It was nice to have a sunny, warm morning to park along the road and watch the eagle parents and their two youngsters. The eaglets are not quite at the eating on their own stage, but very close. The parents went for fish twice while I was there. This is that time when the number of trips for food never quite seem to be enough and the parents start to look pretty worn out. Click on pictures to enlarge.
It was incredibly bleak and cloudy yesterday, but still a wonderful time for making a lap around the lake. Sometimes, these cloudy days when no one is around are the best.
First, we met some cedar waxwings chowing down on berries.
There were numerous pelicans on the water and turkeys foraging the fields.
A heron rookery we visited last year was very active. It looks like some of the herons might already be incubating eggs.
We met an amazing Canada goose. He looks like he took a bath in white paint up to his neck. This is called “leucism,” It is not harmful, just reduced pigmentation.
We saw snow geese and Ross’s geese.
An beautiful group of deer posed for a shot before taking off for the woods.
My favorite part of the day was watching a group of snow geese (Canada geese, blue geese, greater white-fronted geese, and Ross’s geese too!) taking off from a field. So beautiful!
The last stop was a bald eagles’ nest where some brooding is going on. We visited last week and both parents were feeding. The eaglets are too small to see from the road right now. Can’t wait to watch them growing up!
I was getting out of the car at the lake this morning when these two whizzed past me. Really, it looked more like play than anything serious. It was a beautiful sunny morning and it almost seemed like I could feel everyone breathing this huge sigh after all the bleak weather of late. Everyone seemed to have more spring in their steps, or wings. They chased each other for a while then headed off in different directions. It was fun to watch. Click on picture to enlarge.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bald eagles around Lawrence as I have this winter. I imagine it has something to do with very low temperatures in the north. Whatever the reason, I am enjoying watching them. Yesterday, they seemed to be on every tree at the lake. I witnessed some courting (locking talons and spinning downward). I saw a couple exchanging fish while in flight, which I think is also courting. I also saw an interesting game of “keep away” that involved nine eagles. While I do not know what they are thinking and communicating, I cannot describe this as anything other than play and it is wonderful to witness. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Winters in Kansas mean bald eagles! We took a drive around the lake on Sunday morning and were delighted to find a host of bald eagles doing bald eagle things. After the lake, we drove to our favorite bald eagle nest to see the parents back and taking care of nestorations. Click on pictures to enlarge.
It looks like there are two eaglets, growing fast. Click on picture to enlarge.
I went to see my favorite bald eagle parents this morning. While I was there, the little ones were fed and some nestorations took place. The little ones are too small to see from the road right now, but that will not last long. If previous years are any indication, I imagine there are two up there. Click on pictures to enlarge.
This warm weather is incredible–and a bit scary. Who knows what is in store for us this spring. There is a lot of activity at both the Wakarusa Wetlands and Clinton Lake. Eastern Phoebes and tree swallows are here, a bit early. I looked everywhere for ospreys today, but no luck. I did see quite a few turtles and heard many frogs. Gulls were coming over in abundance and the geese are guarding potential nesting sites.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
The sunrises at the Wakarusa Wetlands have been spectacular.
I arrived just in time to see the parents make the incubating switch. I can never tell which one is which unless they are sitting right next to each other (female bald eagles are generally bigger). I think mom arrived to relieve dad and he is the one sitting on the branch. I look forward to seeing how many eaglets they have this year. Click on picture to enlarge.
The huge and very old nearby eagles’ nest is now being used by Canada geese (smart geese!). The drought we have been in is sadly very apparent when looking at the area around this nest that used to be completely covered with water. For me, this nest is like a kind of magical symbol of the return of bald eagles. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Here is what it looked like when we first started visiting. Click on picture to enlarge.
The eagle couple built a new nest not far from the old one. I wonder if they saw this dry season coming and decided they had better move to a place less accessible to those who do not swim. They may have also finally tired of all the noise and trash brought by those hunting and fishing in the area. Every time I went to watch, I found tons of trash. I found shell casings, fishing line, empty food containers, a couple of busted up old televisions, and of course, beer cans. Anyway, the new nest is super cool, and super high. I’m definitely not going to tell anyone where it is. 🙂