Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bald Eagle on Nest, Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper, Bumble Bees and more

The weather's been so beautiful, crystal clear blue skies, warm... I have been out everyday looking for birds. Several days ago I walked up to the Hinsdale bluffs above the Connecticut River, which looks down on the Vernon Dam.. During the past several months maintenance workers had cleared all the brush along the path - leaving little for birds. However a pair of Bald Eagles had built a nest last year under the canopy of a pine tree on the slope down-stream of the dam.

Breeding was not successful the first year but now the female was incubating a clutch of eggs - I say female since they do the majority of incubation although both sexes have brood patches. Much of the time you can't see the bird because it sits so low in the nest, but I was lucky as for a brief moment the eagle lifted her head:

The male often perches on a dead tree nearby but was nowhere in sight.

About a mile away upriver an Osprey pair was building a nest high on a power line tower. Here one bird is sitting on the airplane warning light. The scraggly sticks of the nest can just be made out on the platform under the light.

After a while the Osprey lifted off and circled overhead, then disappeared behind the tree line.

Other birds encountered on my walk:

A pair of Spotted Sandpipers

One of them had apparently caught something edible and was flying off with it as I approached.

American Redstarts (not much luck here with the pics)

Warbling Vireos

A Palm Warbler

And more Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers

A Baltimore Oriole posing on top of an Eastern Red Oak in the bright morning sunshine.

A flowering shrub at home was humming with bumble bees. Looking closely I had never noticed that they come in two colors

Red-tailed Bumble Bee

Northern Golden Bumble Bee 

I am going to be off on my annual trip to Germany to visit my mom and brother and sister. I am well supplied with Kindle books on my iPod Touch for the long journey: Anthill by E.O Wilson, The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason, and  for the night hours when I can't concentrate on anything else Nemesis, a thriller by Jo Nesbo which is supposed to be as good as the Stieg Larsson novels.

Good Birding!


  1. Looks like you had a great day. I especially like your shots of the Bald Eagle.

  2. Thanks, Harold. I am looking forward to seeing the fledgling(s)

  3. ...I love that eagle. I still get so excited every time I see one on a huge nest.

    Ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen und tollen Urlaub in Deutschland!

  4. beautiful pics Hilke. I'm jealous of your bald eagle and osprey shots ;-)

  5. Hi Hilke Nice photos. I love those bumblebee shots, and the eagle in his nest is great. What an exciting moment that must have been!

  6. Kelly, thanks for your good wishes, in perfect German to boot! I just got back, will have to post some photos from my trip.

    Thanks for your nice comments, Larry, Chris and Erica.

  7. All stunning shots, but the osprey is absolutely gorgeous! And the eagle - what an amazing sight!


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