February 14, 2013

Eagles & Elephants

SDP 2-14-13
Time for an update on Ozzie and Harriet, the bald eagles nesting in North Ft. Myers. I visited the nest last Saturday and was pleased to see Honor (the first born) sitting up and looking inquisitive while papa Ozzie stood guard. Honor is just 1.5 months old and is nearly the size of his/her parents. Remarkable. I was told by other photogs on scene that Harriet had been away from the nest for hours and she was expected back any time. After well over an hour, Ozzie grew weary of waiting...

SDP 2-14-13
 ...and noiselessly took off for a nearby pond. The pursuit was on! Quiety, I walked as quickly as my feet would carry me, and another photog stealthily joined me. Ozzie was sitting at the edge of the pond resting, preparing to enjoy a drink or perhaps take a bath. But, we'll never know because after I snapped just a couple of photos, another photographer ran up making so much racket she could have been mistaken for a herd of elephants...and Ozzie flew away. (Nature Photography Etiquette 101: Do not scare the wildlife.)

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He went to one of his favorite perches: A tree 35-40 yards away from the nest. There, he basked in the late afternoon sun, no doubt wondering when his other half would return.

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When Harriet arrived, it was at sunset and without fanfare. She quietly flapped her way into the nest with most of us noticing just as she landed.  So, the pack of photogs packed up their gear and left.  But, I had a feeling I would miss something if I left, and I always go with my gut.  So, I stayed for another 10-15 minutes...the only photographer set up.  And, that's when I saw Harriet move something large and dark.  She had delivered something to the nest!  A shirt? (Well, it could be a shirt, I thought, since a plastic bag was in the nest recently.)  No...it was a mystery dinner!  Turns out those watching the live webcam lit up Facebook trying to identify the mystery meat.   It's difficult to discern through this photo, but I'm fairly certain it was a river otter.  Those eagles sure do have a diverse if not disgusting menu. 

17 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Well, they are eagles not humans so maybe otters are delicacies... Fabulous and thanks for waiting!

We are: clamco said...

I'm glad I wasn't tuned in when the mystery meal arrived. I think if I had any idea it was an otter, it would have bothered me. I love the shot of Ozzie by the water. He looks like he needed some alone time. I read that the other day there were a few disturbances from some other young eagles that were coming near the nest. Lots of drama going on! I've also noticed that the kids are starting to feed themselves. Flying lessons will be coming next I guess. Thank you for all the great photos!

Kate said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you! ....may you find love eternal in both familiar and unexpected places!

Lowell said...

You have an eagle eye! And great stamina. And substantial determination. And all those things paid off. Love this series. I think there's a river missing an otter who is probably thinking "I otter have gone a little deeper for my morning swim!"

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I was wondering what the title referred to SRQ, how annoying to have someone, who should have known better, come bumbling in. You definitely have one of the most important qualities of a successful birder..patience! Rewarding shots for the wait...an otter, oh my!!

RamblingRound said...

I am enjoying your eagle photo diary! How neat to be able to take your camera among them.

LONDONLULU said...

Much as I adore otters, that is a fantastic capture - your patience truly paid off. Wonderful continuing saga...and the mystery of your title is solved!

SFlaGuy said...

Sort of glad I missed that menu choice but I've seen a few other meals being shredded and devoured on the web cam. You are inspiring me to go back to my nature photography. And this time actually try and get better at it.

Leslie D. said...

This is so cool..big fan of nature in the raw. Speaking of which. Yum. River otter dinner.

LOLfromPasa said...

Yet again, these are fantastic. I endorse all said before me. Well done!

Irene said...

Awesome captures!

Lowell said...

Re your comment on Ocala: I'm afraid you're right. I'm scheduled to play golf Sunday morning but they're forecasting 32 degrees with 10-13 mph northwest winds. I think I'll stay in bed! :-)

Kay said...

That gives a whole new meaning to "cook's surprise!" The river otters I've seen seem much bigger than eagles, but I've only seen a couple, many years ago. Whatever they're being fed the youngsters are certainly putting it to work and growing like crazy. Great shots!!

Michelle said...

So great that you waited!

Jack said...

Superb, SRQ. I have really enjoyed this series. It is remarkable how fast they grow up. Hardly any time for the parents to save up for college.

TexWisGirl said...

how marvelous to see these beauties!

Filip and Kristel said...

Fantastic eagle shots.

Greetings,
Filip