Good Evening, Fellow RainDropAvoiders,
Sundays aren’t supposed to be like this. It began on the nest in the overnight hours with rain and then a severe thunderstorm that soaked the nest and our eagles. Rain came through in several waves after that and there seemed to be no respite from the soaking the eagles were receiving. At sunrise the rain did abate for a while and our eagle family was able to dry off a bit and have some breakfish and a bit of brunch later on. Arky, Dakota, and Skye all seemed to be in good condition in spite of the weather conditions. They were all up and hungry and were fed well by Mom and Dad early around 6am and again around 8am. Dad had brought in another duck or 2 during the early morning hours.
When Mom got up off the eaglets for the 8 am feed she was lifted by the wind and another duck egg was spotted in the nest from one of Dad’s ducks. It had to be a new egg as there was no sign on the nest that any digging had been done and it was lying right next to the fresh duck Dad had delivered. Frankie (the first duck egg) is still buried in the nest and awaiting resurrection at some future date, I believe. As Mom came down from her hover she landed on the egg and pierced it with a talon. It stuck there for a minute before breaking completely and she noticed it and then had a bit of yolk before feeding the kids. As she was feeding them more yolk was spotted inside the duck she was feeding them from so the duck, sorry to say, was taken as she was just ready to or in the middle of laying her brood.
After the feeding she again settled over the eaglets to protect them from the weather. When she arose again around 1025am Arky and Dakota got up also to be fed. Skye lay where she was in the nest bowl and seemed to be still sleeping. She could be seen to be still breathing. Dakota at one point sat on her head and concern grew that there was something wrong with Skye. It seemed to be confirmed as Mom settled over them again and Skye did not move when pushed by Mom’s talons. As Mom got up for the 1300 feeding we could all tell that Skye had died as she was completely inert.
There were many speculations that flew around the chat rooms as to what had happened. Skye was crushed by Mom. Skye was attacked and killed by her siblings. Skye choked on a morsel of food. Skye had a virus. Skye ate too big a cheeto. Ockham’s Razor demands that the simplest explanation be true. The simplest explanation is that Skye succumbed to hypothermia due to the weather conditions. She was wet and it was cold at the nest today. It does not take very long for an under 10 ounce eaglet with no thermoregulation to chill to the to the point of unsurvivability. It is true we will never know the actual cause of Skye’s being taken from us but that is the most likely, and simplest, explanation.
After the 1300 feeding Mom seemed to know Skye was gone. She was very careful moving her at first and finally settled back in over the other 2 with her talons resting on Skye’s body. As the day progressed both Mom and Dad gradually covered Skye with nest materials and she joined Frankie the egg as part of the nest.
Chatters from all over the Eagle Nation and beyond came to both chats to offer sympathy and condolences. We appreciate each and every one of you that did. It helped make the loss easier and gave us comfort. Thank you all for being there for us today.
The rest of the day at the nest was cold and rainy as well. Mom and briefly Dad took good care of the remaining eaglets and as darkness fell the rain let up and the wind died down a bit. Hopefully it will stay drier tonight and warm up just a bit.
Mama Goose out on the island was hunkered down every time we saw her and looked to be weathering the storm okay. All of the other waterfowl of the pond were off somewhere waiting for the storm to stop in shelter of their own.
Dad again showed his preference for the trees across the way by the house we can see from the cam. He spent a good portion of the afternoon rainstorm on what I now call his feaking branch that we saw him on late yesterday. He returned to the nest late in the evening and relieved Mom for a short break. She again hip checked him off the eaglets and he flew off that way again. The cam gnome (Thanks, BBC!) again managed to follow him with the lens and we saw him land in another tree in that area. It was too dark to get a good look at him but it is interesting to know that he prefers that area when the weather is bad.
On to the vids and pics of the day!
First up is a lovely tribute to Skye from dragonlainey who rejoined us after their travel adventures of the weekend.
MN Bound Eagles 4-27-14 A Tribute to Skye
And the rest from dragonlainey for today.
MNBound Eagles ~ Morning Highlights ~ 6 to 8 A.M.
MNBound Eagles ~ 1 to 3 P.M. Highlights ~ Feeding Arky & Dakota
MNBound Eagles ~ Grass & Food Brought In ~ Small Hail
MNBound Eagle ~ Winds Plays Havoc With Flight ~ Feeding
And one from BirdBrain56, Thanks BB!
MNBound Eagles ~ For Skye ~ 04/27/14
And just one pic for today!
Good bye, Skye! We will miss you!
We’ll see you all on the nest tomorrow!