Latvian WTE nest webcamera: Juras-Erglis 2014

White-tailed eagles in Latvia

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Re: Latvian WTE nest webcamera: Juras-Erglis 2014

Post by IceAge » September 5th, 2014, 6:52 pm

Hello ame,

the camera failure at Linda and Sulev was sad, but then we got Lubana and Sartas and two sweet chicks. It was so nice and funny to see them grow up. I wish Pukite and Makonite a long and wonderful life.
Thank you all and especially you ame and Liz01 for the beautyful pictures, videos and comments.
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Post by Owlie » September 5th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Hi ame and Liz,
you two have been highlights in this nest history this year - thankyou for all your lively reportings!

I was fascinated of the beginning of the family, incubating, both hatchings, those sensible first days with disturbing humans - ohh - and the fact that these strong birds survived the difficulties. The parents have been incredibly firm with raising their offspring. And the offspring! They have really been personalities, both of them! Thanks you two, who made them to characters by explaining to us others how they developed!
I trust that these strong birds live long and the chicks build their own strong families in the future.
It was a nice and interesting season (I speak also for my parents 90 and 87 yrs old, who have followed the camera all this season).

Have a nice autumn, eagles and all we aunties!

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:16 pm

hello again! :hi:
i was away for some time... did i see Owlie making a question about when the age when WTEs begin to breed or do i dream seeing that question? :D
eagles like many big birds need a long time to mature. the Wikipedia says that for WTEs it takes about 4 - 5 years, but the NatureGate says 5 - 6 years. (http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/li ... iled-eagle). Sartas hatched and was ringed in June 2007 so he became 7 years old this summer. that makes him a fairly young father.

i tried to look up the breeding ages in real books, too, but with little success... :book:
... but i found some remarks about the plumage: the plumage of WTEs develops gradually up to 6 years when they have the full adult costume. i think that the development of plumage and sexual maturity go hand in hand. i think this applies to other eagles and big birds, too. (-correct me if i'm wrong!)
Lubana seemed to have rather a lot dark feathers in her tail. she showed it well in the early spring, for example on March 14th (the second picture here viewtopic.php?p=301552#p301552), and also on some other occasion but now i can't remember when... here it is, still on March 14th: viewtopic.php?p=301595#p301595
there are black spots all over Lubana's tail, like freckles. :D

the abundance of dark feathers in Lubana's tail made me think that she might be fairly young herself, too, about the same age as Sartas. :rolleyes:
but of course there's no way to be sure of this as she has no rings.

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:27 pm

i made some late updates in the info and the major events' lest on the 1st page. i'm still planning to do some statistics about the prey items which we saw the eagles bringing to the nest during this season and to compare it with the menu at Linda's and Sulev's nest. so far i have a feeling that here there were more birds on the menu both in over-all number and in variety of species than in Saunja.

i have also checked the Pontu archive: no Pontu pictures have been recorded and saved after the cut-off on Aug 30th at 10:52. the battery is dead for good. there's nothing to do except to pick it and the camera and the rest of the equipment back from the forest and put them on the oven to dry.
(on an old-fashioned large oven; here are some pictures of a so-called Russian oven but the ovens used to be similar in Finland, too. behind the curtain is a nice warm place... :whistling: http://www.estherlederberg.com/EImages/ ... ed%202.jpg).

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:55 pm

i now want to write down some thoughts about this season as i remember it happening. it was so amusing to see how Sartas toiled in building the nest for the Queen of his heart and how Lubana on her part brought a few twigs to add to his construction. equally amusing it was not to see them mating in front of the camera but instead hearing them do it outside the nest in the dark. the loud yelling revealed what was going on. :whistling:

then there was the uncertainty caused by the pile of hay in the nest: did Lubaba lay the egg yet or not? this uncertainty was followed by excitement on the next morning when we finally were able to see the first egg shining through the dark and rainy twilight. the joy of seeing the first egg turned almost immediately to deep disappointment and despair when the connection to the camera was lost within an hour: was that all...? :faint:

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:55 pm

... but to our surprise and joy the camera became live again after sleeping for 11 days! in one of the Pontu pictures within the first hour Lubana could be seen rolling two eggs. all was well again.

the hatching of the first egg took place a bit surprisingly, a day ahead of due-day. there it was, the first chick making loud and strong cheeps! :bounce:
when would the second chick hatch? nobody knew when the second egg was laid...
two days later the second chick reached up from the nest bowl beside the older sibling to look at the wide world. :bounce:

soon clouds began to gather and cover the nest: we began to see stronger and stronger signs of sibling rivalry. this is known to take place also in the nests of WTEs, but not nearly as strongly as in many other eagle species. for me seeing the bigger chick pecking and beating the smaller raised some very unpleasant memories from the previous summer. i was waiting to see this phase go by and i had somehow a time-limit of two weeks in my head... but the beating seemed to go on and on and the bigger chick seemed to get stronger and the blows seemed to get harder and harder. the rivalry didn't seem to stop at all and in two weeks the camera stopped again! :shock:

this time the camera remained off-line and we didn't know what was going on... :unsure:

before the camera shut down there were also the two horrible afternoons when some people appeared walking and talking in the forest somewhere in the vicinity of the nest and made Lubana flee from the nest. the weather was cold and the chicks were uncovered in the nest for hours... i remember i almost shut the camera, thinking that i just can't watch them die either by slowly getting hypothermia or quickly as prey to crows which normally were in the forest. either one of these two ways seemed to be close. fortunately on both times the people went away soon enough and Sartas or Lubana could come back to warm the chicks before rain began. those were really horrible hours! :shock:

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:55 pm

more than 3 weeks went by before it was safe for Janis and his helpers to go to to forest and fix the camera system and ring the eaglets on June 7. then we were able to see that both eaglets were fine. what a relief! :headroll:

unfortunately though soon we were able to see that the bigger eaglet still had the habit of pecking the smaller sibling. the smaller had, however, learned how to react to this: turning away, moving further and not moving was the best policy in avoiding the ever harder blows of the big beak.

i have often looked with amusement at the pictures which Janis took of the eaglets after he had given them their rings. i think i could recognize and tell them apart even by looking at their eyes. :laugh:
i think those of you who have watched a lot at these eaglets can do the same. i made 'head&shoulders'-pictures of the two pictures which lianaliesma then posted.
you can try to guess: which is Makonite and which Pukitis?
Image and Image
who is shy and intimidated? and who is bold and ready to bite? :whistling:

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:55 pm

then in due course the eaglets learned how to cut their food. they gradually learned how to get on branches and finally they took off to fly. learning how to make decent landing took a little longer for Makonite but maybe that was because her larger weight. :whistling:
Pukitis learned how to avoid his big sisters blows and in the last weeks he also learned how to steal food from her! :thumbs: that was really a pleasure to see! :laugh:

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Post by ame » September 11th, 2014, 4:57 pm

the last but by no means not the least important thing for me to do is a very pleasant duty: i want to thank all the people and institutions who made it possible for us to watch the lives of the magnificent birds so intimately! :bow:
it was a pleasure and a privilege to be able to follow how the breeding developed. thank you all who were involved in this task, especially Janis! :wave:

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Post by macdoum » September 11th, 2014, 8:38 pm

:bow: Thank you ame for all the details. :thumbs: I lost interest when the cam went off. I then concentrated on ospreys.

I thought you had left us ? Glad you haven't. :headroll:

(aren't many of us 'oldies' left here now :unsure:)

:wave:
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Post by Owlie » September 11th, 2014, 9:37 pm

Thankyou, ame, for your summary - one can see the views along your words!

You didn't dream of my question of the eaglets' breeding age - I removed it as I thought it was a stupid question at this time ... :blush:

I hope to "see" you next season at some WTE nest!

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Post by Owlie » September 11th, 2014, 9:48 pm

ame wrote: you can try to guess: which is Makonite and which Pukitis?
Puķītis on the left and Mākonite with real eagle eyes on the right?

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Post by Hellem » September 11th, 2014, 10:28 pm

:hi:
Thank you ame and Liz and other forum members. It was so interesting and pleasant to watch together with you and read your comments :thumbs: . See you next season.
:wave:

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Post by ame » September 12th, 2014, 3:22 pm

ame wrote: you can try to guess: which is Makonite and which Pukitis?
Owlie wrote:Puķītis on the left and Mākonite with real eagle eyes on the right?
yes, you are right. :D
i took the pictures from the post by lianaliesma:
viewtopic.php?p=327711#p327711

your question about the breeding age wasn't nearly as trivial as it may have sounded in the beginning. i still can't find a proper reference of it in any book. i think that the best reference book which i could find is an identification guide The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East by the Finn Dick Forsman. in his book D.F. describes extensively the development of the plumage of WTEs in consecutive moults up to the adult-type plumage which is reached on the 5th to 7th calendar year of the eagle. the last type he calls the adult-type plumage so i guess this means that the bird is also sexually mature adult at this age.

D.F points out that exact aging is not possible because there may be a lot of individual variation in the colouring of the details in the plumage. only rings provide exact information of the age of the eagle if it has them. -about sexing of the WTEs he writes:
Sexing not possible by plumage characteristics, but males are smaller and lighter built than females in direct comparison and show a comparatively finer bill and more rounded head.
"more rounded head"...? i wonder what he means with that. :puzzled:

the age of breeding for the first time seems to be just something that i have learned once. - maybe it is a sign of getting old: forgetting when and where one has learned something. 8-)
the next step is to forget what one once learned... :mrgreen:

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Post by Liz01 » September 13th, 2014, 6:40 am

Ame :wave: , thanks for the detailed review.
For me it was the time when people were in nearby of the nest, the worst time. I was very afraid at the two eaglets.

Which eaglet Pukitis or Makonite is, you can see very well. Makonite looks as if she would kill Jänis :whistling:
I both miss very much. Also Sartas and Lubana. Like everyone else, i look forward to the next season.
What i have read is is that female eagle in principle eat first. Therefore Makonite did everything right.
There are probably less rivalry in the nest, when same-sex eaglets are there?

There is a very nice German site with pictures of eagles. Of adults and of young white-tailed eagles. Images that we can not see because they are seen outside the nest.
http://www.hansoschulze-naturfoto-ilker ... dler1.html
From 2005 to 2014 I find it very interesting pictures. Unfortunately, the description of the photos is in German.

Owlie, Hellem, IceAge and all others, I was very happy about your posts and pictures. They were all very nice.
It was a really exciting and enjoyable time. I have never seen before, as eagles raising their chicks.

Once again big thanks to you Ame, and all others :2thumbsup:

and thanks for the patience with my English

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Post by Felis silvestris » September 14th, 2014, 12:24 am

Ame did a great job here, I learnt a lot about the eagles in this season and am happy that, even with interruptions, I finally was able to see WtE chicks grow up. Thanks Ame, and also Janis, and everyone here who posted pictures, observations and questions. It was nice and also easy to follow everything, even without me being able to contribute much! Hope for another good season next year! :wave:
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Post by ame » September 15th, 2014, 11:34 am

hello! :hi:

i checked the Dabasdati page:
http://dabasdati.lv/en/article/ar-inter ... gusies/and

there on the front page is the news that the WtE camera season is closed:
Ar interneta kameru novērotajā jūras ērgļu ligzdā ligzdošanas sezona beigusies
there i found a picture which shows the logos of all the partners in co-operation who made it possible to watch the web camera at Lubana's and Sartas' nest. i think it is appropriate that i post the picture here as an expression of our gratitude to them. :rolleyes:
Image

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Post by ame » October 9th, 2014, 1:50 pm

i have been watching the very early feeding videos to see how the sibling rivalry behavior started. the first episodes of rivalry occurred on May 3rd when Pukitis was just a day old. Makonite wasn't much older: three days, but at this stage the difference in their development is at largest, so one would expect differences in their behaviour.

there was some pecking and wrestling already in the morning but i'm not sure who did what (probably the older, Makonite was more active). during an evening feeding it could be clearly seen that both chicks were active: one chick first grabbed the other on the beak and pushed it down and a short while later the latter bit the first in the beak. later they took some more wrestling moves. both chicks were still so small that their coordination of movements was rather disoriented. anyway it is clear that both were active in 'punishing' the other sibling and not just being the receiving partner.

the whole feeding (from Pontu video) can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od1ncU7TErE
and here's a clip which i made of this episode.


on May 4th i found only some light wrestling episodes which could also be chicks leaning against each other in wobbly balance. only once in the evening the other clearly pushed the other down.
on May 5th there were a few episodes when the taller chick pecked the smaller. in the evening there was some mutual exchange of blows with the beaks. in the beginning of this Pontu clip of this feeding one can see some beak-boxing. Pukitis seems to be on the left and Makonite on the right under Lubana's brest.


- unfortunately Lubana often stood on the front rim of the nest during feedings and the chicks were behind her so it was impossible to see what they possibly were doing there, other than eating.

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Post by ame » October 9th, 2014, 2:11 pm

on May 6th Makonite was 6 days and Pukitis 4 days old. in the afternoon they took some rounds of wrestling and during the baby-sitting change at 16:47 to 16:50 (Lubana out, Sartas in). both chicks gave in turns some pecking on each other.Makonite first pecked Pukitis twice before Lubana left, a little later Pukitis hit Makonite in the back of her neck and then both hit each other before Sartas came. our cute little violent feather balls! :slap:
(a Pontu clip)

later in that evening there was still some wrestling and pecking.

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Post by ame » October 9th, 2014, 2:36 pm

on May 7th there were again episodes of pecking and wrestling during feedings. at 10:16 it seemed that Pukitis got up to hit Makonite who was being fed by Lubana. i made a short clip of this:


later during the same feeding at 10:18 there was some more hitting. the whole feeding can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX1JQ7KMZbc

also later during that day chick pecked and beat each other.

on May 8th the same behaviour continued both during and off-feedings. during feedings the chick who wasn't receiving morsels from the parent gave pecks or pinches on the sibling who was eating. during a morning feeding which started at 9:02 one can clearly see that both chicks were punching each other in turns.
here's the Pontu clip of this feeding:

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