East Texas Naturalist Blog

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Eaglet Update - An Empty Nest

Eaglet Parents
Freedom Nest
Freedom Flight1
FF2
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FF4 2
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FFTree
FFMomTree

As storm clouds were moving in and the sky was getting dark, we were able to make a quick check of the nest one day last week.  It was disconcerting because for the first time, we were only able to see one eaglet.  We thought we could also hear Liberty, but were not sure. Both parents were perched and watching from a nearby branch.  Freedom was shrieking, alone in the nest, and I believe that we witnessed one of her first flights.  Seemingly uncomfortable, and as if being coaxed, she finally flew to a nearby dead pine tree, mouth open and screeching the whole way.  Mom followed and sat on the other side, as if to offer moral support. Nature in action is such a beautiful thing.  

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Michael Mathews
First, I want to thank you for letting me be a part of the eagle watch. I loved the times I went with you and got photography Lib... Read More
Sunday, 22 May 2016 12:52
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Eaglet Update - Out on a Limb!

Eaglets 1
Eaglets 2
Eaglets 3
Eaglets 4
Eaglets 5
Eaglets 6
Mom 1
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We were able to check on Liberty and Freedom on May 12th; as they are going into their twelfth week, they should be fledging at any time now!  In fact, they were sitting further out on a limb, and in some of the photos seemed to be looking down and at each other as if to say "why don't YOU just go first?"  Mom was sitting close by, as usual, in the top of a dead pine tree.  Two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were tormenting her unmercifully, as she was clearly invading their territory.  She finally got tired of it and took off, with both of the little flycatchers in tow.  What a sight!  

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New Friends, New Birds

Black throated Green Warbler
Northern Parula

Bob Haynes and Dr. Marnie Rout conducted and led the training sessions this past weekend on Ornithology and Taxonomy for the current Cypress Basin Texas Master Naturalist trainees, and what a great weekend it was!  I unfortunately couldn't attend all of the training, but the handouts are so informative and Saturday's bird walk was exciting and productive.  Bob and Marnie are going to be contributing and sharing their knowledge on the ETN site when they can, so that is wonderful news, and Lee Eisenberg has come on board and we will be so fortunate to be hearing from him, as well.  Photos follow of just two of the birds that we were able to see at the Refuge.  The first is a Black-throated Green Warbler, and the second is of a Northern Parula. 

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Michael Mathews
I was browsing through my feed drinking my coffee when I saw the photo of the Black Throated Green Warbler. My first thought was ... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:55
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Eaglet Update - Prelude to Flight

Eaglets Three
Liberty
Freedom
Eaglets Wings
Mama Final
Mama Preen
Eaglets 4

Relieved to see that Liberty and Freedom had not yet fledged on Friday, May 6, Michael Mathews and I were able to get some shots of a great deal of wing stretching.  The nest is looking on the small side now, and mom was a little further away than usual.  She sat on a dead snag and appeared to be happy to also be able to stretch and preen and have some time to herself.  Hatched during the first week of March, the eaglets are nowing going into the eleventh week. We'll be getting out as often as possible and hope to get some shots as they spread their wings and gain some independence!  

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Michael Mathews
Great article, Kristi. It is so much fun watching them grow up and it seems like it happened so fast. They are HUGE!
Saturday, 07 May 2016 17:23
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Eaglet Update - It's Getting Crowded at the Nest

EagletsUpdate2
EagleMom2
EagletsUpdate1

At a very quick check on the seventh week, Liberty and Freedom were sitting on the side of the nest. A bedraggled-looking mom was keeping a watchful eye from a nearby tree branch.  At this stage of development, the eaglets may gain a pound in weight every four to five days.  Between 10-12 weeks, these babies will become fledglings as they practice flying, and we've seen them stretching their wings for some time now. They'll remain close to the nest as they hone their skills, and we're planning on getting some shots as they take to the skies, so stay tuned!  

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