It's again time to peer at my photo archives through the retrospectroscope and set the dial back three years to April, 2016. As usual I will search for favorite memes: critters (especially birds), the skies and reflections, flowers and fences, and scenes which speak for themselves. We spent the first half of the month in Florida before traveling to our second home in northeastern Illinois.
Of greatest interest and concern were events at the local Bald Eagle nest which I have been monitoring since 2008. The male eagle (Pride) lost his mate (Joy) in October, 2014 and found a new and young female (Jewel) two months later. Although they copulated, Jewel never seemed to take an interest in the nest and they failed to produce young during the 2014-2015 season.
Then the pair laid their eggs in mid-December, 2015, but 5 weeks later, just as they should have hatched, a wind storm brought down a limb which fell in the nest. One eaglet may have survived as there was evidence that an adult was feeding it two days later. However it was never seen again and assumed to have perished. Undaunted, the pair refurbished the nest and bred again. Two eaglets hatched in mid-March but one was killed or out-competed by its nest-mate. The survivor (P Piney 15, the 15th known eaglet produced at this nest) fledged in mid-June, 2016.
Pride roosts near the nest on April 2, 2016:
Here is the plucky P Piney 15 on April 2, 2016:
Both eaglets (P Piney 15 & 16) looked fine on April 7, 2016:
The siblings engaged in serious combat. We assume both were females, as they are the stronger and more aggressive of the sexes. Male siblings are smaller and learn to stay clear, but two females "stand their ground" and fight with each other for dominance. After April 10, 2016 we only found a single eaglet in the nest. We presume it is the older female, P Piney 15, here seen on the nest with Pride:
Well, turning to other events in the neighborhood...
On April 7, an unusual sunrise filled the sky east of the entry gate to our local wetlands:
Trying to draw us away from its nest, a Killdeer performed a distraction display:
An immature Great Blue Heron was on the lake before sunrise:
Spring was in the air. A Green Heron tended its eggs in the local rookery on April 8:
On April 13, success!
A Black-necked Stilt was mirrored in the still water:
A White-tailed buck posed with two does in soft morning light:
This Black-and-White Warbler performed acrobatics as it searched for insects on the trunk and branches:
A Roseate Spoonbill honored us with a visit:
It joined Snowy Egrets, a White Ibis and a Greater Yellowlegs:
Then, we left for Chicagoland, where a Bald Eagle was tending an eaglet in its nest very near our condo in North Aurora, Illinois. Coincidentally, this was the first pair to nest in Kane County after DDT was abolished in 1972, just as the pair near our Florida home was the first in Broward County:
Fox Squirrel at Fabyan Park in Geneva, Illinois:
A Red-winged Blackbird displayed its epaulets as it sang:
This Eastern Towhee has red eyes, unlike the straw yellow eyes of the south Florida population:
A White-throated Sparrow...
...and an American Goldfinch at Nelson Lake in Batavia, Illinois:
Spring wildflowers in Illinois--
Wake Robin (Trillium):
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display