Spanky, Eagles, and Spot - UPDATE March 13, 2021

SpankySpanky

On this spring-like day with the high temperature 17 degrees above average at 52°F, Spanky took a walk and was away from his den for some two hours. At this time 7:55 PM, he is back resting peacefully in his bed breathing steadily 7 times a minute with the regular pattern we see when bears sleep in summer—not with the long delays (7-18 seconds) between breaths we see in mid winter.

20210313 Bald Eagle pair with deer20210313 Bald Eagle pair with deer
Spring starts in a week. As a sign of spring, daylight savings time starts tonight.

Bald Eagle eatingBald Eagle eatingAnother sign of spring is that bald eagles are back in numbers, and yesterday I got to see a pair in action like I’ve never seen before. Judy Thon and Carolyn Quick stopped by to tell me about the opportunity and drive me to the spot. They let me have the passenger seat for taking pictures. The eagles were a male and female eagle, which mate for life, and they were peacefully sharing a road-killed deer carcass.

In the picture of the two facing each other, the male is on the left and the female, about a third larger with a deeper beak (measured from top to bottom at the base), is on the right. As we approached, a vehicle was watching them close-up. When it drove on, we slowly drove to the spot and on past the eagles to where the sun would light them nicely. They paid little attention to the vehicle even though my window was down and my long lens was protruding out. They showed how peacefully a mated pair shares food and how they hook their upper and lower beaks into the meat to pull pieces loose. They were there for over an hour before we arrived and stayed another half hour or so as we watched them fill up. Finally, the male flew off and landed in a tree. The female joined him soon after. They made my day.Bald Eagle female taking offBald Eagle female taking off

Out my window, still another treat followed. Spot the mink stopped by and paused where the setting sun lit her face, making her look particularly beautiful. Thank you, Spot.

A good day.

Mink Spot in sunMink Spot in sunToday, the Bear Center announced it will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM starting April 16, and will be open daily starting May first. Looking forward to it. I hope covid restrictions will be relaxed by then. On that note, Donna and I got our first shots earlier this month and will get our second shots before the month is over. From what I hear, no one in Ely has covid.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

2021 Bear DenClick to watch the 2021 Bear Den Cam

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