of the eagles observed have taken up residency, at least for a little while, in the Cabot Head area.
There must be something attractive to them, as judged by their abundance: Yesterday, on the first day of October, 6 Bald Eagles were seen soaring together! Six! There were at least 3 young of the year, possibly one 2-year old, the remaining 2 being too far to be more precise than immatures. So, 6 young Bald Eagles were flying together, enjoying the updrafts generated by the bluffs.
And today, no less than 5 Bald eagles were seen again! Four (4!) young, from this year, were once again flying together, testing their skill and strength by diving at each other and flipping on their back… An adult Eagle was also observed separately.
That’s a lot of eagles, if you ask me. And I could easily add: on September 26, 2 adults and 2 young flying together; none seen on September 27, when we were too busy banding 95 birds; 4 eagles on the 28 (including 3 young flying low together close to the bay shoreline); none seen on the 29, when there was no wind: Eagles do not like flapping their wings when they can help it; 2 immatures on the 30. And you already know about the October eagles…
In the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, most of the East side of the Bruce Peninsula (the side where Cabot Head is) has “possible” or “probable” evidence of breeding. It would be interesting to go back in early spring to all these sites and determine if, by any chance, the evidence could be changed into “confirmed”. It seems to me that the number of eagles, especially young ones, seen this fall at Cabot Head can not only be based on breeding outside of the peninsula.
That could be a fun project to do in early April: Operation Breeding Peninsular Eagle!
Other interesting observations of these last few days: the first White-winged Scoters of the fall were seen, surprisingly enough, flying quite high in the sky on October 1; the first small flocks of Pine Siskin; still some warblers around besides the Yellow-rumped: Orange-crowned (always a late-migrant), Nashville, Palm.