Kristi's Photographs and Observations

Nature and Photography
Kristi is a naturalist and photographer who grew up on Lake O' the Pines where she still lives.  You will find her much of the time on or near the lake, camera in hand as she photographs birds and other natural objects.  She is an active member of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.

Eaglet Update - Prelude to Flight

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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

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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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Nature, Close-up and Personal - A Paddler's View

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We're so often on the Big Cypress River in a boat, but with such nice levels lately we've opted, when we get a chance, to take the kayak out instead.  What a difference it makes!  Just being able to slide up quietly as local inhabitants go about their lives makes a huge difference with photo opportunities.  Here are just a few examples from the past couple of weeks.  

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Eaglet Update

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Saturday, April 9, we hurried out right before dark to check on the eaglets.  The day before had been really windy and we'd taken some friends out to check, but the chicks stayed mostly hunkered down, with one parent watching closely from a nearby tree.  Eventually, one eaglet sat up, but untill the very end of the short time that we watched, the other didn't appear.  I was almost wondering if we'd imagined that it had, with the boat rocking so much from the wind, so was anxious to check and be sure that both are still in the nest and thriving.  

As we pulled up Saturday evening to get the nest in sight, there seemed to be no activity. Two Black Vultures were sitting oddly on an adjacent tree, a little higher up.  That was worrisome.  For the very fist time, no mature adult could be seen.  After a few minutes, one eaglet got up to stretch, with the second one following.  Both sat and peered over the edge for a while, intermittantly stretching.  Won't be long now before they'll be testing those wings!  

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Michael Mathews
I can't believe how much they have grown since last week. Great pictures as always.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:15
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Latest from the Eagle's Nest - One Month In

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Exactly one month to the day of the first sighting of the eaglet chicks, Michael Mathews, Jill and Pete Wright, Linda Richtsmeier, and Jerry and I went out to check the nest.  We'll be doing this as often as we can, and posting photos so that we can all track their development!

Several photos follow, and on this afternoon, as always, one parent was in the nest with the eaglets.  Every time that we have visited, at least one parent is either in the nest or very close by; the other is surely out hunting.  At one point, the parent on duty seemed to be looking and whistling for the other.  

It appears that the babies have the last of the downy feathers on the tops of their heads and neck, as can be seen in some of the photos. They are growing rapidly at this phase, and adding a pound of body weight every four to five days!

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