Sunday, February 03, 2013

Eagles Weekend

I'm watching Superbowl 47 (can't handle those Roman numerals) with one eye, while editing photos and videos from Eagles Weekend with the other. (By the way, I'm cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, since they are the only bird team in the game!) The Eagles Weekend was terrific, by the way!

In a 10 mile stretch of shoreline, we saw 41 eagles from the comfort of the CQ Princess, the yacht that takes us on the lake for eagle viewing. When they began holding these weekends in the 1970's and 80s, they were lucky to see one or two eagles. Now we have a combination of resident birds, courting and laying eggs this time of year, and visiting birds who come from Minnesota and Wisconson to spend the winter here where the lake doesn't freeze. By March, only the resident eagles will remain.

Bald Eagles don't get their white head and tail until they turn five years old. Until then, they have various amounts of white mottling, and an expert can tell the age by the amount of white displayed. We had outstanding views of these younger birds practicing their courtship behavior - like teenagers practicing courtship and marriage. KY Fish and Wildlife estimates that we have over 100 breeding pairs in Kentucky now. Any lake large enough for a state park probably has a few.

Raptor Rehab did the Saturday night program. Everyone loved our one-winged Golden Eagle, Aurelia. We have to hold her carrier up to the perch, and she'll step out of it on her own. I love doing this program, since I caught the dream of working with raptors at weekends just like this. I hope we can inspire someone else to work with raptors too.

The last quarter moon was setting when we arose to catch the boat. Can't resist a photo of the moon whenever I can get one!

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