Easter Sunrise 03-23-08

We started the day at 6:30 watching the Bridge birds. A flight to the city from the cables between W3 and W4 to the Steuart Tower, following the ‘peregrine highway’. Another sitting on the cables west of W2. Then back to W4 NE corner, a short flight to the railings on the west corner. We got to see some copulationg. It’s clear they are not in hard incubation yet. One disappeared back under the bridge deck. We are assuming they have eggs and will be in hard incubation soon.

A sunrise Easter over the Bay.

Then on to breakfast for us and a trip out to Site #1.

As we were walking up the trail, we ran into a ranger carrying his scope. He said “You’re a bit late to see much today” Wow, was he wrong!

One was on a high rock south of the scrape. It was the full hooded female. There is a VID band on the right and an FWS band on the left. I’m not sure how we’re going to read it, being so high up on those rocks.

She took off to chase a turkey vulture–a long hard battle that seemed more serious than is usually given to TVs. She landed in a small hole just north of the scrape. Only her tail was showing. Out she came after a minute and into another hole just south of the scrape. This time she came out with a white bird that we ID’d as a white tailed kite. These holes are clearly food stashes.

She settled back on her high rock and ate, then took off for a long loopy flight, carrying the kite’s remains. She landed on the scrape and the male took the bird and flew with it to the same rock, where he ate. Either there was not much left to it, or he was not very hungry. After a short lunch, he left the remains on the rock and took off to the west, over the hill. The female had disappeared into the scrape cavity.

We left, having witnessed a nest exchange and a food exchange. Clearly hard incubation has started (sometime between 3.19 and 3.23)

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