Mission Statement

Bearing Witness to Local Natural History-- from the wildness of Indiana

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bald Eagles Incubate

For the 5th consective year, the Bald Eagles near my home are on the nest incubating. They began last Friday, February 17, 2012. Both adults have been busy renovating the nest for weeks. How many eggs are present?

Bald Eagles usually lay one egg  per day, but not always on successive days.  The clutch is usually completed in 3–6 days. The incubation period averages 35 days and hatching occurs over a period of days. So by March 23rd, the first egg could be pipping open. Both male and female incubate with the female serving the majority of the time.

If you are mesmerized by the behaviors and activities of nature, I recommend you tune into the fabulous Bald Eagle nestcam from Decorah, Iowa. This is a 24/7 camera with tremendous views of the eagle nest. They have 3 eggs present. http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

I wish a nestcam could be erected here in Morgan County to observe the activities of the Bald Eagle nest I watch from my home. Nestcams are a wonderful tool to involve the public in learning about wildlife and creating a connection. Although not the same as being outdoors and observing first hand . . . the nestcam does allow a  intimate and consistent connection.

Advances in technology allow us to peer into the daily lives of wildlife both night and day now. I have observed tree swallows nesting in my plastic gourds in the past. The behaviors and interactions were fascinating and revealing. This technology allows us to learn a great deal and dissolve some of the mystery about the breeding behaviors of birds. The key words here are "some of the mystery". There is still plenty of mystery. Without mystery . . . what is life?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Red-wing Blackbird Return!

Male Red-wing Blackbird singing     ©Joni L. James

Although a late post, January 30, was the date I heard my first Red-wing Blackbird at my home. This is a bird that I mark the winding down of winter. Their song fills the ponds where I live usually in mid- February, but the mild winter has them heralding it early. They are a benchmark wetland bird for me! Welcome back! And welcome back to me!