Today was a sort of fun day combined with a couple of errands. After coffee and breakfast we headed off about 3 miles from the park where there a pair of nesting Bald Eagles with their nest between a church parking lot and a horse farm about 50 yards from the highway. This pair has nested in this tree for the past 4-5 years and are nicknamed Ozzie and Harriet. There is a live webcam in the tree that you can click here to see Fort Myers Eagle Cam . They have a pair of chicks that are about 2-3 weeks old named Hope and Charity. We spent about an hour and a half watching them today; the parking area is about 50 yards from the nest.
Here is a picture of Ozzie as he jumped from farther up the tree to the nest to feed the chicks.
and here is a shot of him as he looked up from ripping whatever fish he was dismembering for their lunch.
Neil grabbed a shot of the horse in the field under their nest during a break in the action.
and shortly after this got a nice sequence as Ozzie took of, flew almost directly over our heads, circled a couple of minutes and then landed again.
All of the above shots were taken with the highway about 50 years to the left of the nest…so Neil finally wandered around the side of the tree with the highway behind him and got a nice shot of Ozzie sitting up watching for Harriet to return.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a decent shot of Harriet today; she was soaring very high over the nest most of the time we were there. Conversation with another birdwatcher at the viewing area (he comes there 5 days a week during nesting season) indicated that Ozzie was more of a homebody and rarely left the nest more than 10 minutes at a time while Harriet likes to soar very high and stays up for hours despite Ozzie calling her to come and watch the nest.
Neil is already planning another couple of trips down to take some more shots hoping he can get some clearer shots of both the adults as well as the chicks. Eagles mate for life and return each year to the same nest…this pair is expected to have at least another 10 years of active nesting here unless they abandon the location. He’s also seriously considering getting a longer lens for their Nikon DSLR…although the 18-200mm Nikon zoom they have is an excellent primary traveling lens it just doesn’t have the magnification needed for really good shots of far away wildlife.
Dinner was Taco Salad and beer at the Elks…Neil and Connie both say that the food is really good…and you can’t go wrong with dinner and a pitcher of beer for under 20 bucks. Connie went off to Bingo at the park afterwards…maybe she’ll win again. She won 34 dollars the other night at the Elks Bingo.