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Santa Cruz Update; March 11 - 18
Topic Started: Mar 21 2014, 07:53 AM (1,027 Views)
IWS Crew
Advanced Member
Hey All,

We’re really starting to get into the thick of nesting season on the Northern Channel Islands. All of our known eagle territories seem to be active, if not already incubating or brooding. We also had a few eagle sightings in places we weren’t necessarily expecting.

When we arrived on Santa Cruz last Tuesday, I headed out to check on the Pelican Harbor pair (now nesting near Chinese Harbor). K-10 was laying down when I arrived, apparently incubating. The new nest is only about 75m away from the nest they used in 2012, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to put a camera in it for this season. It should be just a matter of running a few more feet of network cable, so hopefully we can get that set up for next year. For now, we’ll just have to continue checking on them ‘old school’!

K-10 Incubating
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K-10 waiting for relief?
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We also checked on the Los Pinos birds a few times last week, but they still seem to be nest building, with no signs of incubation yet. With all the other action going on, it’s easy to forget that it’s only mid-March, so there’s plenty of time for egg-laying yet.

On Wednesday Nate was able to get out to the Fraser Point nest, hoping to get a first look at nestlings, only to find them still incubating. They should be hatching any time now, if not in the past couple days.

Thursday was nice enough to allow us some time on the boat, so we headed west from Prisoners harbor first thing in the morning. The northwest shores of Santa Cruz are almost completely roadless, so getting out there on foot is tough work. The ‘quickest’ route requires hiking up Mound Diablo (at ~2450ft, the tallest point in the channel islands), then down to sea-level on the north shore. Some hikes to these areas can be as long as 14 miles round-trip. Needless to say, when the weather permits us to be on the boat, we like to take advantage. This day we made it out to the Fry’s Harbor nest, where we saw one of the adults perched in the nest tree, but no signs of incubation. On the way out, we also came across A-27 and A-68 hanging out together in the Baby’s harbor area. We didn’t have much time to spend observing this ‘possible pair’, but we’ll be checking on them again next tour. Some of you may recall we had a nest in Baby’s harbor back in 2008 (A-00 and A-16), and the canyon has plenty of nice looking nest trees.

View of Santa Rosa from the North Ridge of Santa Cruz
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On Friday I headed over to the east end (Smugglers Cove) area to check on A-57 and A-58. These two have been hanging around together in the Smuggers area for several years, but have yet to attempt a nest. A-58 is still carrying a GPS transmitter, so we should have no trouble finding the nest, once they get serious about building one. Unfortunately today wasn’t that day. I only saw them briefly, circling together very high near Montanon Ridge. Apparently not building a nest yet.

Saturday was another boat day, but mostly focused on finding Peregrine Falcon nests. IWS is also conducting a complete Peregrine survey of the Channel Islands again this year, so a good chunk of our time is spent looking for nests, usually in the cliffs along the water. Fortunately for us, Peregrines and Bald Eagles seem to prefer very similar habitats on the islands (at least for foraging), so we often see both in the same day. We were able to swing by the Chinese harbor area to confirm the Pelican Harbor pair was still incubating.

On Monday I was able to hike out to Hazards/Ceuva Valdez to check on the eagle pair out there. We saw them briefly from the boat on Thursday, and had a suspicion they may be incubating, possibly in the nest they used in 2012. Why they decided not to use last years nest is anybody’s guess, but I’m sure they have their reasons. Sure enough, I found one of the adults laying in the older nest, just as we hoped.


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This nest tree actually has 2 nests in it, one above the other. The eagle version of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’?

James was also able to check on the Malva nest, and found them still brooding at least one chick (it was too windy for him to get a very good look at the nest).

Well, that’s about it for Santa Cruz. Have a great day.

IWS Crew
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KareninSoCali
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Awesome news! Can't wait to hear about the Fraser egg hatching...woooohooooo! Princess/Prince #2 for them! And soooo eggstatic about the PH pair this year! I hope all goes well with them and all of them, of course, but they didn't lay last year so especially them ;) :lol:

Thanks so much for the awesome update once again! And thanks for all you all do!! IWS ROCKS!!
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klemon
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What a wonderful update, So nice to know the pelican Harbor Pair have a new home and will have chicks. Also wonderful to hear that our A 27 may have found another mate. You go 27. Thanks for all you all do. The IWS crews are the best.


Kathy
in
Southern Illinois <3 :egg: :hatch:
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cdn-cdn
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Thank you for the update and photos! I'm especially happy to hear about K-10 and K-26, as well as K-27 and her new beau.
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klmeps
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I'm so happy to hear A-27 may have found a new mate but even more thrilled that it's A-68 who was the first eaglet I fell in love with when I started watching the cams that year!

Karen
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summer818
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I am so happy to hear that our sweet girl A27 is ok. And maybe a new mate with A68?? How exciting. So good to know K10 is incubating, he's and incredible dad. Have a fabulous week, I spent many years at Fry's Harbor and in the inflatable to Baby's and Lady's. Enjoy your week! >O<
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marshaz
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Wonderful update and wonderful news that there is at least one nest with an eaglet! Thank you for all the hard work!!!
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sunnyland7
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Dr. Sharpe and IWS Crew :**:
What a great report :**:
and an eaglet too :><:
Your work is appreciated. Keep safe out there.
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lovethebabies
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Wonderful update! Thank you! So happy to hear about K10 and K26 incubating and to hear that A27 is doing ok and possibly with A68! >O<
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