Stéphane’s Blog for May 02, 2011

Breakfast with Eagles!

There is a seasonal creek that flows in Wingfield Basin in spring, where a fish run occurs at this time of year. It attracts all the usual suspects, Gulls, Cormorants, fish-eating Ducks like Mergansers, even the occasional Fisher. It also gets a lot of attention by Bald Eagles: when they notice, they quickly take possession of this prime spot of resources.

It was the case this morning when a 3-year-old Bald Eagle was feasting on a huge fish on the shore near the creek. The resident adult Bald Eagle half-heartedly took a pass at it but let it be. The young eagle could enjoy its breakfast in peace, as I was doing the same (albeit with peanut butter, not fish) while watching it all.

Later on, another eagle was on the shore but this time, it was different: it was a Golden Eagle! It is the first time in my 9 years at Cabot Head that a Golden Eagle has ever been seen on the shore of Wingfield Basin!!! This time, the adult Bald Eagle promptly chased it away in the shoreline trees where it remained for a long time. At some point, the young Golden Eagle emerged from its hide-out and it was its turn to chase away the adult Bald Eagle!

Later on again (as we have to check nets and band birds and all that, we couldn’t keep our eyes all the time on the eagles, despite the excitement), I was stunned to discover that the Golden Eagle was perched on the same tree than the young Bald Eagle! Now, tell me, where in Ontario can you see the 2 species of Eagles sharing a perch?

Still later on, the Golden Eagle has moved a bit to another tree, while the young Bald Eagle hasn’t moved a feather, and the adult Bald Eagle was perched on a tall spruce, the highest perched of the 3 eagles i could see in my binoculars field of vision.

And still later on, this time, I was observing the Golden Eagle through my spotting scope while a Peregrine Falcon entered the frame…

In this cold-ish weather, there wasn’t much songbird activities, until the clouds started to clear and the sun to shine. We got our first Nashville Warbler of the spring in our nets, and observed 2 other individuals afterwards. We also banded the first Black-throated Green Warbler of the season. With the one Pine Warbler, a handful of Palm Warblers, and several Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers, we had a total of 5 species of warblers today. Not much but they’re coming!