We have hit some new milestones this year and the breeding season has really just begun! The North Channel Islands are currently up to 6 active nests (4 on Santa Cruz and 2 on Santa Rosa) with an additional 4 pairs seen near or actively “nestorating” a known nest. With so much activity, much of our week was consumed just checking nests.
I’ll number the nests to help you keep track of them.
1) A week ago, Pete joined a seabird research crew to check on the Oak Canyon pair on Anacapa Island. He wasn’t able to go ashore to check the nest due to nesting Pelagic Cormorants, but he did see the pair in the vicinity of the nest.
2 & 3) There are two nests on Santa Rosa Island that we were unable to check due to an uncrossable “moat” between us and them. As of two weeks ago, the Lopez and Verde pairs were both incubating. Helen and Amanda are on Rosa this week to check on their status and will have an update for you next week.
4) The Pelican Harbor pair began nesting late this year, but they have pulled through like champs. Those of you watching them on the web cam know that K-26 laid her second egg this week!
5) Similarly, the web cam on the Sauces nest has given us all a public view into the private lives of eagles. A-27 and A-40 are attentively incubating their two eggs.
6) 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. Kim found there to be TWO chicks on the nest, estimated to have hatched around March 3rd!
Don returned late in the week to find a couple of quickly growing bickering “toddlers.”
7) 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.
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.
The North ridge seems to be a common flyway for our eagles and today was no exception. We saw an adult heading toward Diablo Peak.
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).
8) 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.
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?