Good Evening, Fellow EagletWatchers!!
After a lovely day yesterday today was a rather dull day with overcast skies and just a little wind. Arky and Dakota devoted the day to growing feathers and eating everything that came within an inch of their beaks. And there was plenty to eat again today. Nestover fishy from last night, a small avian (maybe the first non aquatic avian served this year), a HUGE fish in the late afternoon, and some nestovers comprised the days menu. A few bonks from Arky were seen and Dakota wrote them down in the ledger for paybacks later. Mom and Dad hung out today too, just enjoying the respite from the rain. Here’s hoping the weekend will be sunnier before the next rain arrives early next week.
The geese were observed standing by their former nest where eggs can still be seen. I am surprised crows haven’t plundered the remains of the goose nest although it is hard to tell if those leftover eggs are still intact. Mama Squirrel was not seen today either but her knothole palace still looks lived in.
BBC panned the cam to the pond again in hopes of repeating last nights spectacular views but Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating and the goddess Selene remained hidden through the evening. Maybe we’ll get a better view tomorrow night.
As for the excitement off the nest the area of the South where the Jordan Lake cam is has been pelted all day by torrential downpours. As of around 8pm this evening the area had received between 4 and 6 inches of rain. Added to the previous rainfall and storms this proved to be too much for the tree that the Jordan Lake nest is in. The right side of the nest dropped about 2 feet it looked like to me and both of their eaglets slid out of the nest over the course of an hour or so. It was a very sad thing to see on the archive video. The eagle nation came together to offer good thoughts and condolences to the mods and chatters at the cam.
A lot of speculation was voiced as to whether the eaglets could have survived the fall or perhaps be clinging to the side of the nest. From the pictures I saw of the nest it is between 80 and 100 feet off the ground. And it sits very close to a reservoir that fills up very quickly in storms like these. The nest is in a lodgepole or slash pine that has no branches below the nest. And they fell in the middle of a crazy driving rainstorm. I would have to say that barring an outright miracle the eaglets did not survive the fall. It is harsh to contemplate that for a lot of people but Mother Nature is a harsh teacher.
The statement was also made tonight that there sure seems to be a lot of trouble on the nests this year. I think that can accredited to the fact that we have so many more cams to watch these days. 5 years ago there were less than 10 bald eagle cams to watch on the net, the premiere one being Decorah. In those 5 years that have elapsed Bald Eagle cams and critter cams in general have exploded across the net mostly thanks to the success of the Decorah Eagle cam. And the Decorah cam has also had the best rate of success in fledging eaglets in those last 5 years. That is great but it has created a perception among the eagle watchers that every year and every nest should have great seasons just like Decorah. Well, instead of being the norm Decorah is the exception to the rule. All nests have their share of troubles. It only seems like we are seeing more this year because we have so many more nests to watch. And because we only hear the bad things that happen and never hear about the good.
Unfortunately, when we hear of something tragic happening like what happened at Jordan Lake tonight, it is immediate and right there in our faces thanks to the internet. But if you step back for a moment and think about things in a rational manner rather than an emotional one it is only Mother Nature taking care of her business, as usual. The statistics are debated but the rule of thumb is that only 50% of hatchlings in a given year make it to one year old. And only 10% of hatchlings in a given year make it to breeding age. This is Mother Natures way of ensuring only the strong survive and live to raise the future generations of eagles.
So, where does that leave us??
If some of you find it hard to watch these nests with the angst and heartache that watching nature in the raw might entail I have a suggestion for you. Please type in www.disneyland.com and go there. There are no tragedies, everyone is content and there are only happy endings.
If you do choose to watch, THINK BEFORE YOU POST! Some of the things I saw posted tonight were so far beyond the pale that I still have trouble thinking about them now.
Mother Nature is harsh and she is cruel according to our current sensibilities. There are winners and there are losers and we can’t save all of the cute little eaglets. I am sorry but that’s just the way it is.
Well, this is about twice as long as usual but there are things I felt needed to be said. I apologize if I offended some of you but we all have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I feel that if things keep going the way they are we are going to lose some of the cams that we love because the people who run them are getting tired of dealing with all the hassles of having a cam. I was really surprised when MNDNR brought the cam back up after the Snap incident.
Good Night and we’ll see you on the nest tomorrow.
PS: Now if my internet will only come back up I can get this posted and go to bed!