We hope you are all happy and healthy!
As many of you may know, at our Scottsdale location we stop and look at a bald eagle’s nest and often get to see the glorious birds in flight.
What some of you may not know is that between January and April, the eagles are “nesting.” This means they have laid eggs and the baby birds are hatching and growing to fledgling age. During this time of year, Arizona Game and Fish has special “Nest Watchers” by each of the nests in Arizona.
The nest we stop at is known as the “Doca Nest.” During “nesting” we meet with the “Nest Watchers” with our adventurers to learn a little about what’s going on and some more in-depth information about the Southwestern Bald Eagle. The “Nest Watchers” camp out about 500 yards from the nest so they don’t disturb the eagles during this special time. They spend everyday (even in the cold and rain) out there looking through scopes and taking copious amounts of notes about what’s going on in and around the nest so that we have more information and can hopefully keep these guys off of the endangered species list.
Over the weekend in Scottsdale we had quite the storm. It rained for two days and the temperature dropped about 70 degrees in a 12-hour period. Due to this, one of the baby eagles did not make it. The happy family of four is now sadly down to three.
The “Nest Watchers” were devastated for a while. In normal situations, they would have seen that the baby eagle was in danger and would have climbed the tree and taken him in for treatment, however, the parents moved to a “stag” (a dead tree) about two years ago making the climb too dangerous for any person from Game and Fish. They have since realized that they were just watching nature in action and sometimes we just have to accept it.
The other baby eagle is suspected to be female and is still doing very well. She is practicing flapping her wings out on the branches of the tree every day and may soon get up enough strength, courage and coordination to fledge the nest. For her, it will be quite the journey to adulthood (about 4-5 years) – she’ll need to learn to hunt on her own, migrate and grow her white head and tail feathers, but with the bird watchers, we will know how she’s doing every step of the way.
Hopefully there was a message in there somewhere because we’re still a little upset that we lost the little guy.
Have a great week and happy trails!