A Lucky 13th


The watchful stranger.


The photo session ends.


The profile.


Spotting the second camera.


A high flying juvenile.


Cindy and her juvie way up high.

We had a very interesting and busy day on Thursday, the 13th of December.

If you are reading this blog in Alaska, along the upper Mississippi River or some other location where Bald Eagles are prevalent, the following account may not seem too exciting to you but for the eagle watchers in Dayton, Ohio, where we have but two resident eagles, and before 2008 we had well over 50 eagleless years, it was a very unique day.

With the weather continuing to be warmer than our average December weather and under crystal blue skies, the only thing hanging in the atmosphere was anticipation. Several different wandering adult Bald Eagles have been passing through (or maybe I should say “trespassing through”) Jim and Cindy’s domain. Both Ray and Roger had arrived at Eastwood with their long lenses to try to capture an image or two. One intruder had recently been camping overnight in the limbs of a large cottonwood near the boat ramp on the southern side of the lake. Each day, while making his morning rounds, Jim would unceremoniously “encourage” the newcomer to mosey along.

On this day, Roger and Ray spotted a young adult eagle perched atop a large tree near the northeast corner of the lake. They were able to capture a few images of the intruder and soon discovered that this was a different visitor than the recent camper. This young adult Bald was slightly older than the camper and was missing the darker eyestripe that masked the face of the other bird. This bird knew that the cameras were there but didn’t seem to mind and posed for quite a few pictures before flying off.

I arrived later in the day and although I did not see any strangers, I did see Jim flying by on his security check. He circled the lake and headed back to the well field and the aerie. Shortly after he had disappeared behind the treetops I spotted what at first glance appeared to be one of the local Red Tails high in the sky above Eagle Lake. As I looked at the soaring bird through my binoculars I was thrilled to discover that it was not a Red Tail but a juvenile Bald Eagle. As I followed it through the sky, I was happily surprised to see Cindy gliding along beside it. This leads me to believe that it was one of our three fledged eaglets from the 2012 nest. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few images of the distant birds knowing, that when the new eggs are laid in a few months, this mother-child bond will be severed forever.

Published in: on December 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How cool…I personally know Ray Mueller!

  2. Small world. Ray is agreat guy, but then all eagle watchers seem to be great people.

  3. Exciting news! Can’t wait for another captivating breeding year…

  4. Thanks for the update and pictures! I hope tonights storm doesn’t damage the nest! Thanks eaglejim. Polly.

  5. I live 2.6 miles from the nest and the winds have been howling all evening. I have seen their nest weather every storm but one with little damage. This will be the first true test of the new nest’s durability. I will check on it tomorrow morning as will others in the group. Both Jim and Cindy were nowhere to be found when I stopped by today. That is typical behavior for the hours before a big windstorm. They either hear it coming or sense its approach in some other way and find a suitable, low level perch or spend time on the ground. We will know more in a few hours.

  6. Please let us know and thanks for your reply!! Polly.

  7. Roger reports that both Jim and Cindy were flying near the undamaged nest this morning! He said he was able to snap some pictures. (I may post an update tonight once I see what he has captured.)

  8. Oh I’m so glad they are okay!! Eaglejim did you ever see the story about the eagles being fed fish by humans in St. Louis Missouri and Alton Illinois back in Jan of this year? It’s a heart warming story and I can imagine your group doing something like this to save your eagles also. Polly.

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