I got up at 5AM today, Earth Day, before the sun, so I could be on the road by 6PM. I made the 2 hour drive to the eagles nest site that I’ve been to each year for the last 3 years during nesting season. Minutes after I arrived at about 8:30, one of the local regular eagle watchers arrived. Ray, a guy I had met each of the last 2 years while watching eagles here. He informed me of some sad news. Ray said the locals believe that the baby eagles did not survive the heavy snow storm we had in the first days of April. After that heavy storm, the parents abandoned the nest for a while. After a little more than a week, they started hanging around the nest, and then started to add material to the nest again. (This is referred to as “nesting”, and it’s the precursor to mating.) He said they’ve been adding to the nest sporatically ever since, but that the eagles don’t stay at the nest for any length of time anymore. They bring a branch, drop it off, and fly away. Shortly after he told me this story, one of the eagles did exactly that. I got a few photographs of his visit, but that’s all for the whole day. The hope is that they eagles are “nesting” again, and may even mate again, producing more eggs. Let’s hope.
Shortly after the eagles visit to the nest, my dad arrived and I helped him get his camera setup. Then one of my customers from Calumet arrived too. We sat around for a few hours and the eagle never came back, so my dad and I left to grab some lunch.
On my way home, the weather was so nice that I didn’t want to go back to my apartment, so I stopped at a heron rookery in Joliet that I’ve been to before. It’s mating season for many more species of bird including herons and egrets, which populate this rookery in the hundreds or thousands during mating season. Well, it’s not quite at capacity I think, but there were quite a few herons, egrets, cormorants, ducks, griebs, geese, and a turtle. I got my best photos yet of a great blue heron while I was there. I had been sitting still on the edge of a small cliff in my camo and this great blue heron appeared from behind an island flying right towards me. He landed on a branch not 20 feet away. I don’t think he saw me until he heard my camera shutter, and then he flew away. Camera manufactures need to make a SILENT SHUTTER! 🙂 There was a cute little turtle sunning himself that I got some pictures of too.
So below is the link to todays photographs. I hope you like them. Now I have to prepare for tomorrows adventure. Investigating a new coopers hawk nest in a tree across the street from my best friends house!!! She said that today 2 coopers hawks were building a nest in this tree, and one of them did a low fly by not 10 feet from her, and at eye level. Cool!