It’s been a sad start to our 2013/14 eagle research season. First the field in which we place our blind/trailer was saturated with rain. It’s great for the earth but… So we decided to ‘temporarily” place it on our property. We knew eventually the day would come when we would have to leave “our” eagles at Jim’s. Unfortunately, this was the year. God bless Jim Habasco for all he has done for these majestic raptors. After 30 years of dedication and diligence he has finally had to call it quits. He has persevered through many a harsh Northern Michigan winter to make sure there was food to help supplement the bald eagles winter diets. We lose 50% off the young in their first winter. Thanks to Jim many have lived to help keep Michigan’s bald eagle population soaring.
My greatest sadness is not seeing our territorial pair, Mudhen and Smudge. We have been filming and photographing Mudhen since he was a 4th year (hence his name) in 2008. We have watched him develop into a handsome strong adult. We watched as he ‘wooed” his mate, Smudge…and the consequence of their mating…their offspring.
So we begin yet another new adventure with a new research “group” who will hopefully prove to be as intriguing and educational as our previous.
Eagle Blind March 30, 2014
Wow the dawn is already breaking at 7:00 when I get out to the blind. I hear the wake up call of crows. It is clear and 18 degrees…nice. Barometric pressure rising.
By 7:45 the crows are coming in to check out breakfast. Eagle in the tree to the east at 8:30!!!
He landed to the east of the blind. First he tried pulling some scraps out of the icy snow… then walked up to the pile. He picked around there for a few minutes then came to the meat right in front of me. Then out of nowhere a second mature eagle comes in. The female bigger and pushier…she took over the meat. She did pull a couple of pieces off ad let him have them…how generous. He then went back up to the pile….and wouldn’t you know it she went up there trying to knock him off. She landed right on the same meatball as him. She pretty much just pushed him off. So he came back to the meat in front of me…again. And once again she flew back and he jumped off the pile. This happened one more time before she called it quits and left. Shortly after that he decided he had better go with her.
It was a fun 45 minutes of whose treats were better…and she won every time. Wish the sun had been in a better angle. It’s still behind our hill to the east to most of it is in the shadows. But who cares…I had two beautiful bald eagles right in front of me!!
The crows are definitely chasing something…probably a poor hawk off and on all morning. Finally at 10:30 a beautiful red-tailed hawk lands in the tree to the east of the blind but gets dive bombed and leaves.
I just had a brave fox squirrel scamper across the snow. That’s the first time I have seen one of those anywhere near our eagle blind. I also had a bunny rabbit run through earlier. That at least means the fox and coyotes we have seen on our trail cam are eating the frozen treats instead of the little critters around here…and that’s good a good thing.
The temperature is rising quickly with the heat of the sun…in the forties. I have my coat off and the heat turned off. It is beautiful out…now for a few more raptors.
My poor red-tailed hawks are being relentlessly pursued by the crows and ravens…hopefully they will persevere.
The red-tailed hawk flew into the east tree…sat for a minute or two then flew off around 1:00.
My red-tailed actually did a close flyby around 1:15. I think that’s a very good sign.
Woohoo!! The red-tailed hawk came in on the pile for a brief moment…long enough for me to grab the camera and snap a couple of shots before it took off. I’m so hoping it will come back in and actually eat. I may have to stay till dark which could be after 8:00.
The red-tailed hawk was just back and landed in the small maple right in front of me…then off again at 3:20.
Wow weird about 4:30 everything left and it is too darned quiet…at least for a little while. The noise picked back up a little around 5:00 then in flew the red-tailed hawk to the small maple tree. And again took off as quick as I could get a shot off.
7:00 and the red-tailed hawk landed on the ground long enough or two shots then gone. That may be the last shot I get…we’ll see…I will wait till almost dark before heading out.
Eagle Blind March 24, 2014
It was extremely cold again this morning. I didn’t head out till 10:00…nothing was in till after 10:20 and then just crows and starlings. Temperature finally in the teens with partly sunny/cloudy skies. Barometric pressure still fairly high.
Nothing but the crows in and out all morning. Just when I think I’ll head out around 1-2:00 if I don’t see anything…in comes a mature eagle before noon!! She lands in the tree next to the blind…then flies over. She reappeared in the tree to the east…then a double fly by. In the meantime a poor red-tailed hawk is flying around being mobbed by 60 plus crows…poor thing.
The crows are being totally spastic today. They are flash mobbing anything that moves…especially the red-tailed hawks. They can’t sit still…taking off and landing constantly therefore I have to be on alert at all times…just in case.
Just when I think I’m going to give up…the clouds moving in and wind picking up around 1:45. In comes a female rough-legged hawk with an entourage of crows trying to impede her progress. She landed in the tree to the far east with crows and ravens trying to knock her out of it. She then hovered over the area. You can tell she totally enjoying hovering in the winds. They can maintain the same position in the air while they see out their prey…then dive and snap it up in the blink of an eye.
Then she landed in the closer east tree where once again she was dive bombed. She then came back in and hovered again. Then she landed in the little maple in front of me where she was once again attacked several times. She came back several more times but each time the crows and ravens attacked the poor thing. She would do aerial maneuvers to try to dodge their assaults.
Meanwhile Little Bubby the red shouldered hawk played hide and seek in the pines…not wanting to get involved in all the shenanigans.
This afternoon the barometric pressure is falling and the winds are changing out of the southwest with temperatures in the mid-twenties.
Well, finally while the crows were chasing off another hawk, Little Bubby, the red shouldered hawk came in for a visit around 4:00. Unfortunately the propane truck spooked him off. I’m sure he will be back later.
Finally around 5:45 the RSH was back in to eat a little then gone. It didn’t take him long to come back in and eat for over half an hour. It so amazes me how the crows basically leave him alone while the chase they heck out of the bigger hawks. Yes they do harass him a little but not as relentless as the other.
Eagle Blind March 23, 2014
It is four degrees but still… with a little bit of cloud cover moving in. The barometric pressure is high…on fair. The crows are squawking at 7:15am. The crows are on the ground by 8:00…fuzzin’ and a fightin’.
The crows have taken off several times…meaning there is something out there….it just hasn’t shown itself yet.
The light clouds have dissipated and it is a gorgeous crisp morning….nine degrees but no wind.
11:30 and I have had nothing but crows, one gull and a cat. I’m calling it quits so Michael and I can go look for the Northern Hawk Owl. Oh I did see the red shouldered hawk as I was leaving.
Well I’m back at 5:00pm…no luck finding the hawk owl today. We did see two red-tailed hawks, a merlin, a pileated woodpecker, snow buntings, and lots of crows and deer. It was a beautiful afternoon for a drive. We also spotted a scoter and common golden eyes on Wilson Lake coming home…so I will have to check them out later.
I wasn’t back more than a few minutes when my red shouldered hawk came in. It looks like he had been in most of the afternoon by the looks of his full crop. He gave me some great poses. He hung around till almost 6:00pm…then just a few crows. I left at 7:00. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
March 19, 2014 from the house the red shouldered hawk is on the pile at 8:30
March 20, 2014 from the house the pair of mature is across the road in a tree
March 21, 2014 from the house mature came in to eat later in the day till 6:30
Eagle Blind March 17, 2014
Another below zero morning…had appointment at 8:00 so didn’t get out in the blind till after 10:00.
Wind is out of the south and barometer is falling.
The red shouldered hawk was on the pile and two mature eagles in the tree across the road.
It’s a little morning overcast today which will actually be better for my eyes with less glare off the snow.
Of course the crows are in full force after I got settled in the blind.
The RSH is back in front of me at 11:00…sits till around 12:00 then comes in and eats for about twenty minutes…then back in the tree.
The eagles left around 11:00 but one is back at 12:30. And the sun is back out in full force.
Little Bubby back down on the ground at 1:15 and clouding back up. He got spooked by a car after fifteen minutes. He just flew into the woods not too far. The eagle is still in a tree across the road at 1:30.
The eagle left around 2:00…but the RSH has been sitting in the trees the whole time just waiting. Well, finally around 2:45 the crows were having a feeding frenzy and one took off with a large piece of meat. It dropped on the ground out in front of me…and the RSH came down and got it. That was cool…I had just been thinking it would be nice to photograph the RSH on something other than the meat pile. I think I got a couple of nice flight shots.
Well my RSH is my only companion in the raptor family that’s willing to spend time with me. He has been around all day…in and out…one tree to another. He likes to have the crows around to warn him of danger. They will fly and swoop around him in the tree….land…have a chat and then take off.
Oh my goodness…just when I thought of leaving. Little Bubby was eating…again…when all of a sudden he took off. I grabbed my camera and got a couple of shots off as a mature eagle circled low. Then she came back and landed to the right of the blind. I was able to get quite a few shots of her before she took a bone and flew off. Not much was on the bone…so hopefully she will be back!!!
Interestingly the mature eagle looked to be oddly molting around her face…but found out that she must have been feeding off of something very bloody.
Well, she didn’t come back and neither did Bubby. I waited till 6:00 before heading out…just in case.
Eagle Blind March 16, 2014
It’s -3 at 7:00 but should be a beautiful day. The crows and ravens are already carrying on at 7:20. Then one is on the ground by 7:30. Hopefully that is a good sign. The barometric pressure is high…fair.
The crows are in to feed at 8:00. I just had a pair of ravens getting frisky…a sure sign of spring!
Two mature eagles sitting in the trees across the road at 8:45.
The sun is shining brightly…the temperature is now at 10 and the crows and ravens have been entertaining me all morning. The two matures still sitting in their same trees at 10:45. Time to come in!!
11:10 all hundred plus crows took off…my eagles are gone.
They just swarmed again this time I spotted a 2nd year eagle landing in the woods to the northwest on the hill. Hopefully the dang crows give him a chance to come in. It’s just about 12:30.
The crows become a force to be reckoned with…especially with a murdering mob of them.
Around 1:00 they chased a red-tailed hawk out of the area. Shortly after that I heard my red shouldered hawk squawking. He waited for the crows to come back before he came in to eat around 1:30 till 2:15. But he didn’t go far…he is sitting in the tree next to the blind.
It is a beautiful day…bright sun…temps in the 20’s…but not much more than crows and starlings to photograph.
Kitty cat on the pile with the RSH in the tree and eagle sitting across the road at 2:25….interesting.
Well, the RSH came in again…but I got a phone call…he took off and an eagle came in trying to snatch something to eat. It failed but came back and got something…I’m not so sure I got any decent shots…note to self…don’t answer the phone. It is now 3:10. Hopefully, it wasn’t much to eat and it will be back.
Great raven action this afternoon….three big ones in…one took another one down.And I got some great shots.
The RSH is in the tree behind the pile…the eagle flies by again at 4:10 then at 4:15. It lands in the tree by the blind only to be spooked by a passing car. It then went into the tree in the front yard. It made another fly by then back across the road.
In the meantime a rough-legged hawk flew by being chased by some crows. The red shouldered hawk went in to the east tree.
The RLH made another pass by at 4:30. The ravens are being so much fun. One picked a crow up by its wing. Love them…I have missed them.
Well, the eagle is gone at 5:00 but the RSH is sitting in front of me in a tree…and sitting….and sitting…and still sitting at 6:40…oh no…the eagle is still there just moved to a different tree. That’s why little Bubby is not moving. Hope the eagle drops in before the sunsets.
The eagle finally left at 7:00 but the RSH was sitting tight till I left at 7:30pm. Then I spotted the eagle flying out of our woods to the north. Hopefully they will both be back tomorrow.
March 11, 2014 from the house a 2nd year in the tree across the road at 9:00 with temps in the 30’s
March 12, 2014 from the house overcast and 6 degrees an eagle in the tree to the east of the blind. A rough-legged hawk on the pile at 9:15 spooked by an eagle then two matures on the pile at 9:30 2nd year eagle in the tree by the blind at 11:45. I came home to find the 2nd year in the tree near the blind. I changed and went out to see how close I could get to him. He took off and circled around flying right over the top of me. I was able to get some awesome shots including one with him flying 'over' the moon.
March 13, 2014 from the house 2nd year landed in the tree across the road at 5 degrees.
March 14, 2014 from the house red shouldered hawk at 8:45 and 40 degrees. 2 mature across the road then a rough-legged hawk on the pile then 2nd year fly by.
Eagle Blind March 10, 2014
I waited till daylight to head out to the blind. The eagles are coming in till early afternoon. It is 28 degrees and very still out. The sun is trying to break through the clouds by the time I get out there around 9:15.
Just a few crows in and out…then the red shouldered hawk was screaming out 9:45.
The crows just grab pieces of meat and take off. Finally spot the RSH in the maples before noon but he takes off after a crow and steals its meat. URGGHHHH….that’s the only problem with the warmer temps…the meat is become loose and easy to fly off with.
Finally around 12:45 I heard a squeak and looked out to find, I believe, a cooper’s hawk with a starling in its clutches. This is the first one I have ever seen. They are very similar to sharp-shinned hawks but I believe with the size, cap and shape of it…it is a cooper’s hawk.
Ever since the hawk came in everything else has been scarce…just a quick in and out.
The barometric pressure continues to drop. It has gone from fair to stormy since I’ve been out here although it continues to stay quite bright out. Temperature is now 48 degrees with a stiff breeze.
A red-tailed flew by from the east…hope it comes in…all is quiet at 2:30.
Around 3:00 I hear before I saw a pair of red-tailed hawks soaring and squeaking at each other…love is in the air.
Red-tailed hawks continue to soar and interact with each other…and I believe I have a rough-legged hawk in the tree behind me around 3:10. Nope it’s just one of the red-tailed hawks taking a break. It flew back to join the other one back on the big tree across the road.
Unbelievable….the skies have totally cleared…it’s 53 degrees and only the far call of the crows and a downy wood pecker hanging around at 4:00. Major bummer.
I hate to leave with the sun shining so brightly at 5:00 what with daylight savings time…but the kids are coming over tonight. They don’t have school tomorrow so Uncle Mike is going to watch them.
About 6:00 I looked out the window and saw one of the red-tailed hawks on the pile. So I sneaked out of the house and managed to get a shot of it as it flew off.
March 4, 2014 from the house…snow 10 degrees turned sunny…2nd year in at 9:00 3rd year knocked it out at 9:15… mature in tree across the road. Three young at one time on the ground at 10:00…in and out all day. A crow playing with a piece of meat hanging from a tree branch. 4th year in a tree wihen I came home.
March 5, 2014 from the house…-12 degrees but sunshine…three young and one mature all on the ground at one time at 5:00. A 3rd year and mature are in the east tree when I come home from work.
March 6, 2014 from the house….sunshine and 10 degrees…three eagles at 7:45…two mature and two young
March 7, 2014 from the house…sun and 20 degrees 2nd year in the tree across the road
March 8, 2014 from the house…overcast and 16 degrees eagle in the tree across the road
March 9, 2014 from the house….daylight savings change…2:30 2nd year on the ground…3:30 2nd and 3rd years flying around
Eagle Blind March 3, 2014
A little too cold at 6:00 to go out to the blind…-24…so I waited to it hit zero degrees around 10:00 before heading out.
Of course, the crows and blue jays are enjoying the frosty morning…they are here regardless of the weather.
I have a rough-legged hawk across the road in the tall tree. Hope she comes in today…if the crows leave her alone. Right at the moment they are up the hill….probably bothering the red shouldered hawk.
Around 11:00 I Hear Bubby the RSH screaming from the pines. I’m sure I will see him once or twice or more today.
11:45 the RLH flew over to my side of the road…chased up the hill by a murder of crows.
A few minutes later my red shouldered hawk came in for about forty minutes. He eat his fill then just sat and enjoyed the sunshine. Finally the RLH flew over and into the east tree spooking him offbu tonly inot a nearby tree.
The rough-legged sat in a tree right in front of me but flew over to sit in the same tree as the RSH. She finally flew off around 12:45...hope to see her before the day’s done. But remember yesterday Ididn’t see anything till after 1:00…so I’m way a head of the game.
Yeah about fifteen minutes later RSH in for another fifteen minutes of eating. He went behind the house to sit in a tree. Then the RLH flew back into the tree by the blind…then gone. She will be in before too long…hopefully.
It wasn’t long till the RSH was back…first in the tree by the blind then right in front of me. It was interesting that he waited for the crows to return before going on the pile. Actually he was using their alarm system to his benefit…when the RLH shows up the crows tell him and then they chase it out of the area. He stayed till 1:45 when the RLH flew over and into a tree across the road. The ravens and crows are nature’s alarm system. Just walk out in to the woods and find out. LOL! But they can also help you find that raptor you may be looking for…especially owls.
The crows back in full force at 2:00….then off to chase the poor RLH who dared to cross the road to my side. And he’s back...Little Bubby is back once again to fill up his crop around 2:20. Michael called to let me know an immature eagle flew over heading east. Still sunny and bright but heat waves are causing havoc with the shooting.
RSH just went and sat in the east tree waiting…for what…I’m not sure. 2nd year in the tree just across the road at 3:00! That’s why my RSH is just sitting in the east tree without coming back in.
Well, the brave RSH came in for a few minutes till the 2nd year eagle decided it was his turn….for about half an hour!! Awesome to have a young one here enjoying the thawing treats. He was able to eat quite a bit before the crows drove him off from worrying that something else was coming in. He kept looking and looking and finally flew across the road…but he could still be back. There is lots of daylight left. Yeah, he flew into the tree next to the blind but then took off circling behind the house then back across the road to the big far tree….but there’s still lots of time. It’s only 4:00.
Oh my goodness…2nd year back over…RLH fly by…another 2nd year from the east…and RSH!!!
Where do I begin??? What I thought was another 2nd year was in fact a 3rd year that was still changing out of its 2nd year plumage. It has the start of the golden eye and its beak has more yellow on it. This is why I love doing what I do….observing nature close up…getting a chance to see the simple nuances that make each creature unique.
I also find it interesting that the eagles have waited a few days to come. It’s like they know the sun and the crows have softened up the frozen meat making it easier to devour quickly. The crows are like meat tenderizers….picking and poking on the frozen meat making it easy to tear off.
Well the ‘true’ 2nd year did not like the 3rd year eating. He made several attempts at ousting the 3rd year…to no avail. Finally after a few awesome battles…they both settled down to eat. At one point I could see that the 2nd year was not happy with the arrangement…and a scuffle proceeded. The 2nd year won the prize and changed places with the 3rd year. They were here for over an hour and 300 shots later. To be able to witness the differences and aggressions of these raptors up close is truly a privilege that overwhelms me. I am truly blest.
They left me with full crops around 5:15 making me happy that we are able to give back to them in this little way. With this extremely harsh winter…many wouldn’t have survived. It’s March and the waters are frozen and the temperatures continue to stay below zero at night.
Eagle Blind March 2, 2014
Zero degrees…no breeze…barometer at ‘fair’…hoping for an eagle or two today.
Crows calling shortly after 7:00…getting light so much earlier…untill next week when we ‘spring’ ahead.
Blue jays, starlings and downy woodpeckers in around 7:30…crows on ground at 8:00…and of course now it’s going to start to snow.
9:00 getting brighter out…still lots of crows. 10:00 the sun is shining! Still no sign of raptors.
Nothing but crows and now a few ravens at noon. The clouds keep rolling through as the wind picks up. What a disappointment…I thought for sure I would have action today.
Finally, I knew there were hawks around…the crows and ravens kept going after something. Well, my red shouldered hawk showed up around 1:15 for a few minutes then flew into a tree then kept moving farther back into the pines. I think the rough-legged hawk is in the northeast corner up the hill. Patience is definitely a virtue and pays off eventually. Michael had just called me to see if I wanted to go with him to Petoskey since he couldn’t see anything out there. LOL!
Oh my gosh!! Now I have the RLH flying over…it lands in the east tree…so does the RSH!!! RSH gets chased by the crows. RLH sits in tree then finally came in and hovered! I got some great shots of it. It is not the one that has been visiting me all winter. This is definitely a different one. Then it went and sat in the top of a little maple….then back farther. Another fly by…but this may be a different RLH….at 1:30. Glad I didn’t go with Michael.
RSH is hiding in the young maples just up the hill to the north…looking for the right time to come in . And he’s in at 2:00!! He even flew right at me to land on the carcass in front of me!!! Then back to the pile. Then the RLH flew over and he took off. Gorgeous afternoon….blue skies…sunshine…but heat waves.
RSH back at 2:50 for a couple of bites…crows didn’t even fly off when he landed on the carcass in front of me. I love how my RSH likes to just sit on the meat and pose. It’s like it’s saying “this is mine…all mine”. It just pulls its little talon up under its feathers and fluffs up…content as can be…till the crows bother it.
Yeah!!! Just had a 4th year eagle fly over at 3:15…hope it comes in at some point.
Nothing but blue skies and sunshine and crows. Finally around 4:45 a red-tailed hawk flew over…twice. By 5:15 the crows were gone and the little birds were getting a quick bite to eat. The sun is setting beautifully but not a raptor to shoot in its soft glow.
February 24, 2014 from the house cold snow and wind 14 degrees with extreme wind chills. A 3rd year flew over but nothing in.
February 25, 2014 from the house a little sun zero degrees with below zero wind chills…again.
February 26, 2014 from the house with a 3rd and 4th year flying around midday and extreme cold.
February 27, 2014 from the house zero degrees with wind chills -15 to -25 degrees…no raptors.
February 28, 2014 from the house -28 degrees on the thermometer!! A young eagle in the east tree at 1:30…the a mature in and out from 2-5:45
March 1, 2014 from the house a mature in the tree at 8:30 with overcast and 10 degrees. Two matures and a 2nd year were around but didn’t come in.
February 24, 2014
Well we didn’t get the storm they were predicting…yet…so I decided to sneak out to the blind around 10:30 after posting my journal and photos on our website.
There had been nothing but a few crows but thought maybe I would get lucky with at least a hawk or two. Temperature around 14 degrees but I’m sure the windchill is well below zero.
By the time I got settled in the winds started to howl and the snow started to fall. What’s with that???
I’ll just have to wait it out and see what happens. It can blow out as quickly as it blows in…right???
Well, just a few crows and one raven so far. Around 11:30 forty plus crows went crazy and flew into the woods…probably harassing one of the hawks. Still snowing and gusting winds.
Red bellied woodpecker in at 12:30. Finally at 1:00 crows back and Bubby the RSH screaming nearby…and one entertaining raven.
2:30 Michael brought out more meat….ten minutes later the crows are calling.
Well, a few minutes later Bubby literally blew in grabbed a big piece of meat and took off. Then the mob moved in…crows flying every which way…grabbing meat and taking off in all directions being chased by others. Crazy!! Reminded me of the good old days at Jim’s location. The ravens and seagulls would take off and then the eagles would chase them till they dropped their loot. But no eagles to chase them today. They are hauling it all over the place. The hill is going to be covered with meat scraps.
Well, this afternoon’s victim is a red-tailed hawk. About every five to ten minutes off go the crows and once and a while I catch a glimpse of the RTH being chased. This happened all afternoon. I’d catch a glimpse of the RTH flying over…then bam…off go the crows.
4:30 and the crows are all gone??? Hoping the RTH will come in. I have the red bellied woodpecker enjoying the quiet time.
No luck…the snow squalls picked up and I headed out till next Sunday…hoping for eagles and sunshine.
Eagle Blind 2-23-2014
The wind is howling out of the west with snow blowing and fifteen degrees on the thermometer. Old man winter is back with a vengeance. After a couple of days of sun and thirties, we were hoping for some of this white stuff to disappear. Oh well, what’s another ten or more inches of snow blowing around anyways.
The crows started in before 7:30…it’s starting to get light earlier despite the cloud cover. They are black on the white snow…screaming and bouncing all over the place by 8:00. They have flown off a couple of times…not sure if there are any raptors in the area yet.
Around 9:00 a big raven dropped in. It caused a lot of the crows to fly across the road. As soon as it left they started flocking back in.
It’s back…trying to stir up trouble. It’s bouncing and flying trying to spook off the crows. It’s digging fo buried treasure, too. So darn fun to watch.
It always amazes me that they will dig in the deep snow when there is food readily available. I guess it’s the ‘hunt’ that makes it more enjoyable for them.
Getting jumpy again around 9:45….hopefully something is in the trees around me. Michael said a young eagle flew over surrounded by crows heading south.
Yeah, Little Bubby, my red shouldered hawk came in around 10:30 for a few minutes…in a snow squall.
I had four big ravens in together carrying on…that’s the kind of action I like…not these wimpy crows. The ravens strut around and fight each other…bouncing and jumping…great fun.
Bubby in and out at 11:30…then noon…snowing and blowing. The barometric pressure is dropping and the crows are even getting wilder.
Finally 1:00 3rd year fly over. It came in for a few minutes around 1:10!! And for those few minutes of time….all the waiting is so worth it!!
Oh my gosh, it’s back and stays for about twenty awesome minutes till 2:00. It is so great to be able to watch them at this age especially they are so hyper and jumpy. The crows were really harassing this one. But it just made it move around more for me…yeah!
Michael just reported that two red shouldered hawks just went screaming over my truck. Oh no…someone else is invading Bubby’s space.
At 2:20 all of my crows took off screaming. Someone was being chased away. They were back fifteen minutes later.
Ok the crows are acting really aggressive…they keep swarming up like they are chasing behind me then right back down on the pile. Weird. They’ve done that about four times in about ten minutes.
Finally found the reason behind the crows taking off…my female rough-legged hawk had been hiding till she decided she was coming in regardless around 3:30.
Oh my goodness…one crow took another one down and wouldn’t quit hurting it…the others were just gleeful…just like their human gang banging counterparts.
Well about 4:15 all the crows took off…a few blue jays and the downys came out to eat. I guess I’ll call it a day at 5:00. Still snowing and blowing.
February 22, 2014 from the house...Stormy Blizzard Blowing. The rough-legged hawk was in and out all day long.
February 21, 2014 from the house...Extreme winds and 30 degrees. Rough-legged hawk on the pile at 9:15. A 3rd year came in during the day.
February 20, 2014 from the house...overcast and 30 degrees. A mature is in our tree and a 2nd year across the road at 8:45. Two 2nd years came in throughout the day.
February 19, 2014 from the house...the sun is trying to break through the fog. A mature is across the road at 8:45. We had a 2nd year, two matures and two red-tailed hawk.
February 17, 2014 from the house…mature on the ground by 8:30…three mature on the ground off and on all morning. 2nd year feeding at 12:00…3rd year on the ground at 3:00…storm moving in and the eagles cleared out by midafternoon.
February 18, 2014 from the house…woke up to 6-8 inches of fresh snow…Sunny 10 degrees 2nd year across the road at 9:15. We had three mature, 2nd year, 2 RLH and RSH “Little Bubby” screaming all day.
Eagle Blind 2014-02-16
I woke up with a terrible headache so I slept in a couple of hours. Woke up then to sun rising…so decided I’d better head out. The crows were thinking of coming in at 8:00 till we walked in. But by 8:45 they were on the pile. It is a still crisp ten degrees but no wind.
The crows and a couple of ravens are extremely noisy and of course jumpy. They take flight then right back down on the ground. Hopefully that means there are eagles or hawks around.
9:30 and they are just sitting in the trees now. The sun is shining brightly and still no wind…yeah.
RSH in at 10:15 for a couple of minutes then flies by at 10:30 to hide in pines. Eagles chattering in tree at 10:35!!!
2nd year in the east tree…I can just make it out from a crack in the south window.
More chattering!!! Sounds hopeful! 10:45
More chattering at 11:00 Michael said I have a mature, 3rd year and 2nd year next to the blind in tree. RLH across the road!!!
11:15 RLH in the east tree. Mature up the hill to the north. 2nd year fly by. 11:30 3rd in east tree.
Our female rough-legged hawk is on the pile in and out then back to scarf down some food. Eagle flew over and spooked her but right back to continuing eating. She came in one more time till 12:00. Lots of chattering going on. Michael said I had five eagle in the tree by the blind. Mature eagle flew by and landed in tree with 3rd year. Then yeah…the mature was on the ground!! It walked up to the pile and finally ate…pulling the big hunk of meat away from the other. RSH was creaming in the background.
The 3rd year swooped down to try to spook the mature then they both flew. Not long another mature was on the ground…joined by yet another and then the 3rd year!!! Yeah!!! Three eagles on the ground at one time!!
Then the RLH was back and so was a 2nd year both on the ground but neither knowing what to do. They just looked at each then eventually flew off at 12:45.
1:20 3rd year in the east tree RSH flew over….crows are flighty so probably more eagle movement. J
RLH in again at 2:00 to feed. She’s filling her crop up nicely today which is great. One of my fb friends is a raptor rehabilitator and said she is probably not feeling well…keeping her feathers fluffed all the time. A mature flew over her spooking her off. I have three eagles in the tree by blind and one in the front yard.
2:15 a truck is parked out by the road chasing off my eagles. Bummer!!! Hopefully they will be back …plenty of daylight left for them to come in.
My Bubby, the red shoulder is screaming and will probably come in while the eagles are gone.
Finally seeing the smaller birds…downy and red bellied wood peckers etc.
Fun with the red bellied wood pecker attacking the starlings! One starling got poked in the head a couple of times. I wouldn’t want that lethal beak poking me.
The truck is gone and the crows are back…now for the eagles…2:45
3:00 eagles are back and chattering. Lots of noisy crows but not action till 4:00 when the RSH came in for a few minutes to eat and “take out” a piece to eat later.
A snowmobiler drove by and spooked the birds…again. Finally at a 4:30 I had a mature land above the meat pile. It didn’t come though but I did manage to get some descent flight shots…and it’s banded on its left leg…U.P. bird.
It came back half an hour later and landed to the left of the blind. It strolled up and I thought it was going to come over to the carcass in front of me so I was zoomed out to get it close up. Of course it grabbed a piece of bone it found under the snow and took off. It would have been a perfect shot…if I had been zoomed in just a little.
A few minutes later another mature landed for a second up above the pile then took off. I could hear chatter across the road…yep they’re in the tree behind me. Not sure if they will come in now it’s getting late. It’s almost 5:45pm but the evening glow is beautiful. It would be a gorgeous shot. But I will not complain…I have had a great day in the blind with eagles on the ground and sunshine!! Perfect!!!
The happy couple sat in the tree till the sunset and then left after 6:00 so that I could finally leave. I’m sure they will be back in the morning.
Eagle blind 2-15-2014
By 8:00 crisp and cold…2nd year in the tree across the road…RSH in our tree.
Spent the morning in East Jordan for the release of a 4th year female eagle rescued from the area after an automobile hit her. Wings of Wonder in Empire rehabilitated her and wanted to release her back in the area she was found.
After processing some of the photos I decided I needed to go out in the sunshine to the eagle blind. I just settled in and little red shouldered hawk came on pile… snatched and flew at 2:00.
RSH back from 2:30 to 3:00 eating its fill and then some.
Back again for about ten minutes then gone… a little craziness going on I’m not sure what it was about. But the crows were being noisy and a hawk streaked by my window around 3:30…then quiet. Clouds moved in and took away the beautiful sunshine.
A cat on the pile at 4:45…RSH sitting in the tree above me. Bubby came back in for a few minutes at 5:00. I got to leave about 5:30.
It is so cute how Bubby sits on top of the pile looking like he owns the world…none of the other raptors seem to bother the little guy.
Two RLH were soaring when I entered the blind but didn’t come in.
February 13, 2014 from the house…2nd year across the road…a mature in the east tree…then on the ground by 8:00am. 4:30 three matures and two 2nd years
February 14, 2014 from the house…RSH Bubby is screaming at 8:30….2nd year in tree at 8:50…another 2nd year at 9:30. Had five mature and two 2nd years on the ground at 12:00!Snowy and overcast all day.
February 11, 2014 from the house we have five eagles in and out
February 12, 2014 from the house 9:15 we have two mature and 2 2nd years on the ground at the same time!!
I decided to try to sneak out on my way to work to snap a couple of shots. They, of course, flew of...but one of the 2nd years flew right into the tree in front of me!! He let me snap several shots before I was frozen. I left and so did he. Awesome way to start the day!
During the day Michael counted five adults and two 3rd years and two 2nd years and a 1st year!!! Seven of them were down on the ground at the same time! Also the RSH came in and out.
February 10, 2014
6:00 it’s six degrees overcast and still. Crows are waking up around 7:40. It’s now snowing…the little downy wood peckers are out and about.
By 8:00 over twenty crows on the pile…a car spooked them as it slowed down.
By 9:00 I have a 2nd year down on the ground for a few minutes…another 2nd comes down and chases it off. Several fly bys from the two 2nd years throughout the morning.
One of them tries to snatch a piece of meat that the crows loosened…but failed.
Finally at 9:30 one of them landed on the ground to the north of me…walked up to the pile…with crows all around him. He looked and looked and then walked back to the north. It then flew over to the carcass in front of me…but still didn’t eat anything. It took off and sat in the tree as usual.
10:30 one of them flies over the food yet again but doesn’t land. The red shouldered hawk is screaming from the woods.
11:30 the sun is peeking out…come on eagles…the one is still just sitting in the tree next to the blind…out of my photo range.
A mature is in the tree across the road…a 2nd year does a fly by…followed by the other one. The last one snatched up a piece of bone. They then head up the hill and fly north to sit in their tree up in the corner. They can still see the pile and blind but hard for me to see them. Little buggers are playing hard to get.
1:00 the RSH is screaming somewhere nearby…yep found it in the little maples in front of me. The eagles are chattering up the hill as the mature joins them.
Another eagle flies over snatches something…then up the hill to join the other three. The RSH is ready for them to get the heck out of here so it can come in and it.
Finally around 2:00 the RSH is in for a few minutes….then back…then back again. Finally around 3:30 the eagles left their hill post. But there always seems to be one that returns to watch over the food till late afternoon. Finally around 5:00 it took off so that I could head to the house.
February 5, 2014 from the house a mature is in our tree at 9:00 then on the ground eating at 9:15 but not for long.
February 8, 2014 from the house with the kids here we had four and five off and on all day. At least two matures, 2 2nd years and a 3rd year.
February 9, 2014 from the house still four or five eagles throughout the day along with the RSH and RLH
February 4, 2014
In the blind by 6:00 to a still crisp nine degrees.
By 7:50 the calling of the crows to wake up to another morning. By 8:00 the blue jays, starlings and downy wood peckers are on the pile. Within a half an hour the pile is black with crows.
Something must have just flown over…everything scattered. That the problem with being in a more confined area. Thank goodness Michael is in the house and could report that I have two eagle in the tree by the shed…and two across the road…chattering. “When the eagles are near the hawks stay clear”.
9:45 more chattering from eagles. By 10:00 forty plus crows in and out and in and out.
10:15 four eagles are in the tree next to the blind…two matures, 3rd year and a 1st year.
The 1st year flew by…lots of eagle movement but nothing on the pile and the weather clearing.
My red shouldered hawk is screaming….eagles gone??? The crows are throughout the trees but not on the pile.
The crows are attacking a crow that took off with a piece of meat and landed in a tree.
11:30 my RSH sat in the tree in front of me for over forty minutes screaming…then disappeared back into the woods.
12:00 and nothing…but sunshine…and eagle chatter…come on…cut me a break!
By 12:50 the RSH is in for a few minutes. The mature flew off and the RLH flew into the tree. The RSH is screaming in the woods…again from across the road…then back into the east tree.
The RLH is on the pile for a few minutes…then up to the east tree…then up the hill to its post to the north.
By 2:00 I have an opossum wander in and feed on the carcass…inside and outside of it for forty minutes or more…then it wandered away. The RSH was watching it from the tree…and then started screaming again. A 3rd year eagle flew over heading southeast.
Then the RSH came into the pile at 3:15 till 4:30. It finally left and so did I.
February 2, 2014
It is 16 degrees with a light snow falling but no wind. The barometer is rising for a change. I hear the crows and red shouldered hawk screaming before 8:00. By 8:15 the crows are in the trees squawking by 8:25 they’re on the ground. By 9:00 an eagle is in the tree across the road.
9:20 there are more than forty crows on the ground…by 9:50 two matures are in the trees across the road. By 10:00 the snow stopped…for a second.
The red shouldered hawk is sitting in the tree in front of me for a few minutes but it’s snowing so hard I can even focus on it.
By 11:20 a gull is on the ground with a mass of crows as the snow is easing up. Give me one raven over all these crows…the ravens are so much fun…and get into so much more trouble. The crows just scream around.
Michael called me to tell me that two mature eagles just copulated in the trees behind me right next to the road. Well, I guess they feel comfortable enough for that.
By 12:10 there is an upheaval!!! The crows take off screaming bloody murder!! The poor red shouldered hawk is the one they’re after.
12:15 sun…no snow…no crows…so come on eagles it’s time! Then sunshine and snow…then back to gloom.
12:45 the RSH is screaming….in the tree right in front of me. Come on in Little Bubby.
1:00 yeah…a rough-legged hawk flew into the tree on hill…then on the pile!!!! It feeds for 30-40 minutes….awesome!!! The RSH is screaming the whole time it’s eating. So comical.
I found out from a friend that rehabs raptors that this is a female RLH. I was thrown by her always being 'fluffed'. Penny said she is probably ill...therefore fluffed to conserve energy. Glad she found us to she doesn't have to expend too much energy to hunt. We will be keeping an eye on her.
The pileated flew over in the middle the chaos. The RSH did a fly by. Then both the RSH and the RLH ended up on the hill in opposite corners the RLH to the north and the RSH to the south.
The red shoulder comes in for hour!! It took off when the RLH flew by into the tree then across the road. The RSH is back in for a few minutes to top off its already bulging crop.
I try to keep minimal heat in the blind to help alleviate the heat waves.
The forty plus crows finally left at 3:30. An eagle is in the tree across the road at 4:00…held me hostage till after 4:30.
January 26, 2014
Headed in to the blind by 6:00 to minus six degrees with a southwest wind.
8:00 ten crows with a raven fly by…by 8:40 twenty crows on the pile…along with blue jays and downy wood peckers.
8:50 the red shouldered hawk is screaming from the pines. The crows are hassling the heck out of the poor little thing. It tries to come in around 9:00 but the crows won’t let him. In the meantime a red-tailed hawk flies by being chased by more crows.
By 11:00 there are over forty crows swarming the area. One brave gull drops in while a 2nd year eagle sits in the tree just across the road.
It’s a day of noise and crows. Around 2:00 I hear the RSH screaming. The crows take off after it. I now know why they are called a ‘murder’ of crows. They sounded just like they were murdering something…and enjoying every minute of it.
2:30 a mature is in the tree across the road…then gone. By 3:00 the snow is picking up. I decided to call it quits. I could see anything if it was right in front of me.
January 19, 2014 Now I’m heading out to the blind before daylight at 6:00. It is snowing and blowing.
The crows are in at 8:20…the downy is chattering. 9:00 one raven is on the ground. I so miss my ravens…they are much for fun and active than the crows. The raven picked a fight with a crow. A gull in on the pile.
Yeah! The red shouldered hawk is on the carcass right in front of me…for thirty minutes…in this nasty weather. The downys are chattered the whole time…trying to get the hawk off the meat.
The crows are back along with starlings, blue jays and a red bellied wood pecker!
10:40 an eagle is in the tree behind me nearest to the road.
11:30 thirty plus crows are on the pile. Then the RSH comes in again for twenty minutes despite the crows hassling it. The wind is howling and building up ice around the poor thing’s eyes. I love watching them…they love the adverse weather.
12:15 a rough-legged hawk from the east went across the road. The crows flew over to pester it. The little red shouldered hawk is in the pines screaming. I love it!
2:00 the RSH is back for a half an hour…along with the crows. A red-tailed hawk flies over but is chased by the crows.
3:30 the red tailed hawk is on the ground…then poof…before I could get a shot.
4:20 I’m being held hostage again by a mature in the tree across the road.
January 14, 2014 from the house-2nd year in the tree at 9:20 a mature by 9:30
January 17, 2014 from the house two mature in the tree at 12:00 one in the tree just across the road.
January 18, 2014 from the house- two mature eating at 2:00, one mature at 4:00…both at 4:55 left and headed southeast
January 13, 2014
In the blind before 8:00 with a breeze overcast and 31 degrees. I have an eagle in the tree across the road. By 8:30 the blue jays, downy wood peckers and starlings are on the pile.
9:00 the crows and gull join in.
10:30 the eagle still sits but all the little birds are gone (?)
12:00 rain 12:30 I have a tree full of cedar waxwings 1:30 the eagle is back then gone by 2:30….some mallards fly by.
3:15 a 3rd year flies over. There are two in the tree across the road at 4:00 by 4:30 one mature is still sitting…holding me hostage. I don’t leave if I have eagles or hawks in the trees around me.
January 2, 2014 From the house-two mature in the trees at 2:30 then on the ground and 1 3rd year as seen from the house.
January 3, 2014 From the house-two mature in the tree across the road closest to the road. A 2nd year is on the pile at 9:45. A mature comes in at 10:15, another mature at 11:00 and a 3rd year in our front tree then on the pile. Tree tag is going on between the mature and 3rd year. It’s so much fun to sit in the house in the middle of a blizzard and watch these amazing raptors in my own yard. One of the matures is on the pile for twenty minutes. They are in and out most of the day.
January 5, 2014 From the house-10:00 an adult eagle is in the tree. Then a 2nd year flies by then lands in our tree. We have a 3rd year in the tree in the front yard at 11:00. There are two matures in the closest tree across the road when we left at 12:00. When we returned at 2:00 the sun was shining and the two matures were on the pile. They of course flew off when we cruised by. They both came back later in the afternoon till almost dark. The red-tailed hawk sat in the tree hoping to get a chance…but no luck.
January 6, 2014 From the house-10:00 a mature flies over. The red shouldered hawk is eating.
January 7, 2014 From the house-11:00 a mature is flying over the meat and landed in the tree just across the road. A 2nd year is in our tree.
January 10, 2014 From the house-12:25 a 2nd year is the tree by the shed and a mature is across the road.
January 11, 2014 From the house-Mature fly over
January 12, 2014 From the house-9:00 a mature is in our tree….still there at 10:00. A rough-legged hawk pops in for a few minutes. An eagles is in our tree at 11:30…then over the meat at 11:45. The rough-legged in our tree at 12:55
January 1, 2014
Out in the blind before 9:00 to light snow and seven degrees. And eagle is across the road in a tree.
Two more eagles in the trees across the road. It’s a busy morning…the downy wood peckers are chattering away. The crows, northern flicker and a raven are in and out.
10:00 a gull drops in. one eagle left
11:00 a young red shouldered hawk is in till 11:45. The sun even peeked out a little.
Pileated wood pecker on the tree next to the blind for about a half an hour…quite entertaining.
1:15 a poor red-tailed hawk trying to get close but harassed by the crows. It tried again around 3:00 but no luck.
I’m really getting bummed out with the lack of eagles showing up while I’m out here.
December 27, 2013 From the house-We see a mature and 3rd year on the pile around 3:20
December 28, 2013 From the house-A 2nd year is in our tree at 9:00.
December 25, 2013
In the blind by 7:30 windy and 16 degrees
The chickadees start in around 8:00 followed by a couple of crows. They came back with more buddies around 8:25.
Blue jays are squawking and eating and fighting. By 9:00 I have ten crows and a downy wood pecker
By 9:20 I have ten blue jays and more crows. It was a bust day for eagles so I called it quits early to have some Christmas dinner.
It’s been a disappointing start to our season in the new location. I’m getting very frustrated…I had hoped there would be more action especially with it being such a harsh winter.
December 8, 2013
10:30 it’s 19 degree and snowing as I settle into the blind. By 11:05 I have one lone crow and a gull with a few chickadees cheeping. Unfortunately even the crows are getting spooked. We found out our neighbor had a house fire and there has been lots of traffic on our usually quiet road.
11:30 I have two crows and a gull with one eagle in the trees behind me across the road.
12:00 four crows a gull and two matures chattering across the road.
1:00 six crows fighting and a starling.
1:30 every half an hour the crows come in and go out till about 3:00. I have one eagle in the trees behind me closest to the road…but didn’t come in.
November 24, 2013
We are trying a new technique. Michael is walking me out to the blind and then leaving. So “they” see someone go into the trailer and exit the trailer. So I headed out around 8:00. Not much activity yet…not even the crows and ravens yet.
Finally around noon I had a mature land in the tree by the blind but it didn’t come in. it made a couple of fly bys. It did land in the tree to the east of me for a while so that I could at least watch it but it eventually flew off. Oh well, I knew it was going to be a slow go for a while.
All Photographs Copyrighted by Michael & Teresa McGill/McGills Nature in Motion-Unauthorized use prohibited