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Santa Rosa/Cruz Island Update; May 15-22, 2012
Topic Started: May 24 2012, 11:58 AM (2,040 Views)
IWS Crew
Advanced Member
Hi folks,

Well this was another tour with eaglet banding; tis the season. Dr. Sharpe, climber Jim, and I (Don) headed out to Santa Rosa, while Kim went to hold down the fort at Santa Cruz.

The first day was largely taken up with travel to our respective islands, but I did get a chance to get out and check the Lopez nest and our recently banded A-79. Sorry, I didn't take any pictures this time because the light and distance makes for very poor pictures, but A-79 looked very well, “wingercizing” and looking ready to take flight soon, and one of the parents stopped in to show that they are still taking good care of their youngster.

But on to this tour's banding at the north shore nest of the Trap Canyon pair, A-08 and A-22. Jim got to do a little cliff climbing this time around. I think he enjoyed the change from all the tree nests. :)
The north coast, looking west.
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(by Dr. S)

And the nest location. (The circle to the right is one of the pair's favorite perches and near their previous nest.)
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Jim gives it a little perspective. (see the adult flying above?)
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When we arrived the chick was doing a little exploring of the ledge outside of the nest. Someone is feeling ready to move into the big bad world perhaps?
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But you have to be careful when leaving the nest, there might be “monsters” about. “Hey, what's that down there?” :(
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“And why is it coming this way?!?”
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“Eek!”
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Jim doing his magic...
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IWS Crew
Advanced Member
… and maybe a little “sweet-talking” too.
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Though I don't think it went over too well when he got “grabby”.
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But he, as usual, had the situation well in hand.
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Nice job, Jim!

Here is a video of the capture process.
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(by Dr. S)

And a short one to show the proximity of the nest to the water.
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(I was stationed near the water's edge during the capture just in case the bird decided to try fledging (and swimming) a little prematurely.
(by Dr. S)

The adults were present, as is often the case, and voicing their disapproval.
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Though A-22 did go settle in one of their regular perch spots after awhile to leave A-08 to berate us.
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(by Dr. S)

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the banding as I had my hands full.
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(by Dr. S)

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IWS Crew
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Then it was time to return the newly annointed A-80 to (most likely) “her” nest.
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(by Dr. S)

“I'll never go out on that ledge again!”
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(by Dr. S)

“I love my nest. No “monsters” in here.”
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And with that, and a couple of more pictures, we said goodbye to our friends on the north shore. We wish them well.
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(by Jim S.)

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There was a little more exploring on Rosa before we departed the next day. Dr. Sharpe found another red-tail nest over in the Torrey Pines and I dug up this nest over near Wreck Canyon, perhaps a raven nest, but it was very empty.
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IWS Crew
Advanced Member
I also found a spotted skunk skull.
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They are a little cuter, though more fragrant, when whole. This is one that visited one of the fox traps back in the early days of the fox project on Rosa.
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We flew in to Santa Cruz “International” to drop myself off the next day, where Kim was waiting, and then Jim and Dr. Sharpe flew off for the mainland. Yes, that's the "runway" along the bottom of the picture.
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Things seemed a little slow on Cruz after the excitement of banding on Rosa, but there were still some highlights that might interest you.

I went out to check on the eaglets (A-77 and A-78) at the Carl nest. Boy are they looking ready to fly! Lots of big “wingers” and just looking very “grown-up” overall.
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After that I went down Laguna Canyon to the coast and the Corral Point area. There is a nest down along the way, probably a red-tail's, but it didn't look to be active, though the lighting made it very hard to see in to. Still a cool location.
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From above Corral Point I got some great views of the coast.
Looking east.
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EagleNut
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Wow! Fantastic photos! You all do such a great job and I love to travel with you via the reports and photos (and the very funny commentary as well). Thank you.
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IWS Crew
Advanced Member
And west.
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There was even a blue-tagged adult, but very far off and looking into the light. It was most likely A-35, the Malva pair's (Carl nest) female as this is their favorite area along the coast.
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While I was at Laguna and Carl, Kim went over Montanon to check the north shore areas over near Potato Harbor. She saw several nests, including a peregrine nest with 3 chicks, but no eagles.

The next day Kim saw eagles, but that's what we expect when we check on the Cueva pair's nest at Hazards. No pictures, but the chick is well and A-16 flew in with a fish while Kim was watching. A couple of more tours and you should be getting some banding pictures from there.

We got a break in the recent winds and got the boat out the following day and ran over to check on the Anacapa nest at Oak Canyon. Unfortunately, we did not see any activity (eagles) there, either at the nest or nearby. We aren't quite ready to say this means the nest has failed since it is a very hard nest to observe, but it doesn't look too promising. We will try to get on the island soon if we can and verify the status of the nest. :X:

At least on the way back we got a chance to stop by the Pelican Harbor pair's nest at Chinese Harbor. K-10 was nearby and we could even see “Precious” peeking out of the nest. :)
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(right side of the nest, someone's looking at us)
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I spent the next day working in the “office” and doing boat maintenance while Kim went out to the west end area looking for more eagles. Before she got there she spotted A-64 quite a distance off, from the Christy Beach area.
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But she got a better look at A-76 (last year's Cueva/Hazards chick) flying about (though earlier she had been perched near A-40).
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That pretty much did it for this go-round. There should be a lot of banding coming up on Santa Cruz the second week in June so look forward to that and we'll try to find some items of interest to share with you before that too. ;)

“... on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition...”

Be well all,

Don, Kim, and the Crew :<<o>>:
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marshaz
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Woweee! Thanks IWS Crew, for all you do! <:::
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summer818
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Peter, Don, Jim & Kim, you guys rock. What great photo's and video. So exciting to have chicks on SRI!!! Too Cool! I think it's gonna be a tough one with the three eaglets on the WE tomorrow. Metoo is going to get off easy, but nevertheless, the monsters will arrive.
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Cumbrian
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Oh, without a doubt ... you passed the audition! :D

Super Update .... lots of great photos and humour included.

I bet that is exactly what the newly blinged A-80 was thinking ... not going to move from my nest ever again!

Just wait until Jim meets Precious! She has already given her Mom and Dad some Eagle-tude!

Hope that you will soon be able to verify the status of the Oak Canyon Nest ... and there will be a pleasant surprise there.

Thanks for taking us all along with you on your travels to the Islands ... not too sure about the Santa Cruz "International" ... think I'd give that one a miss! :P

Stay Safe.
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Kate5555
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Great update :)^

Thanks for all you do. Love those shots (and the video) of the wingslapping and Jim, you so calmly continued on until you you got the job done.

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Artsy Mom
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Wow, Jim sure got a few feather flaps in his face by A-80 :o That nest doesn't seem to have anywhere for the ^"^ to branch to and the ledge looks very narrow too. Is there even room enough for wingersizes and jumping jacks? Maybe not the best place for an :<<o>>: nest. Was it easier to get to than climbing an 80" tree? It looked quite dangerous in the video :unsure:

A-08 looked pretty angry in that zoomed in :clk: when Jim was getting the eaglet down. Good thing he kept his distance.

The views of the island from above are truly spectacular. Has anyone thought about doing a coffee table book with all the scenic vistas from the Channel Islands? I would want one :D

Thanks again for another winning update Don, Kim and the IWS :<<>>: crew.
Looking forward to the next one and especially the banding at WE tomorrow :)^
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Patti
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This must have been the day for perfect photographs and videos! Thank you for a great Update.

The Trap Canyon nest location was breathtaking....so close to the sea and the wind worn cliff is magnificent. It was a fascinating view, even the color seemed more dramatic. (Watch the videos on full screen.)

It was great!

Yes, Precious does have attitude. :wub: And also quite the beauty, just like A80.
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Naturegal
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Don, Kim & Crew Posted Image for the update. You all passed the audition :><: . Wonderful photos and videos. Kudos to Jim for getting on that small ledge to retrieve the eaglet, that looked pretty scary. Job well done!
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raycyn
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Thanks Don, Kim and all for all the wonderful work you do. Jim, you are one brave guy - didn't look like very good footing, and with one unhappy chick, glad you made it safely. Beautiful photos as always, and thanks for the laughs along the way Don, too.

Safe journeys always! <3 ^"^
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EarthMuffin
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Peter, Don, Jim & Kim thank you for the work you do for the eagles! With my fear of heights you couldn't pay me enough to climb on that cliff wall. Beautiful cliff, but oh my :8O: . Thanks for the great pics and a great update!

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