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Archive for January, 2009

Potluck Scheduled for February 22nd

Volunteers!

Come celebrate our efforts at the annual Eagle Watcher potluck.

Where: Mt.Baker Ranger District Office, Sedro-Woolley
When: Sunday, February 22
Time: 4:00 pm

A-G bring salads
H-M bring appetizers
N-Z bring entrees

We will supply dessert and beverages.

Please RSVP to Lee

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Saturday in Rockport during Eagle Fest

Saturday in Rockport during Eagle Fest

Many cameras were capturing the scene on the Skagit during eagle fest, and happily the eagles cooperated. I had to laugh when Saturday at 9:30am a bird flew over Howard Miller Park and landed in the tree by the bridge ready for its shift as our “display bird.”

100_1_242

Corrine at Milepost 100

Things were just as smooth down at milepost 100, where there were 475 visitors on Saturday There was a carcass nearby, possibly a calf or deer, providing meat which the eagles were happily eating in trees on both sides of the river. One bird stayed right over the picnic area even when at least 40 people were there with huge cameras and scopes. Eventually things got too crazy and he took his lunch flew across the river where it was quieter. It seemed like festival attendees were all having a great time and getting to see birds up close.

I need practice photgraphing through the scope!

I need practice photgraphing through the scope!

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We knew it had to come sometime

Saturday: ra80 Sunday:ra40
Yep. We’ll be using the canopies this weekend. It is also the Superbowl so there should be plenty of parking at Howard Miller Park on Sunday.

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Newhalem to Marblemount: 26
Marblemount to Rockport: 32
Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 46
Total: 104

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Photo through scope shows a golden head.

Photo through scope shows a golden head.


I’m posting the most exciting news first: Some lucky visitors to the Upper Skagit during the 2009 Eagle Festival got a rare treat – a subadult Golden Eagle hanging around the Marblemount Fish Hatchery. Congratulations Judy Blount and Kathy Smith for making the first ID. Andrea Warner took these lovely pictures and showed them to Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group who guesses she is a female due to her large size. Besides perching and flying she spent plenty of time on the snow taking her turn at a carcass. Visitation at the Hatchery was about 200 people each day (including the official Eagle Fest Tour Bus!) so plenty of interested birders (–this definitely includes me and the EW volunteers–) got a chance to practice identifying this eagle who is more likely to be seen east of the Cascade Crest.
Note that the leg feathers go all the way to the talons. The subadult Golden also has a distinctive white band on the tail.

Note that the leg feathers go all the way to the talons. The subadult Golden also has a distinctive white band on the tail.


There were subadult bald eagles of various ages and an occasional adult bald eagle to compare and contrast – all right there before our scopes. And if we happened to get bored with that we could watch the crows bully the eagles, walk down the trail to see dippers, look in the ponds for goldeneye and mallards, or check the raceways for trout and steelhead. What a weekend!

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Jolt Update – A Sad Conclusion

Virginia sent another update today…

Dear Friends and Family,
Many of you have been asking about the eagle that Jerry rescued on January 4th. As you may remember, he found one dead adult and one badly injured four year old. Two fishermen had witnessed the two birds taloning down in a spiral and hitting a double electric line. The older bird died immediately. We took them to the Sarvey Wildlife Rescue center outside of Arlington and they named the survivor Jolt. They found no broken bones when they x-rayed him, but there were electrocution injuries on both wings. Each day, they changed the bandages on his wings and, in spite of antibiotics, the injuries continued to worsen. Evidently, the cellular structure had been severely damaged by the electrocution and daily, the cells broke down. It was possible that amputation of both wings would have been the only way he could have survived. Jolt was euthanized on January 17th. Sarvey sent his body on to the repository in Colorado.
I’m sorry to have such a sad ending to the tale. I had hoped to tell you about his release back into the wild. Sarvey did a beautiful job taking care of him and I encourage folks to support them when possible.
Respectfully,
Virginia Malmquist

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The National Weather Service has changed their prediction for this weekend since the last time I posted. Now the forecast is for a 30% chance of snow and a high of 40 on Saturday and sunny and 30 on Sunday. The temperature in Rockport is supposed to drop to 7 degrees overnight Sunday night. BRRRR!!!
Dress warm and beware of ice on the roadways in the mornings.

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