From Our E-Book: All About Banding

oldest banded-bald-eagle-2015-2jpg-ddfb72936068d7ef-001In advance of next week’s eaglet banding, ou can learn more about the process in our free on-line e-book.

The chapter on banding is here, just a click away. Page 48 6-6 Kathy_1847

The chapter includes:

      • An interview with Bald Eagle expert Kathy Clark (picture at right), who will participate in Monday’s banding
      • Two videos on a previous Duke Farms eagle banding
      •  A link to an update on some of Duke Farms  banded eaglets.

— Jim Wright

 

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Introducing Eagle-Nest Tree Climber John Heilferty

DSCN9791-001 Written By: Jim Wright for Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation

John Heilferty, a field biologist with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) for 27 years, has climbed trees since he was a boy, but only started climbing recently as a professional. The Duke Farms eagle nest tree presents quite a challenge.

Find out why — as well as the answer to the age-old question, “What does an eagle nest really smell like?” — in this extensive interview.

Tell us about your childhood.

I climbed trees all the time — even though it was hard to bend your knees in those Sears “Toughskins” jeans when they were brand new.

We moved from the house I first grew up in when I was 9, buIMG_3781t I remember an awesome tree in that back yard. It was probably not as tall as I remember it now, but me and my two brothers were up in that tree all the time. I have to give my mom a lot of credit for letting us do some of the crazy stuff we did back then.

She’s gray haired now, of course.

How long have you climbed for the DEP?

This is only my second season doing the tree work for the Bald Eagle Project. Formerly, Program zoologist Mick Valent did all of the ENSP’s tree climbing. But when Mick retired in the fall of 2014, the climbing role was among the many big shoes he left to be filled!

I took over his climbing responsibilities and began getting ready going into the 2015 nesting season. Continue reading

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Add Duck to the Menu — But What Kind?

snap_cam1_03_05_2016_16_01_03_01Part of the intrigue of nest watching is trying to guess what the parents will bring in next (don’t want to seem gruesome — it’s all part of the food chain).

Duke Farms’ Charles Barreca reports that this young duck (above and below) was on today’s menu.

Question is, what species?  Charles comments:  “A lot of the feathers were pin feathers, so it was an immature of molting bird, hence why ID is so confusing.

“Perhaps the speculum was actually an exposed band of sheaths exposed by the injury?”

What do you think? Please answer in the comments section.

(Thanks, Charles!)

              –Jim Wright

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Meet Jack Kuhlman, Duke Farms ‘Tree Man’

DSCN9800-001Written By: Jim Wright for Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation

Next Monday morning, the two Duke Farms eaglets are scheduled to be banded by state wildlife biologists and examined by a wildlife veterinarian.

Another state wildlife biologist will climb more than 80 feet up the tree to retrieve the two eaglets.

Behind the scenes, ace tree climber and arborist Jack Kuhlman has helped with the cam and the climb. Continue reading

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Bald Eagle Nest Update, Week of May 2

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 7.30.48 AMThe Duke Farms eaglets are now approximately five weeks old.

They will be banded next Monday, May 9, with the banding streamed live on the Eagle Cam Ustream channel starting at 9:30 a.m.

The young birds stay in the nest for approximately 10 to 12 weeks, until they are large enough and strong enough to leave (fledge). This is typically toward late June.

Click the Duke Farms logo at right for our home page.

Tomorrow: Meet arborist Jack Kuhlman, who has helped Duke Farms with the eagle tree and the cam — and much more — for two decades.

Wednesday: Introducing wildlife biologist/tree climber Jack Kuhlma of the state’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program, who will climb the eagle nest tree next Monday and retrieve the two eaglets for banding and medical testing.

— Jim Wright

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‘Add Lamprey to the Menu’

lamprey

Duke Farms’ Charles Barreca shared this Eagle Cam photo and advised: “Add Lamprey to the menu.”

Done. (Thanks, Charles!)

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Amazing Close-ups — and More — from the Nest

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.05.05 AMEvery once in a while, Duke Farms’ Charles Barreca puts the Eagle Cam through its paces — like yesterday around 9 a.m.

Below are some more of the images the cam captured  yesterday — plus a shot of the cam itself.  Just click on the image. (Thanks, Charles!)

The Duke Farms free on-line Bald Eagle e-book chapter about the cam is here.

An earlier post about  cam maestro Charles Barreca is here.

An earlier post featuring a close-up of an adult Bald Eagle’s eye is here.

                             — Jim Wright

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An Interview with Eagle Expert Larissa Smith of CWF

Written By: Jim Wright for Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation

Larissa Smith, biologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation, is in charge of several projects, from leading the effort to monitor dozens of  Bald Eagle nests in New Jersey to running  CWF’s citizen-science project to learn more about  the Duke Farms eaglets’ diet.

This photo is of Larissa holding an eagle at a banding last week. You can't see her face, but as Larissa explains: "it's an action shot. That's what I look like in the field." Larissa adds: "The eagle is wearing a hood to help calm it down. The eagle booties are new this year. I made them out of my husband's old Carharts. :) They keep the bird from hurting anyone or itself with the talons."

This photo is of Larissa holding an eagle at a banding last week.
You can’t see her face, but as Larissa explains: “it’s an action shot. That’s what I look like in the field.”
Larissa adds: “The eagle is wearing a hood to help calm it down. The eagle booties are new this year. I made them out of my husband’s old Carharts.:) They keep the bird from hurting anyone or itself with the talons.”

We thought you’d like to know more about Larissa, her research and the current citizen-science project at Duke Farms.

When did you first get involved with Bald Eagles and Bald Eagle research?

I started working with the bald eagle project in 2000 when I joined CWF.

A large part of my job was to work with the Eagle Project volunteers who monitor the nests.

In 2000 there were 23 eagle nests in the state, so I knew each nest and volunteer personally. Now with close to 200 nesting sites being monitored and 70 volunteers, I haven’t been to all the northern nests.

I split the state with ENSP (Endangered and Nongame Species Program) biologist Robert Somes.

How did the idea for the Bald Eagle nest-monitoring project come about?

ENSP & CWF biologists work on many different species. So it was impossible for biologists to monitor each eagle nest as the population grew.

Eagle project volunteers report on important dates such and incubation, hatching and fledging. They are also the first ones to see any issues such as disturbance to the nest site.

Volunteers are also wonderful educators and our best outreach for eagles. They spend a lot of time at the nest sites and often get asked questions by neighbors and interested people. Continue reading

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Bald Eagle Update, Week of April 27

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.25.39 AMThe Duke Farms eaglets are now approximately a month old.

The first eaglet hatched Saturday, March 26. The second hatched Monday, March 28.

The young birds stay in the nest for approximately 10 to 12 weeks, until they are large enough and strong enough to leave (fledge). This is typically toward late June

Scroll down for other recent posts. Our free on-line Bald Eagle e-book — packed with cool links, videos and info — is here. The chapter on nestlings is here. The chapter includes a link to a video of a fawn bring brought into the Duke Farms nest seven years ago.

Click the Duke Farms logo at right for our home page.

Tomorrow: An interview with CWF’s Larissa Smith, who is spearheading the citizen-science project on the Duke Farms eaglets’ diet.

— Jim Wright

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Our Bald Eagle E-Book — Learn More About These Raptors

DF eagle e-bookHave you seen Duke Farms’ Bald Eagle free on-line e-book yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

You can view it on any electronic device with Internet access, and you can even hear the pages turn if you have your sound on.  (The e-book was done with the help of the good folks at Conserve Wildlife Foundation.)

You can start here. Or, by clicking the subject below, you can go right to a pertinent chapter (but look around some by flipping the pages, too). Pages may take a few seconds to load.

Bald Eagles and Their Nests

The New Eagle Cam

The Eggs and the Hatch

The Nestlings

A Season at the Nest (my favorite)

— Jim Wright

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