SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dad Norfolk

Dad Norfolk
NORFOLK -Three months after a large nest was removed from the Norfolk Botanical Garden, the male eagle that called it home has yet to move on. Since the nest was removed in early October, the eagle has tried twice to rebuild a nest in trees at the garden.
Each time, the nest has been removed, and an officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Division has fired a paint ball gun near the eagle at least seven times since December in hopes of scaring him away. Still, the eagle remains.This is not unexpected, according to Scott Barras, state director for the wildlife division. The airport probably will pay the agency about $13,100 through the spring to disperse eagles from the garden.

Now that nesting season is well under way, Dad eagle has become more persistent in his efforts to build a new home, but no matter how hard he tries, he will not be allowed to nest anywhere at the garden.
That might mean a missed breeding opportunity for the eagle, who is known as "Dad Norfolk" to his fans and who appears to have a new partner. His previous mate died in an airplane strike in 2011. The city's controversial decision to remove the nest and the ensuing suspense over whether the eagle will successfully relocate has captivated an audience that once followed the eagles through the garden's webcam.

 One group of eagle supporters, called Eagle on Alliance, has gone further. The alliance, which recently held a silent protest walk at the garden, said it believes the current strategy isn't working and that the focus should be on steering eagles away from the airport, not the garden, said coordinator Carol Senechal.

The group worries about the pair's chances of producing offspring this season and fears the female might resort to laying an egg on the ground, Senechal said. That's not the USDA's chief concern, Barras said. He noted that bald eagles are no longer on the state's list of threatened and endangered species and said that one unproductive year for the garden's eagles will not hurt Virginia's eagle population.

"We wish that they would choose to nest elsewhere right away, but we're certainly prepared to continue with the management program," Barras said.

Eagle strikes are rare at Norfolk International Airport, but two fatal eagle strikes in April 2011 led Wayne Shank, the airport's director, to notify the federal government. The Federal Aviation Administration then asked the city to remove the nests. A Wildlife Hazard Assessment, which was required after a February 2009 strike with a waterfowl, says the bald eagle represents an "extremely high" hazard for the city's airport because of its size and flight behavior. Bald eagles nested on airport property until a fatal eagle strike in 2002 prompted the airport to remove the nest. The surviving eagle then set up at the nearby garden.

 Councilman Tommy Smigiel, who has joined the alliance, said he is pushing the city to delay all efforts until more research can be done on alternatives to nest removal. "They're just going to rebuild, and they've been rebuilding," Smigiel said. "They put all of this energy and focus on these eagles as if they're a major threat when there are other issues out there."