Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Steller’s Sea Eagle surveys of 2012 : 2

The Steller’s Sea Eagle surveys of 2012 

June surveys (by Irina Utekhina)

Since the snow cover in the Magadan area was really below average, we were eager to check the eagle nests as early as possible. The spring flood was short and lasted in 2 weeks of May. By beginning of June the water level has subsided. Irina was accompanied by Andrey Gnezdilov, an amateur photographer from Magadan.

Most of the nests had incubating birds in them. Andrey climbed to 3 nests on Kava and 1 nest on Chelomdja and took pictures by a small camera attached to a pole, similar to the method used by Elsie in 2011.  One nest at the Khuren-Chelomdja confluence had 3 chicks, whose age was estimated as 12-18 days (meaning hatching in May!). [In August we found only 2 chicks in the nest]. At the chum spawning grounds (the last nest on the Chelomja surveys) had one chick whose age was estimated as 1 month. Later in August surveys we saw a large flying chick near the nest.
            Thanks to Andrey’s photo, Irina spotted a male with the wingtag E4 (see August section). This nest was successful for the first time in 3 years.
            Under a new nest a dead chick was found. The female was observed incubating. In August the nest was found to have no chicks.