Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I'm going to make PeeWee famous.  I absolutely adore this wolf dog!

 Mom perches in the shade against the wide part of the tree trunk overlooking her young eagles.
Junior is growing rapidly and soon will be leaving the nest for long walks out along the thick tree limbs to perch "out there" and investigate the world around him.  Little does he know that he will be the dominant being in any territory he claims for his own and he will own the sky.

 There is, however, a concern.  I've been watching two youngsters in the nest over the past couple months and recently I've only seen one.  I pass the nest almost daily and I haven't seen the second baby eagle in a long time.  I do fear the worse.

It may be that the second baby simply will not rise above the edge of the nest, although I find that odd because the sibling is constantly in view.  If she were alright why isn't she anywhere to be seen? 
 It is a known fact that sometimes the first born baby eagle will grow large quickly and become dominant to the point of pecking the sibling to death and pushing it out of the nest.  The adults will tolerate this action and will not intervene.  It's the way nature guarantees the fittest survive.  There are no classroom tests to see who will succeed and move on - no second place winners in nature.  This is a possibility hear with these babies.
The mother is very, very attentive to her chicks, or chick as the case may be.  She constantly walks around the top edge of the nest and bends forward to check on her babies.
If the presumption that one baby has met his end is not bad enough, there is more detrimental news.  Someone has purchased the ground that the eagle tree and nest are on and intends to build a house there.  This will end the residence of this eagle pair.  They will move away and not return as soon as activity around the property increases.  Its the same old story - habitat taken away from them and they are the ones who have to move on.  Its just how it is.  We, TWRA, are researching the federal protection laws to see which legalities pertain to this situation.  The US Fish and Game (feds) have been notified also.  Bald eagles are federally protected.  Its a shame these eagles have to be uprooted as they have produced offspring from that nest for the past 6 years and have delighted the residence of the area for as long.  Add humans and you lose habitat and with the habitat loss goes the critters and all that's left is another damn house.

I'll keep my eye on this situation for sure.  There is a very competent TWRA officer involved with this situation and I spoke with her tonight about it.  She will do all that she can within the context of the law to preserve these eagle's rights.
I stopped the truck a few miles away from Nance Ferry on the river to glass the water with binoculars.  I heard a not too familiar Bob White call.  It took me a while to locate the little rascal but I did.
 This is a Northern Bob White.  His call, "Bob White" is very distinct.  I've never actually seen one of these in Tennessee until today. 

 And yes, they have been shot almost into oblivion.

Had to get to the river to count anglers at Nance Ferry and Indian Cave.  Along the way I noticed a gobbler crossing a field.
 He was strutting around in front of some females until he saw a large flock of females above him at the top of the little hill he was walking up.
He took off with a flurry of feathers and the sound of wings moving a lot of air.  I wasn't expecting him to take flight.  
 Turkeys are powerful flyers and they move through the sky with grace and skill.

As soon as big bird landed, an entire flock of wild turkeys flashed into the sky from the top of the hillside. They were hiding in a fence line and I guess were startled by big bird's appearance.  Their flight was something to see and I could watch it all from my high vantage point.
 It's not every day I get to see turkeys take to the wing and it's really a treat to be able to see these enormous birds cast about through the sky high among the tree tops.  These birds flew tree top height and crossed a creek to land near good cover and habitat just beyond.  

It's been a pretty neat day. I'm discouraged to learn of the bald eagle's plight but we will look out for their well being as best we can.  They will survive but it will no longer be in that nest and tree.  A shame.