Sunday, November 25, 2012

THE EAGLE HACK TOWER AND GROUNDS

Today was a great day, as usual, but it started out shaky.  I woke up at 3AM to a cold house.  The outside air conditioning units were running but the thermostats both indicated that the temperature in the house was dropping.  Great!  I jumped back into bed and called Shade to come up on the mattress behind me.  She happily joined me and laid down behind me.  The warmth of her felt good on the small of my back.  I heard the deep breath and long sigh behind me and knew she was settled in back there.  I called the HVAC guy at seven and he was here at ten.  Inspection of the two units outside indicated they were both low on freon.  He checked the two heat pumps and discovered that they were installed without heaters in them.  That's ridiculous.  I had no auxiliary heat.  The thermostats were indicating auxiliary heat but the fans in the heat pumps were just pushing ambient air.  How anyone could be that stupid to install them that way is beyond me.  Must be government education.
Looks like there's a lot of fishermen on the water today.  "Tongue in cheek comment."
There wasn't one truck and boat trailer in the parking lot.  Only one truck belonging to a ramp lizard was parked over by the boat ramp.  Ramp lizards are guys who have no life and hang out at boat ramps just looking at the water and trying to talk to anyone who will listen.  My friend Paul assigned the term "ramp lizard to these people."

I was on the lake at noon.  The eagle hack tower that the American Eagle Foundation (AEF)  operates was just up around the bend on the lake and down a cove.  I was on the water early and decided to check out the tower.  I gained written permission from the coordinator of AEF to visit the eagle release tower to photograph any eagles that might be visiting there.  I ran up the lake a very short distance and entered a cove on the right.  It would take me to the AEF property.
I followed the cove until it narrowed and finally ended.
This boat is 22 feet long.  How do I turn around you ask?  Gotta be a professional.
Look how low the water is back here.  It normally is at the top of all that bare bank.  I hiked up the hill and found the tower.
I have heard of this secreted place for years and it was exciting to finally get to see it.  I touch nothing and only leave footprints and very few of them.  So - this is where the young eagles get their start.

The tower is quality built and everything is neat.  This speaks highly of professionalism.  It all reflects positively toward AEF.  Up there are the gates that release the nations emissaries.  
Congress should be kept behind gates like these with the locks in place and closed.  Impotent fools, liars and thieves!  The Bald Eagle is powerful and dedicated to one mate and will defend his territory (home) and mate at all costs.  Just like congress - huh?



The tower, out buildings and grounds were beautiful.  This is a righteous place to free the eagles at.
I noted no eagles in the vicinity.  I will, however, visit here frequently.  I'd love to photograph an immature eagle perched atop the tower from which he was originally released from.  I hiked back to the boat and carefully fenegeled my way out of the cove and down the shoreline.  It was time to start my shift on the water.  I noted eagles on the way.

It was the usual circumstance of shooting into the sun.  I didn't care about any photographic quality.  I wanted to catch the young eagles with their wings outstretched so I could see the wing tag, if any, that would say C 2.  I would enlarge the photos when I got home to see if any of them had that wing tag.

They leaped into the air well before I could get close to them.  The eagles were jumpy as of late.  I also notice that the majority of eagles I'm encountering are immatures.  Where are the adults?  These immatures are definitely coming onto the lake from places, probably from the North.  Many will leave in the Summer but, I hope some will stay.  Still the fact remains that I'm counting more immature than adult eagles to the tune of six to one.  It's great to see this but I wonder why.














   



An immature bald eagle circles and circles at a high altitude.  He is hunting.  He circles over the water.  Round and round he flies in ever widening circles.  I wouldn't want to be a duck or a grebe down here with that flying machine up there watching and waiting.
He flies so very high!  He is totally aware and sees everything down here.  He misses nothing.  He's hunting and watches the water closely for that one opportunity to power silently down to the surface and grab the unsuspecting.

If you click on the pictures you will see his head constantly bent down.  He's watching.  I checked the underside of his wings and there is no C 2 tag.



He comes in fairly close and then, without flapping a wing, soars almost out of sight only to return.  He must be able to see forever from that height.

He is a very young bird by the looks of his plumage.  There isn't much white on him.

Well, that's it for the eagles today and I only ran into two anglers.  The wind is up and the water is rough so that must be part of the reason there are no anglers on the water.

Tomorrow will put me in a new territory for me in search of elk.  I'll be participating in an elk survey and I'm looking forward to that adventure.  It should be interesting.  See you then I hope.