Monday
Apr042016

Update: Please Read If You Have Questions

On April 2, Blair and Taylor were off the nest a lot. We did spot an eagle in the morning and it was neither Blair nor Taylor. The day before, there was an eagle spotted as well, perched high in an oak tree about one mile from the nest.

Many questions have surfaced as to why Blair and Taylor were off the eggs like they were. One answer “may” be to divert the attention of any eagle away from the nest. Something we could not see was going on. Taylor had some difficulty brooding with his broken toe from the February 18th attack. He was still healing and doing what he could and also trying to defend his territory and the eggs. At times, the behavior was strange to many of us, but there is usually a reason in nature for everything. It turns out there was good reason. Keep in mind; we can only see what is in front of the lens. So much happens off camera.

Some believe the new eagle to be a female. We DO NOT hold that opinion at this time. Some think there was an attack on Blair yesterday around 5:30. We believe that was simply the new male trying to land in heavy wind gusts. Blair was alerted and spooked a bit.

The Eagles4kids nest is not the only nest to have this happen. There has been other on cam instances of things like this happening. We are not alone. One could make a generalization that this has been going on since eagles have been around. We simply don’t witness it as often.

As for the new male we are observing, he may be the male we see here on out. One would think that Taylor would have been here if he could. He has been injured before and been away from the nest. There is some possibility of that if he is injured, but at this point it would be normal for him to fight to the end as well. If this male sticks around, he will likely be the one we observe next year too. We are not addressing naming at this point. The future is not a good thing to predict either.

Why did the new male do what he did? Over the years, I have learned from others and from reading. The best I can say is that he likely does not have a nest, or a mate. Eagles are “born” to procreate. Obviously, he needs both to do so. He gets both here, and a prime territory it seems as well. Again, the strong survive. He also wants to have his genes here and not another male eagle’s. What we saw does not make him a bad eagle, it is normal, even though our emotions do not allow us to see it that way.

If indeed this male continues here, it does not mean that other nest disputes will not happen. The population is very strong. So strong in fact, that disputes may be more the norm. Maybe it is nature’s way of balancing things out. If it is too hard to watch, please come back when you feel comfortable. The students are handling this, as I knew they would. They are awesome!!! Yes, they feel sad, and disappointed. But kids, they move on quickly and will observe like the previous 5 seasons.

We are not really experts here. There are some books for that. We are merely looking into nature’s window with two cameras. My team of people working behind the scenes has helped document time off eggs. Blair and Taylor have been off eggs for longer periods than people like to see. The question of eggs hatching was a serious one. As a matter of fact, eggs were left alone or not incubated on average of 166 minutes/day. Many of those were shorter times but nonetheless this is something important to note. One of the eggs appeared to have a chick inside as the male destroyed the eggs and contents. One appeared to have yolk type matter. I only say this as to add some facts behind our observation. Maybe it will help people in some way that worry about eggs and cold. Take it for what it is worth.

It is normal for viewers to have many emotions. As viewers, we need to accept the fact that this is nature. I know you all have heard that a lot here, but it is true. What will be will be. Here, or any other cam for that matter.

Facts: New male has taken over for now, and will likely stay. Blair is here and acting normally. Eggs are gone, and it is too late to have another clutch. I cannot state any fact about Taylor’s health after 7:30 on April 2nd. I can only say he has not been seen since.

I know I have probably missed something. You may have your own opinions about the situation here. These are my observations.

 

Sincerely,

Darrin Briggs – 3rd Grade Teacher and E4K Project Coordinator

 

 

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Reader Comments (13)

thanks for the info Darrin, give the kids my best - next year will be successful - I feel it in my bones, along with the arthritis LOL. Have a great day.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Thank you Darrin for the great update, insight and doing what you do. Much love to all and especially to Blair and Taylor at this time. Hoping Taylor finds his way to healing, strength and whatever his future holds. I just hope he is well...Have a great day!

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley Peck

Well said and thank you!!

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen M. Dahl Rigsby

Thank you so much for the information, Darrin. Getting the information from you will certainly help many people who were confused as to what had happened. You are spot on by saying this this is the way of nature. We don't like it, but it's not for us to intervene.

I am so glad to know the kids are handling this ok. You'v'e had experience in helping students through rough patches.

Thank you for all you do for the eagles, the kids and us viewers.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKathi

Darrin, thank you for giving us your clear perspective of current events on this nest site. Sometimes, we adults, need it spelled out more than the kids. We get too emotionally attached...easy thing to do considering the circumstances that have taken place on this nest over the past years. I think everyones is hopeful for a year with less drama and more positive results...so looking forward to next year.
Thank you for all your efforts.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Palmer

Thank you so much for caring and taking the time to try and explain what is happening. Love the kids and wish that they had had better luck this time. Like you have said in the past,"it is nature doing what it does."

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCookie

The kids today have so many amazing opportunities.
When I was a child I thought I would never see an Eagle, now I can watch them on my computer.
Great Teachers make all the difference.
Thank You for your contribution in your chosen profession.
These little people are our future.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Thanks so much Darrin for all of your input. It is very valuable as we all seem to be learning. It is hard for we humans to not have emotions. Even though these are wild animals, we almost feel as though they're a pet...but of course they're not. I've read that other sites don't name eagle pairs for that exact reason. Either way, named or not, it can be difficult to watch Mother Nature run its course. I've certainly appreciated all your updates and pictures as well. Time will tell...all in Eagle time. Glad to hear your students handled it well. They certainly are more resilient than adults most of the time...as seen in my own children in how easily they forgive and forget. See you at the nest.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Reilly

Wonderful article Darrin. We are all only visitors to these cams and nests and nature, and have to take the good with what we humans consider "the bad" (although there is not bad in nature...it's only a balancing act). We have learned so much about our eagles, and our journey will continue.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam Matthews

Thanks so much for the update and for all you do. Yes, kids are resilient and adaptable and I hand it to you for teaching them that there are some tough times in life but always the chance for a happy future. Best wishes as you go forward.

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSue

what Darren says makes alot sense and we can't complain about the good population of birds. It was a long time coming back!

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Hoover

Thank you for your thoughtful, well-said article. And, thank you and your students for doing this project.

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Very informative and Thank you. This should be shared with other groups that have incurred losses this season. As humans, we do attach our emotions on nature. Nature is not that way. We have been privileged to have cameras on nests and see nature unfold. We must take advantage of the lessons being taught to us by nature.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Keys

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