[Bristol-Birds] Fw: Making a case for ealge nest hunting in the Upper Holston rivers.

  • From: "Harrington, R" <roneharrin@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol Bird Network" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:31:17 -0500

During the 2011-12 Glade Spring CBC (December 17) two Bald Eagles were spotted. 
One was just north of the Chilhowie Elementary School, and the other was south 
of Glade Spring near the Lodi pond. 

Ron Harrington
Glade Spring CBC Compiler

----- Original Message ----- 
From: jomart 
To: Harrington, R 
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 12:48 PM
Subject: Re: [Bristol-Birds] Making a case for ealge nest hunting in the Upper 
Holston rivers.

Hi Ron,
I caught a glimpse of the Eagle flying on Rte. 734 (off Rte. 91 towards 
Damascus - just before Lodi Pond) about where it connects with Rte. 803 (see 
our map).  It was flying in the distance and it looked like it was back over 
towards Rte. 91 and the Lodi Pond area.

Hope this helps to pinpoint it a little better. Tom Hunter also saw it near 
this I think.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Harrington, R 
  To: Marty/Jo Ann Huber/Detta 
  Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:55 PM
  Subject: Fw: [Bristol-Birds] Making a case for ealge nest hunting in the 
Upper Holston rivers.

  Marty/Jo Ann:  Do you remember the location of the Bald eagle you spotted 
during our 2011 CBC? Thanks.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wallace Coffey 
  To: Bristol-birds 
  Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:27 PM
  Subject: [Bristol-Birds] Making a case for ealge nest hunting in the Upper 
Holston rivers.


  "January 20, 2011 - As you can see, there is a lot of distance between me and 
  beautiful birds. What amazes me, no matter how far away you may be from them, 
  are large in size and easy to find.". --  Jason Shupe, photographer.

  A pair of Bald Eagles perch in a winter tree just days  before egg 
  laying time near the Middle Fork Holston River west  of Chilhowie, 
  VA.  Jason Shupe, a naturalist and eagle photographer, captured 
  this photo in the Mill Creek Community of Washington County, VA
  last year. Arguably, the slightly larger bird in the left back is not
  fully adorned with white head and tail.  But females can mate 
  without all the prime feathers.  The male needs to have the full
  feathering of adulthood.  If this is a photo of a male and female,
  then the larger bird would be the female.

  One year ago (Feb 23), Martha Beth Graham, a kindergarten
  teacher at Chilhowie Elementary School, saw a Bald Eagle 
  along the Middle Fork Holston behind the school and took her
  students out on the school field to see the bird. Note that our
  South Fork Holston nest and the Avens Bridge pair at this
  date, this year (Feb. 25), have been on eggs nearly a month.

  Graham wrote the following to Richard Kretz:

  Richard,   Thanks for the info about Bristol Bird Club tracking 
  eagles!  Here is the information from the siting at Chilhowie 
  Elementary. . . . seen in the  back yard and parent drop off 
  loop along the Middle Fork of the Holston River   Feb. 23, 2011
  The eagle was seen by several students and parents as they 
  came to school between 8:00 and 8:30.  The eagle was in a 
  tree near the river and then it dove into the river and 
  came out with a fish in its talons....it put on quite a show!. . . . 
  around 8:30-8:45  I saw the eagle in the back yard of the school 
  roosting in a tree by the river.  I took a class of Kindergarten 
  students out to stalk the bird ...we were able to get fairly close 
  until the train went by and he flew down the river...."

  Shupe says he saw a Bald Eagle along the Middle Fork Holston
  in January 2012.

  Bald Eagles began to make a show in the Chilhowie-Glade Spring
  area in the winter of 2009-2010.  The Glade Spring Christmas
  Bird County had been conducted decades without anyone reporting
  a Bald Eagle until Dec. 29, 2009 when Jo Ann Detta and Marty
  Huber saw one south of Lodi and Glade Spring in an area away
  from water in Washington County but fairly close to the Middle
  Fork Holston River.  That same winter, Jason saw a Bald Eagle
  along the Middle Fork at Chilhowie.

  Just a month before the bird caught the fish at the
  Chilhowie Elementary School, Jason gets this photo 
  (above) of a bird downstream in Washington County.

   On March 26, 2011, at a date when Bald 
   Eagles in this area would have nestlings,
   Richard Kretz captures this photo of an adult
   perched at the Buller Fish Hatchery (Smyth 
   County) near Sugar Grove on the South Fork
   Holston River.  This is no evidence of a nesting 
   pair but the date should make us pay close attention.

   As the nation's Bald Eagle population increases, so do birds
   flying past our hawk migration lookout at Mendota Fire Tower
   in Washington Co. and at other lookouts.  The wintering 
   population is increasing on area lakes.  The numbers on
   Christmas Bird Counts are increasing and two counts hit
   record highs this year.  Nests in the region are increasing.

   We have watched the migration of the Bald Eagles increase
   steadily at the Mendota FT lookout each fall from 5-7 birds per 
   season 2002 to 2006 up to 40 and 49 eagles per season
   for the past two falls.

   The Bristol Christmas Bird Count surged to a region record of
   6 Bald Eagles this past Christmas from an average of about
   1 bird per year for decades with a previous high of 3.  The
   Elizabethton CBC reached a record high 5.  

   The species has recovered so well that it has been delisted
   from the endangered species status.

   Bald Eagles are recorded every month of the year at Musick's
   Campground on South Holston Lake where we are keeping
   good records of birds seen. We have had multiple eagles there
   at one time several days this late summer into winter.  On 
   October 27, 2011 there were 5 eagles recorded on South Holston 
   Lake with 2 at Musick's, 2 on an island at the dam and a single
   bird at the TWRA ramp near Musick's.

   It would be easy to sleep right thru these cold, dark, winter
   nights into January and throughout February while a Mountain
   Empire population of Bald Eagles is busy nesting along many
   of our waterways and impoundments.  Of course, we would not
   miss a bird building right under our nose but they are not all
   that obvious. 

   Wallace Coffey
   Bristol, TN

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