Edmonds Eagles 2018-2020

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Saturday afternoon (3-16-19) my son and I were driving south on Sunset Ave. when we saw an eagle circling ahead of us over Woodway. We drove up Pine St. to look for it. It had landed on one of the sentry trees near the nest and was calling for its mate.

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The mate responded and flew up to the tree where both birds engaged in a brief screech fest.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A friend reported that the Pt. Edwards eagles were sitting on eggs. Thursday evening (5-9-19) I checked up on the nest. I could not see an eagle in the nest, but one would not be visible if it is hunkered down over eggs or new hatchlings.

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The best indicator that an eagle was in the nest was its mate perched in the nearby sentry tree.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Due to health reasons, I have not been able to get out and photograph birds this spring and summer. After completing some errands Tuesday afternoon (7-16-19), I convinced my wife to drive Daren and me up to the Pt. Edwards eagle nest to see if the pair had offspring this year. We found two eaglets perched on a branch beside the nest. These photos were taken with the 1Dx + 100-400L telephoto zoom. If I feel up to it, Daren and I may return later this evening with the super telephoto setup for closer shots when the evening light is shining directly on the nest.

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These eaglets have about a month to gain full independence as our local eaglets typically depart the area in August, presumably to hunt spawning salmon in the rivers to the north. The adults usually return back here in early to mid October.

PS: Daren and I did return later in the evening to shoot more photos with the super telephoto set up. It will probably be tomorrow before I can process and post them.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
As I mentioned above, my son and I returned in the evening when the lower sun was shining directly on the nest. The brighter lighting allowed me to substitute my 7DII for a closer, uncropped reach than possible with the 5DIII that I usually keep attached to the 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter.

Both parents were perched on the two "sentry trees" across the street from the nest.

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One eaglet was up and about while its sibling was hunkered down in the nest.

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Even its flapping did not not disturb the reposing sibling.

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One adult flew off and the other flew up to take its place on top of the sentry tree. Adults are very good about sticking around to watch their over offspring from a nearby tree after the eaglets are too big to allow them and the adults to occupy the nest at the same time.

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Several times last year I photographed an adult accompanying the sole fledgling of 2018 to the marsh once the eaglet flew well enough to explore the area.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The eaglet kept flapping and jumping around the nest and branches.

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Its sibling finally popped up and jumped down to a lower branch, the location of which prevented me from getting both birds in a single frame.

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It was late anyway, so Daren and I headed home. I want to get back earlier in the day to see if these eaglets have already fledged.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Daren and I returned to the Pt. Edwards nest Wednesday afternoon (7/17/19) to check on the eaglets. One of the adults was perched in a tree halfway up Pine St., which led me to believe the eaglets might be nearby.

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Up at the nest, one of the eaglets looked as though it had not budged from the previous day, which led me to believe the eaglets have not yet fledged.

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A birder friend who lives in the Pt. Edwards condos sent me an e-mail to report the eaglets have indeed fledged. She saw them both perched in the "family tree" at the top of Pine St., now located behind the parking lot of the new condos.
 
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Terry O

Active Member
Great to get out with you, Bill and Daren! Thanks for the 'heads up.' I dropped by the nest this evening and the fledglings were calling for 'food'.
Since they were facing west, and it was dark and cloudy I didn't get any reasonable shots.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Several sources have reported that the eaglets have fledged. Even so, they are still returning to the nest, as evidenced Tuesday afternoon (7-30-19).

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One of the parents was perched in the family tree at the top of Pine St. The presence of the new condos below the tree has not bothered the eagles.

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My son took this photo from the passenger front seat of the pickup while I was driving.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thursday afternoon (8-1-19) saw the Pt. Edwards eagles in their usual spots. The male was in the sentry tree across the street from the nest. I had put all my photography gear back into the pickup and was able to take these shots with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter.

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The two "babies" were in the nest. A longer lens doesn't guarantee better photos due to the intervening foliage.

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The female was in a tree downhill from the new condos on Pine St. I ran into one of my bird watcher friends walking her dog on Pine St. while taking this photo with the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom. She said that she has seen the babies perched in this tree and on a nearby spar earlier in the day. Apparently the babies are flying around in the morning and returning to the nest in the late afternoon.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
If the Pt. Edward eaglets have fledged, they are not doing it while I am in the area. The two babies were at their usual location in the nest tree with one of them begging for food.

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Photo from the back (south) side of the nest.

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One of the parents, perched on the family down the the street above the new condos, ignored the baby's pleas.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Saturday afternoon (8-10-19) I finally caught one of the Pt. Edwards eaglets out of its nest. I had seen it flying and thought it was perched in the trees behind the gazillion $$$$$ houses that line the street where the nest is located. Much to my surprise it was perched on the gable of one of the houses about a block north of the nest.

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I set up shop across the street with the 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter + 5DIII.

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You can see in this close-cropped photo why a first year bald eagle is sometimes mistaken for an adult golden eagle.

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Periodically the eaglet would cry.

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Its parents, perched on the family tree down the street, ignored their offspring. The eagles will soon be leaving for a month or two to hunt spawning salmon. This may have been their way of telling Junior that he needs to start looking out for himself.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I wanted some take-off shots and was prepared to wait out Junior. There was one false alarm. The eaglet looked as though it was going to take off, but only changed positions on the gable.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
After perching on the gable for an hour and a half, the eaglet finally took off and headed west toward the Sound.

Going....

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Going.....

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Gone.

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I never did see the second eaglet, although I may have heard it reply to its sibling's cries from the trees east of the houses.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sunday (8-11-19) I drove back up to Pt. Edwards to check on the eaglets. One was perched in the sentry tree where it was shortly joined by its sibling.

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The bird on the upper branch did a little wing flapping.

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The above shots were taken with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter, which put me too close to get both birds in a single frame.
I went to the pickup to get the 1.4x III TC.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Both birds took off before I could swap TCs but they returned shortly. These shots were taken with the 1.4x III TC. One bird returned to the open upper branch...

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while its sibling returned to the lower branches.

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The 1.4x III TC still put me too close to get both birds in one photo.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I removed the 1.4x TC and shot with just the 500L telephoto. One of my shots (not posted) taken with the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom looked just as good, but I wanted to use the tripod mounted 5DIII + 500L so I could relax in my new lawn chair (a Father's Day present from my daughter) and shoot without looking through the viewfinder by using the cable shutter release.

Both fledglings continually called for their parents, who did not respond even though at least one of them was always perched nearby in the family tree up the street.

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As I was preparing to pack up and leave, I put the 2x TC back on the camera and took these closeups.

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The eaglet in the lower part of the tree had moved to another branch where it was barely visible from my position.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Pt. Edwards eagles are still in the area. Wednesday afternoon (8-21-19) I caught one of the babies screeching from the nest.

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By the time I got down to the marsh, one of the adults had flown up to the family tree at the top of Pine St. behind the new condos.

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By now the adults would have left town for two months to hunt for spawning salmon if they had not had babies. The eaglets have fledged, so it is just a matter of time before they all leave.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Friday afternoon (8-23-19) my son and I drove up to Pt. Edwards to check on the eagles. The eaglets were perched on the sentry tree near the nest.

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They took turns squawking for their parents.

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Their parents were perched on the family tree down the street and ignored the cries of their offspring.

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