Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More about eagles

Here are pictures of the nest outside my window at work. I didn't see it for my first 2 years. Then a fellow who had worked here 10 years ago came to visit and showed it to me. There it is after all these years, still active.

Concerning their lives: The brown eagles you saw on the video last week are “juveniles”. By about 4-5 years they reach maturity, get their white heads, and start looking for a mate. Then they stay together for the rest of their 30 years’ lifespan. That’s the opposite of bears, seals and seal lions (more about that on “ the sex life of northern mammal", coming this Spring). If an eagle dies early, the remaining one gets a new mate.
They spend most of their life within 5 miles of their home, except this time of the year when they come to the canneries because that is where the food is. Otherwise they stay close to home and make one large nest and about 2 smaller ones in their home turf. They prefer their largest one, but use the others intermittently…I guess just in case the big one collapses. The one in the picture is almost 10 feet wide and is up about 80 feet up that Sitka Spruce.

In the Fall, I saw lots of down feathers that collected by the corner of our building. I guess they had a newborn. No, you can’t collect them for a down feather pillow. It’s illegal. Only the natives can collect them for ceremonies; and I have seen them use them in making “dream catchers” in the Southwest. But I wonder, if they made a pillow would they have more peaceful dreams?

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