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Northern Channel Islands Nests 2011/2012; Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa & Anacapa Isles.
Topic Started: Mar 7 2012, 01:33 PM (3,707 Views)
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Helen produced this map as a reference for the places they talk about on Santa Cruz Island.


As you know All Eagles All The Time 2011/2012 is an Archival/History where videos and still captures, showing all the various stages throughout the year in the lives of all the eagles, on the nests with WebCams, are posted.

The Pelican Harbor (PH) Nest and the Sauces Canyon (SC) Nest are the only nests on Santa Cruz Island that currently have online cameras.

You can find out who is who at each nest by visiting the
Meet The Adult Pairs thread.

In order to follow the events happening on the Northern Channel Islands nests this season ... this thread has been opened and I will be posting the links to the Northern Channel Islands Updates, written by Helen, Don and the other IWS Crew members ... along with the photos taken by them ... so that members can easily access the current information about the nests.
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NEWS FROM SANTA ROSA


:clk: Santa Rosa Island Update. January 10-17, 2012 :clk:


Trap Canyon Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
Don: One of my main goals/tasks for the week was to try to get our monitoring camera functioning at the Trap pair's nest near Verde Canyon.
It is essentially impossible to monitor that nest without disturbing the adults unless we use a camera.

The day after arriving, and getting an ATV running, I headed out to the nest site to do a little scouting and see if the adults were around. At first no birds were in evidence, but then A-22 flew along the coast from behind and below me and settled in their favorite perch spot near the nest. She was soon joined by A-08.

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This is their nest. They perch just out of the frame to the right.
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But they have a good view of the nest from their perch, as you'd expect. Obviously I took this after they left the area.
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After a little while A-08 flew off out of sight to the west and A-22 took up a few different positions along the cliff edges before also disappearing westward. I think she mostly just wanted to taunt gulls.

The next morning and I got to go climb into, actually rappel down to, the Trap pair's nest and check on the camera. Many thanks to Renae and Ed of the Park Service for their assistance and making sure I didn't fall on my head.

What I expected to find was the camera off it's mount, but this is what the issue was.

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I think we need to buy the eagles some Windex. I have to assume the high winds (80+ mph at places on Rosa) last winter, when combined with moisture, was the culprit. Here's hoping this winter is a little better for clarity.

The nest looks great and ready to move into.

I spent the last full day on the island hiking the coast west of the Trap Cyn pair's nest. I had hoped to catch another sight of them, but no luck.




Lopez Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
Don: I headed over towards Johnson's Lee to check on our other known pair with the Lopez nest. I stopped up above Johnson's and managed to locate the pair.

I was able to verify that A-43 is still the female, after we both relocated closer to the water, but I have to assume for now that the male is still A-39. I never got a chance to see him up close.

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But then he left and she was in a location I could get closer to and read her tag
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I went back over to Johnson's Lee again, after the lens cleaning, hoping to observe some nesting activity, but all I saw was A-43 again, at about the same spot I left her last night.

Since the Lopez nest had partially collapsed last season I was really focused on finding out if the Johnson's Lee pair had a new nest built somewhere. With that in mind I headed back to the area again the next day.
I had seen the male fly to the west a couple of times on Wednesday, including the last time I'd seen him, so I decided to focus on that area.

Alas, I didn't see any eagles that day.

The last, and maybe, most interesting item of the week came when I went back to Johnson's one more time. I noted what I thought was an eagle flying up the canyon where the Lopez nest is. I found that intriguing so I went to have a better look.
Lo and behold, one of the birds was on the nest and gave every indication of doing nestorations.

Now, mind you, at least a third to half of this nest fell away last season when one of the main support branches broke and at least one young chick (that we know of) was lost.
If they actually reuse this nest it will be very interesting to see how it is supported.

I went down to the monitoring box for the camera we have set up at Lopez, after the bird had flown off, but I wasn't able to get a signal from it. I'm hoping it was just a lack of battery power, but even if the camera is truly down we can at least get some observation info of this nest from scope views.
They just aren't great views since the nest is somewhat obscured and we have to be a good ways off.




A-60 & A-17
I decided to head out to the west end. We had been getting GPS points for A-60, the Malva/Grassland chick from 2006, and A-17, his evil step-mother, from the area lately so I thought I should check on the situation.

At the Sandy Point area at the west end ... who do you think I saw?

Yep, A-17 and A-60. What a sordid little tale we have going on here, almost Shakespearean. They were perched together, ate together, and even trumpeted at each other.

Feeding on what I assume is an e-seal.
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Is it true love? Well, I guess time will tell.

We'll certainly be checking the west end for a nest the next few visits to Rosa.





(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date
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EXCITING DISCOVERY!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. January 31- February 8, 2012 :clk:


Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Helen: We found a pair using the Carl nest. >O<

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We were on our way further west, but I always like to stop and scan for activity. Lo and behold there was a white spot on the nest. We went closer and there it was, an eagle sitting there as if incubating.

We stayed and watched all day and were rewarded with the sight of a second eagle flying in and taking over incubating duties. The first eagle got up, the second went over, rearranged the egg, and settled down ever so gently. We could never see into the nest from our angle, but the behavior was unmistakable… there is at least one egg being tended to in that nest.

The only down side to the day was that we were unable to ID either eagle. The one that was there when we arrived had 2 blue tags, but the lighting and distance made them impossible to read. The second eagle had no tags at all, meaning it either lost both tags or came from the mainland. Hopefully we will be able to figure it out.

What we do know about this nest is that it was used in 2010 by K-11 and A-17, the Malva Real pair. It failed at the egg stage that year, and hasn’t seemed to be getting any attention since. The pair has been a bit of a mystery to us, as A-17 has clearly left and we have been unable to get a clear ID on the new female.

Dr. Sharpe did see A-35 in the territory once last year, so it is possibly her.

Finally, there was a camera installed before last nesting season, and if we are lucky we may be able to get it working well enough to record some footage of the nest. This would help with IDing the birds and be really nice to share on the forum updates. The camera systems take a lot of abuse from the elements and critters out on the island, and if it is damaged, we can’t fix it with the birds already incubating, so wish us luck. :X: :X:

Here are the photos of the nest:

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The first eagle. ......................Switching out........................... My view


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The second eagle, later in the day and a different angle. Rolling the egg






(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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FEBRUARY UPDATES.


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. February 8-14, 2012 :clk:


Don: I'd like to say things were as egg-citing on Santa Cruz as on Catalina this last tour, but things on the northern islands tend to happen a little later, except for the Malva pair it seems.
It's also quite possible some of the birds on Santa Rosa have eggs, but we won't know that until, hopefully, we get out there next tour. But fear not, it is still relatively early in the season. The Pelican Harbor pair doesn't tend to lay until a week from now anyway.



Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: One of the first tasks to take care of was finding out if the monitoring camera at the Carl nest could be made to work so we could check on the Malva pair.

Here is the “gut's” of the system. But there may be a problem. Dang varmints! :TF:
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Despite our best efforts we couldn't get things working. It is likely the cable is chewed through at a location closer to the nest, and considering the birds are already incubating we don't want to risk disturbing them to fix it at this point.

The pair certainly is incubating and we were able to verify the female is A-35.
The male does not have any tags, or portions thereof, that we have been able to see as of yet. And we haven't gotten a good enough look at him to see if he has a leg band. It would be pretty exciting if it turns out to be an eagle from “outside” the project, but it may be that K-11 just lost his tags. Just one more question to be answered.

Carl nest with incubation underway.
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Despite the camera being down we did find a decent spot far enough from the nest and hidden in the pines that will let us keep a pretty good eye on the pair. We can't see into the bowl, but we should be able to see activity that will indicate when the egg/s hatch and when the chick/s get a little bigger we should be able to see them.

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If the weather/seas cooperate Kim and I will be out on Rosa next tour and hopefully have an update on the A-17/A-60 saga. GPS data has shown them still spending time together.

We also hope to find the Lopez pair with eggs over near Johnson's Lee, and maybe the Trap Canyon Pair. Others?

Stay tuned, “Same eagle time, same eagle channel.” :)




:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. February 14-21, 2012 :clk:


Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Saturday: .. Amanda went to check on the Carl nest. She was happy to report that they are still incubating and attentive.

Here is a picture of the nest: Posted Image






(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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TRAP CANYON PAIR'S NEW NEST ~ BOTH KNOWN NESTS ARE INCUBATING!


:clk: Santa Rosa Island Update. February 21-28, 2012 :clk:


Don: As those of you know that follow the nest cameras, particularly at Catalina, the egg-rolling season is really starting to, well ... roll now.
In recent seasons the Santa Rosa birds have been known to get things started as early as the Catalina birds so Kim and I have spent this tour out at Rosa checking on the status of things.


Lopez Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
As you may remember, I was out here in January and noted that it looked like the birds over at Johnson's Lee (A-43 and, presumably, A-39) appeared to be reconstructing what was left of their partially fallen nest over near Lopez Pk.

They seem to have succeeded in the overhaul and are now incubating an unknown number of eggs.

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Unfortunately, the nest monitoring camera there is not working so we aren't able to monitor things quite as closely as we'd like, but hey, incubating is a great sign after last year's disaster ... and we didn't even have to find a new nest for them.



Trap Canyon Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
The other pair of note out here is the Trap Canyon pair so the next important task was to check on them.
I had cleaned up their nest camera last time out and hoped to find a bird on the nest this time around. Fortunately the camera was still clear enough to see the nest, but no bird on the nest yet. However, I did find both the birds nearby which was a good sign, but what are they waiting for?

Here is one of the two.
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It's a big island and there were other questions to answer so eventually I left them, for now.


We decided to make another check of the Verde (Trap Canyon pair) nest the following day, with Kim going to a lookout (“Limepoint”) to the east of the nest canyon while I tried the nest camera again. The view through the lens was getting almost useless again, but I was fairly certain no one was on the nest.

Kim confirmed this when she saw the two flying around between our positions.
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I'll save you all the details, but it turns out we aren't (just as well) going to need that camera anyway.

Now we know what they are up to.
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And even though there isn't a bird on it in the pictures, it had gotten startled off when Kim came upon it, they are incubating.

We can't see into the nest bowl so for now it's another mystery as to how many eggs they have, but we are very happy to have found it. And don't worry, the bird was back on the nest within 5 minutes of Kim finding it.




A-60 & A-17
I went to the Orr's Camp area since we thought, if A-17 and A-60 were going to do something, they might do it in nearby Garanon Canyon. Kim was out on the west end of the island also looking for these two.

We found A-60.
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Well, that accounts for A-60, but what of A-17?
Turns out she's been over on Santa Cruz of late so we, still, aren't sure what is up with those two. However, the latest point we've gotten for her shows her back on Rosa's west end, and there is still plenty of time in the “nesting season”, so stay tuned.





(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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SCI: NEW NESTS ~ NEW PAIR AND A NEW CHICK!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. February 28 - March 6, 2012 :clk:


Helen: This week has been a bonanza of eagle excitement, full of discovery, and is quite likely my very favorite tour ever!

Wednesday: It was a full crew this tour, with Maria coming out to assist us, Dr. Sharpe out to work on cameras, and of course Amanda and myself as usual.
While Dr. Sharpe and Maria worked on the cameras, Amanda and I went to the west end of the island. She was surveying near the shore and I had decided to check on an area that A-64 seemed to be frequenting quite regularly according to GPS.

It was up near the North Ridge so I hiked up a side ridge until I could get a visual of the point.

This is what I saw:
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Yup, you saw that right! I couldn’t see the tag at the time, but we later confirmed that it was A-64’s nest. >O<

The spot where I had hiked up was way too close though, so I hiked to a new location and Amanda joined me so we could both watch the new nest.
At first it was just one bird sitting, apparently incubating, but soon a second one arrived. They called to one another, they preened, and they even :wub:

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But who is the elusive female that has captured A-64’s heart? Go ahead and take a look:
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In case you had any trouble reading that tag, it was A-49. Yup, our own
Princess Cruz has finally settled down to raise her own family.

I wish the young couple the best of luck, and look forward to tracking their progress. And in case anybody thinks it is wrong that they are related, remember they don’t know that. Maybe they just recognized the royalty in one another. :P

A-49 and A-64’s nest is going to be known as the Fraser Point Nest, since it is that area of the island.




Willows Anchorage ~ Santa Cruz
Thursday was pretty quiet after such an exciting start to the week. We focused on the Willows pair, surveying from a few different point along the south shore.
Maria went to Willows Anchorage, while Amanda and I went to points further east. I spotted a pair on and off for a few hours, and even thought I might have seen some :wub: on the far side of a cliff.

Friday: This was another really exciting one! I had Maria and Amanda go to nearish points along the coast, so they could alert me to eagle activity and I hiked down to the area I had seen the Willows Pair the previous day.

Just guess what I found! They have built a nest all the way over to the east of the navy site where we stay. This nest will be known as the Los Piños nest .

The birds aren’t incubating yet, but here it is ...


......Naked eye....................... Zoomed a little.
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...Empty nest....................................A-45...............................A-51 & A-45




Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
The only low point of the day was finding out that the camera system in the Carl nest won’t be functional this year.
Dr. Sharpe hiked out to check on it and whatever is wrong is too close to the nest to repair while the nest is in use.

Monday: Amanda went to check on the Carl nest, and she saw a chick!
Sorry no pictures, it isn’t even poking its head above the sides of the nest yet. It is only visible occasionally through the branches. What an early hatching!






(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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SEARCHING FOR THE OTHER ADULT PAIRS/NESTS ON SC & ANACAPA ISLANDS


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. February 28 - March 6, 2012 :clk:


Helen: Saturday: Dr Sharpe left Santa Cruz Island, but instead of heading right back to Catalina, he joined a park service group headed out to West Anacapa. The hope was that Sunday or Monday he could get onshore to check the nest there.


Oak Canyon ~ Anacapa Island
Helen talked with Dr. Sharpe, and while he wasn’t able to go onto West Anacapa, he did see the Oak Canyon pair from the boat.
Hopefully their continued interest in last year’s nest sight means they will be incubating soon.

Oak Canyon pair near nest.

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Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Amanda and I went out in the boat to check on the Frys Pair and the Cueva Pair.
The Hazards birds appear to have built a new nest in the same tree as last year’s nest, but approximately 5 feet higher up.

Here are the pictures:
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The pair perched on the coast.

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Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
The Frys Pair were seen perched separately, but then they flew into a tree where they perched together for quite a while. They are clearly not incubating yet, so we are not sure yet if they are using the nest they built (but didn’t use) last year or not.

A-24 perched alone.................Frys Pair perched in tree.

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Smugglers ~ Santa Cruz Island
Sunday: Amanda, Maria and I all went out in the boat to check on the Smugglers Pair, A-57 & A-58. The GPS points for both birds showed them using one canyon consistently, as well as coastal cliffs. We dropped off Amanda to survey the canyon and boated up and down the coast looking for eagles.

Amanda didn’t see anything on her survey route, but we did spot the pair eventually on the coast just east of Smugglers. They were perched on either side of a canyon mouth, and didn’t appear to be incubating yet, but we weren’t able to watch them long enough to be positive.

The canyon
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.......... A-57...................................... A-58








(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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TWINS ON THE CARL's NEST!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. March 6-13, 2012 :clk:


Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim: Don and I each checked the Carl nest at either end of our tour.

This pair is among the earliest nesters we have had on any of the Channels Islands. I found TWO chicks on the nest, estimated to have hatched around March 3rd!

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Don returned late in the week to find a couple of quickly growing bickering “toddlers.”


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Fraser Point Nest ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim: We hiked up to see the newly discovered Fraser nest and check on the beloveds A-49 and A-64.

Here is their home turf at Profile Point.
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A major milestone, this pair is the first of our second-generation natural-born nesters.
A-64 patiently incubated for the duration of the survey period. Off nest briefly to "stretch his wings" before resuming position. A-49 showed up in the area mid-afternoon to check in.

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I returned to the Fraser nest at the end of the week, where, when I wasn’t in a fog, found A-49 tending her egg(s).




Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
We checked on the Los Pinos/Willows nest nearly every afternoon/evening. Located not far from housing, this nest received the special attention of our frequent ever-curious gaze. We struck out three days with an empty nest and no eagles to be seen anywhere. Late one evening Don did see the pair at the nest.

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A fifth night, Kim saw one of them at sunset circling high but came and went from the backside of the ridge that the nest is on. Isn’t it time this pair get serious about nesting?



Vehicle repairs are always a hair trickier on a remote island. After mechanical failures during a boat outing last tour, we were left boatless this tour. This means that the last two nests to check require a 4-6 hour hike over and down and up again to the North Ridge, rather than a 30 minute walk from/to the beach.


Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
A-24 was seen preening in the nest tree before departing for the water. GPS data shows A-46 taking frequent trips to the nest area so we are hoping they too will soon be among our newest nesting pairs.

Here is an empty nest (centered) after she departed.

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Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Meanwhile, Don made a similar journey over the North Ridge to the Hazards nest. He appropriately came up with a team motto during his excursion. “We slog where eagles soar.” :<<o>>:

He found the pair in the nest area. But they aren't incubating yet. Though A-00 visited the nest. They are historically late nesters.


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(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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TWINS ON THE LOPEZ NEST!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. March 13-16, 2012 :clk:


Helen: This week Amanda and I went to Santa Rosa Island for our tour.
It was fun and exciting because we got to check on both the Lopez and the Verde nest. It was also a short tour. With weather forecasts showing heavy rains and high winds, enough to trap us inside and make roads impassable, we decided to leave the island early. So here is the update, short, but sweet …



Lopez Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
Although we arrived on the island Tuesday, we only had time for short surveys then and didn’t see any eagles, so the real excitement began on Wednesday.
Amanda and I went to check on the Lopez nest and when we got there we were pleasantly surprised. There was an adult at the nest, and at first we couldn’t see much else. Then it shifted a little and what was there… 2 chicks. ^"^ ^"^

They were cute little balls of gray fluff still, but able to hold up their own heads and even show a little bit of sibling rivalry. The heat waves and distance made them hard to see clearly, but our guess is that they were just over a week old.

Here are our pictures, unfortunately a little blurry and far away:

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........One Chick................................ Both

Adult sitting back down over chicks.

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Trap Canyon Nest .. aka Verde Nest .. ~ Santa Rosa Island
Thursday we checked on the Verde nest.
It is a hard to view nest, mostly because it is under an overhang and aimed out at the water.

From the west, it is not visible at all. From the east, you have to sneak up to a viewpoint that peeks up over a small ridge. We checked it as a team, with Amanda acting as lookout to the west while I crawled in from the east. I was able to get a visual on the nest, but I couldn’t see any eggs or chicks. It might have just been my angle, since the back of the nest was obscured, or there might have been an egg buried in all the fluff.

What I can say is that the birds spotted me just before I reached the viewpoint, and they acted as if it was an active nest. They circled and called as I left, and then returned to the nest. Unfortunately, since they took off just before I got there, I couldn’t tell if there was incubation or not.

The Nest.
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The parents circling.

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(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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ANOTHER NEST PAIR INCUBATING!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. March 20-27, 2012 :clk:


Don & Kim: As most of you know already, things out here on the islands are now well into the nesting season. So much so that we are spending most of our time checking on nests, eggs, and chicks. While we may not be doing as much searching and pair chasing, and things settle into a little more of a routine, it's great to see what is looking to be our most productive season yet.

We had a late arrival to Prisoner's Harbor since the boat went to Santa Rosa first, but we managed to see 3 eagles from the boat. Not too bad before even setting our feet on the island, but they were all a bit too far away to see tags on. However, we can be fairly certain, based on their locations (and known perch preferences), that one was a member of the Cueva pair (A-16 or A-00), another a Fry's pair member (A-46 or A-24), while the third was a juvenile (A-70 based on GPS data) near Lady's/Baby's Harbors.



Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: Wednesday I went to Hazard's to see what the Cueva Pair .. A-00 & A-16 .. were up to.

I was able to see both the Cueva birds. A-16. .. Posted Image

And best of all, A-00 on the nest incubating! ... Posted Image

I wasn't able to see if it was one or more eggs, but for now it's enough to know they have at least one. :)




Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim: Wednesday I headed to check out the Fry's Nest ..A-46 & A-24

The pair was well in evidence, visiting the nest and even mating on a couple of occasions. Promising signs of, hopefully, eggs to come.

A-46 in the nest tree as A-24 flies in from the lower left.
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Both at the tree.

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Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Due to our late arrival we really only had a chance to check on the recently discovered Los Pinos nest (of the old “Willows pair”, A-45 and A-51).
It took a little while, but eventually they showed up and spent some time “nestorating”, so no eggs..., yet.

Posted Image

Saturday: I/Don also had my own sighting of the Los Pinos pair later in the day, after my return from the Carl nest.

A-51 at the nest and A-45 down low by the water. No eggs yet, but when I left them they were busy working on the nursery so I expect that to change soon.


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Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
It was my turn to go check on the Carl nest and it was really nice to see how much the chicks had grown since last tour. And they hadn't killed each other either!

First the male was sitting with them. But then he left them “home alone”. Not to fear, mom soon arrived. And she was nice enough to feed them, even if it was just “nest-overs”.

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It's really great to see this family thriving, especially given the long distance they set up house-keeping from the water. Here's wishing them continued success.




Smugglers ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: Monday .. I headed over Montanon Ridge towards Smuggler's.

Apparently we weren't the only ones enjoying the day as the eagles decided to have a group soaring event. Kim and I both got to watch them from our respective sides of the Ridge, and while they were a bit too high to see really well, it was pretty amazing to see 6, from my side, and 7 from Kim's, all soaring together.

Eventually it all settled down and these two, the Smuggler's pair I suspect .. A-57 & A-58 .. relaxed on top of Yellowbanks, just east of Smuggler's.


Posted Image





(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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TWO MORE NEST PAIRS INCUBATING!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. March 27-April 3, 2012 :clk:


Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Helen: On Friday Maria checked on the Hazards nest, which is still incubating.

Posted Image



Fraser Point Nest ~ Santa Cruz Island
Wednesday: Maria and I went out to the Fraser Point nest to see how A-49 and A-64 are doing with their egg.
We were a little worried, because GPS has shown that A-64 isn’t spending an awful lot of time at the nest. So when we got to the nest (and the fog finally cleared) we were especially excited to see A-49 behaving as if the egg might hatch soon.

The Nest.
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Maria checked on the Fraser Point nest again to see if the egg had hatched. She thought from behavior that it probably had, but wasn’t able to see a chick. So fingers crossed that Kim will have good news for us this coming tour :X:

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Video by the IWS Crew:
Fraser Nest



Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
Helen: I checked on the Fry’s nest and I’m happy to announce that they are incubating.

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Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Tuesday: This week our transport arrived at the island earlier than usual, which meant that we had some time to check on nests.

I hiked out and checked on the Los Piños nest and was thrilled to find them incubating!

This nest is A-45 and A-51, formerly known as the Willows pair. When I arrived, A-45 was at the nest and partway through my observations he switched with A-51. Here’s a picture, but it is pretty far away:

A-51 incubating with A-45 perched on a nearby cliff.
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Wednesday: Amanda checked on the Los Piños pair from a better vantage point. They are definitely incubating.


Posted Image.......Posted Image



Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Maria and Amanda went out to check on the Carl nest. Boy do those chicks grow quickly!

Here’s a few pictures of the nest:

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Friday: Amanda checked on the Carl nest again… gosh they grow quickly.

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(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

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SO .. WHAT'S THE NEWS FROM SANTA ROSA ISLAND?


:clk: Santa Rosa Island Update. April 3-6, 2012 :clk:


Lopez Nest ~ Santa Rosa Island
Don: I started off this tour going out to Santa Rosa Island while Kim covered Santa Cruz.
Since my main objective was to check on the Lopez nest and the Trap Canyon pair's new nest I headed out to Lopez soon after arriving on the island.

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A-43 was perched near the nest and A-39 was in attendance of at least one chick at the nest, though it was very hard to see into the nest, since much of it is hidden within the “tree”. It is quite possible another chick was hidden out of view, but I couldn't confirm it at the time.

Posted Image.......Posted Image

Given the inconclusive nature of my visit, re: the second chick Helen had seen on the previous visit to Rosa, I headed back to check on them again the next morning.
Again, one of the adults took up a vantage point a bit up-slope of the nest and another was at the nest with the chick (s?), but again I never saw a second chick. So it seems that we have either lost one of the chicks or it is just shy and hanging out towards the back of the nest.

Let's hope for the latter. I guess we'll find out for sure when banding takes place in early May.


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Trap Canyon Nest .. aka Verde Nest .. ~ Santa Rosa Island
After Lopez I headed over to check on the north shore nest of the Trap Canyon pair .. A-08 and A-22 near Verde Canyon.
Unfortunately this nest is impossible to see without disturbing the birds and all my best belly-crawling reptilian impressions still spooked the birds before I could tell if one of them was even at the nest and incubating or...(?). I only got to see one perched above the nest.

All I could tell was that the nest looked empty of eggs or chicks.

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Helen had a similar result on her last visit, but obviously the adults are still hanging out there and were very defensive. There was also what looked like fresh prey in the nest which left me with an unsettled feeling. Hmm..., must go ponder this for a bit. :pacing:


I had one more morning to fill before flying off the island, hitching a ride on one of the Park flights so I could go over to Santa Cruz the next day and put our boat back in order.
So I headed back over to Verde again to scratch that bothersome itch in the back of my brain.

Again I failed at my “Ninja-crawl”, but at least this time I did see one of the birds perched at the edge of the nest, very briefly. Then they took up telling me to get lost again.

Posted Image ..... Things were looking much as they did the previous visit ..... Posted Image

… and I wasn't enjoying being the object of so much displeasure, despite the photo ops. Posted Image

But there appeared to be even more prey in the nest this time?!?

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Had to move around a bit more even though I didn't want to spend any more time there than absolutely needed..., and then... :)

.................................Posted Image ... Only saw the one, but maybe another one hiding?

We'll leave them be until the Lopez banding.








(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

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AND ... WHAT'S THE NEWS FROM ANACAPA & SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS?


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. April 3-10, 2012 :clk:


Kim: Another week into the 2012 breeding season has passed with quite a few new developments to share with you, including several highs :D and disappointingly a couple of lows. :(

This week we had the good fortune of being able to check in on all 11 known pairs across 3 islands!

Don spent the first four days on Rosa checking on our two active nests there (Check out the Rosa Update for more on that.) Our long awaited boat part finally arrived at the mainland so Don was able to pick up the part and join me on Cruz for the latter half of the week.

( The PH and SC nests are included in this total.)



Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim checked on the Hazards nest, where things were quiet as A-16 diligently persisted in her incubation duties.

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Fraser Point Nest ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim: The week started off well when I headed off to the west end in order to get a confirmation that A-49 and A-64 did, in fact, have a chick.

The nest tree is such that it is difficult to see into the nest bowl from an adequate distance. All of the behaviors looked promising - hours of perching on the nest by both adults, defensive behavior when the ravens flew by, what appeared to be a feeding in the nest bowl, and short stints of A-49 settling into the nest bowl.
Finally I crept along the North Ridge for a better angle and caught a brief view of a little grey bob before A-49 settled in again! :><:

A-64 (perched in tree) on duty with A-49 (on nest) for the afternoon.
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On the last full day of our tour, we have some very disappointing news. Don checked the Fraser nest for a second time of the tour. A-64 was seen at the nest for several hours ... and then he flew off for the coast.

Upon further investigation, the nest was disappointingly found empty. A-49 and A-64 made a valiant attempt this season. We wish them greater success in the future.


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Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
Friday, I hiked to the Fry’s nest and was happy to see A-24 and A-46 each taking a turn incubating. A-46 was one of the busiest homebodies I have ever encountered with his endless “nestorations” while managing to keep the “bun(s) in the oven.”

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Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Thursday: The day took a turn downhill quickly when I arrived at the Los Pinos viewpoint to find an empty nest and no eagles in sight. Bummer.
We have followed this closely bonded pair for a few years now, hoping they would settle into “family life.” They failed early in their incubation so there’s still hope for this season as well as the years to follow.


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Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
On Thursday, I checked on the Carl nest. It is amazing how fast the chicks grow at this stage! ...but you already know that if you’ve ever watched the web cam through a season. Winds were gale force or nearly so, but the chicks seemed not to mind. A little wing flapping showed the primaries already starting to grow.

On the last day Don checked the Carl nest where the adults, A-35 and mate were found still attentively attending to their two eaglets.


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Oak Canyon ~ Anacapa Island
With the boat in good working order, we had the good fortune of a great boat day to follow. We had our first check on the Oak Canyon pair on West Anacapa Island since Dr. Sharpe's visit in early March.

We found A-21 on the cliffs near the nest.Posted Image

He flew to a tree near last year’s nest, where we saw a female (blue tags but not confirmed – A-11 from last year?) stand up and reposition! :><: Based on what we saw, we are guessing that they are probably incubating or have a very young chick(s) at this stage.


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Smugglers ~ Santa Cruz Island
We have spoken little of the Smugglers pair this season as they seem to be enjoying a “double income, no kids.”
We have GPS on both of them so are able to monitor them fairly effectively from our office chair. Nevertheless it is always nice to get a visual of eagles doing what eagles do… like perch.


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.......... A-58.......................................... A-57






(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

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APRIL UPDATES CONTINUE ...


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. April 10-17, 2012 :clk:


Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Sunday: Maria hiked out to check on the Hazards nest. They are still incubating, and she saw both parents.

Sorry, the heat haze was so bad that no close-up pictures came out, but here is the naked eye view of the nest.


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Fraser Point Nest ~ Santa Cruz Island
Monday: Maria checked here but there was no activity around this nest.



Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
Sunday: Helen hiked down to check on the Fry’s nest. They are still incubating too.
A-46 was on the nest the whole time I watched, egg-rolling and incubating and just generally being a good daddy :ok:

A-24 visited twice, watching over the nest from nearby perches. What a protective mommy she is!

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.....A-46 on nest......................A-24 watching over nest




Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Wednesday: This was our first rain day. Maria braved the weather to check on the Los Piños nest. The pair flew in the area for a while, but never went to the nest.

Thursday: Maria was back out to check on the Los Piños nest. This time she saw both birds come to the nest, nestorate a little and even :wub:
Who knows, maybe they will make a second nesting attempt :X:

..... Posted Image.......Posted Image
The pair sitting on the nest......... After :wub:


Saturday: Helen .. went out to check on the Los Piños nest again, but only saw the pair visit the nest for about fifteen minutes.

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Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Tuesday: Maria went to check on the Carl nest. Those chicks just keep getting bigger and bigger!!!

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Monday: Helen hiked out to the Carl nest and oh my gosh… They are HUGE ^"^ ^"^

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... A-35 and chicks................. Wingercizes.








(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

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ANOTHER NEW CHICK!


:clk: Santa Cruz Island Update. April 17-24, 2012 :clk:


Cueva Valdez .. aka Hazards Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: We headed out to check the Hazard's nest of the Cueva pair since it was about due to have a chick.

A-00 welcomed us to his domain ... Posted Image

A-16 was busy on the nest with their new chick! :^: Hopefully we can get some better pictures on a later visit, but this nest is harder to see than last year's which was lower in the tree.

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Fraser Point Nest ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: I went out to the Fraser Point area, kind of hoping to see if A-49 could be accounted for. I wasn't disappointed. :)

Yep, they seem to still be together. A-49 and A-64.

Posted Image.......Posted Image.......Posted Image



Fry's Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
We managed to get the boat out and check on the Fry's nest of A-46 and A-24.

A-46 standing watch ..... Posted Image

A-24 on incubation duty ... Posted Image

Still looks to be just one egg, but there could also be one hidden in the bowl lining.
It wasn't expected to have hatched yet so we were perfectly happy just to find it still being actively attended to.




Los Piños Nest .. aka Willows .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Don: The day we arrived Kim went down below the Navy Site hoping to see the Los Pinos (formerly Willows) pair making another nesting attempt, but no such luck. Though we haven't given up hope quite yet.

Kim checked on Los Pinos for activity once more on Monday. No sign of them, but still hoping.




Malva Real .. aka Carl Peak Nest .. ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kim checked on the Carl nest where the chicks just keep getting bigger and bigger. They get their wing-bling this weekend!

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On Monday Kim did one more check on Carl nest just to make sure they were well. They were and Helen, Maria, and Dr. Sharpe, and climber Jim too (I believe), we'll be paying them a more “intimate” visit soon.




Oak Canyon ~ Anacapa Island
Sunday, since the seas were nice and flat we headed over to check on the Oak Canyon pair on Anacapa.

Posted Image.......Posted Image

From what we could see of the bird on the nest they are still incubating. We caught sight of the other adult as we arrived near Oak Canyon, but we decided to focus on the nest and when we went to look for it later it had moved out of sight. So for now all looks promising at Anacapa and we'll try to check on them again as soon as feasible.



Kim and I, and Dr. Sharpe, will be headed for Santa Rosa next tour to do the Lopez nest banding and check on the status of the Trap Canyon pair's Verde nest/chick(s?). It's that time of the year. :)






(Pictures courtesy of Don, Helen, Kim and /or IWS Crew)

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)

For complete update and lots more pictures, click on the date.
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