Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Soaring ..

As I walked back along the shore last week I noticed several eagles high in the trees. Most were juveniles (dark heads) but there were also a pair of mature bald Eagles.

There is a new eagle nest platform in a Douglas Fir tree close to the Jericho Sailing Centre and the Vancouver Hostel. (See link to eagles' nests in Vancouver a little further down this post.)

I saw a pair of eagles soaring above it and later one landed in the top of the tree.

Beautiful creatures to watch. Eagles have been nesting in the area (same pair ?) for a number of years but there have been at least two incidents (that I know of) of the nest collapsing and the eaglet falling and being taken to OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre). 

There are quite a number of eagles nests in the Vancouver area, see this link.

There are a number of "eagle cams" in the area too that stream live coverage, here is a link to one of them.

Bald Eagles are magnificent birds, large and powerful, and did you know that the females are larger than the males? Here is short bio of our "bald" friends:

"Bald Eagles are so named because they are "white-headed". Balde is an Old English term meaning white.
Adult males and females are identical in color... white heads and tails, with blackish-brown bodies. Their feet and beaks are yellow.

Eagles mature at about 4 or 5 years of age, and live to about 30.
With up to a 7-foot wingspan, having a height of 3 to 3 1/2 feet, and weighing 8 to 15 pounds, these great birds of prey can lift about 4 pounds. The female is larger than the male.
An eagle's diet consists primarily of fish, but circumstance can force them to dine on carrion.
These 'eagle-eyed' birds have exemplary eyesight, and are strong swimmers.
Eagle pairs remain together until they are parted by the death of one of them.
Eaglets have all their feathers by 10 to 12 weeks of age. At this time, they are nearly full grown and can make maiden flights from their nest.
Juvenile eagles are a mixture of brown and white, becoming almost solid brown as they progress to adulthood.
Nests (aeries) are usually constructed in tall trees beside rivers or near coastlines.
Bald eagle nests are added to every year. They often become the largest of any bird in North America.
Bald eagles lay from one to three eggs each year, with two being the norm.
Kept warm by both parents alternating incubation duties, eaglets hatch in 35 days.
From the time the parents ready the aerie and the young are on their own (the nesting cycle), takes about 20 weeks." (

So are the little eagles just clumsy, why do they fall out of the nest? Well as they mature and get ready to take flight they practice by hanging on to a branch or part of the nest with their talons and flapping their wings as hard as they can; this is rather hard on the nest and can cause it to become unstable.

March/April is the beginning of the nesting season for the bald eagle in Vancouver. The pair of eagles I saw in Jericho Park do not seem to have started building a nest yet but I will be watching closely.

So what have I been up to in the studio?

First I have donated the following painting to the Curves Food bank drive, there is a silent auction on until the end of the month, if you wish to bid on it call or visit, here is the link. Last time I checked the bidding was at $55.

"Bleeding Hearts", watercolour, 8.5" X 6.5"

Here is a new watercolour in the seaside theme:

And yes, some barnacles  here grow quite large. These were inspired by a photograph taken on Cortez Island, B.C.

For more information on this or other works follow this link:

Well that's it for this week, thanks for dropping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, I will leave you with this thought: 
"Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude."
Arthur Schopenhauer
Until next time .........................