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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

All three eagle chicks, the ones on live video, are looking good

The eagle triplets, the ones on live video streamed by the DNR, it looks like they all might make it. Bald Eagles don’t often successfully raise three babies, according to Carrol Henderson, supervisor of the DNR’s non-game department. 

 

“Production of three chicks is probably an exception for most eagle pairs,” he told me Wednesday. “But, it appears this pair now has several years experience, and is doing a good job of taking care of the chicks.

 

“Equally impressive,” he said, “is that all three chicks are similar in size, no ‘runts’ after about two weeks, so I’m hopeful that all three will fledge.” Often, dominant chicks will prevent a sibling from getting enough food. That chick will die.

 

“It’s amazing how our eagle numbers continue to increase, and that their nests are so widely occurring in so many places,” Henderson said, “that we formerly would not have considered eagle habitat — like in suburban backyards.”

 

With that in mind, he said that people with house cat pets should be cautious about letting those animals outside. Cats are small enough for eagles to capture and kill. 

 

“If owners value their cats, they shouldn’t allow them to roam, or they could be the next prey items viewers see on the nest video feed,” he said. He also warned about coyotes, ever more abundant in neighborhoods city or suburban. He called cats “fast-food for coyotes.”

 

The American Bird Conservancy website explains a sensible “cats indoors” program. It’s good for cats and good for the wildlife outdoor cats kill.

 

Find the eagle video stream at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/features/webcams/eaglecam/index.html

Birders, photographers, and others boosted 2015 duck stamp sales

People who do not hunt waterfowl with firearms — like birders and photographers — made a big difference in duck stamp sales last year. We stepped up as needed to boost stamp sales and revenue.

 

Average sales in recent years, when the price was $15, were 1,512,841. Sales of the stamp issued in 2016, with a new price of $25, were over 1,595,500.

 

Better marketing is said to have been of help. Mostly, though, it was purchase by birders, refuge visitors, stamp and art collectors, environmental educators, wildlife photographers, and others who pushed sales.

 

When the price of the duck stamp went to $25 last year there was concern that the increase would discourage purchase. Hunters would buy the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp — aka duck stamp — because they have to; the stamp is part of the licensing requirement.

 

Concern is that hunters are shrinking in number, aging and dying and moving away from hunting. The number of hunters is trending down. A second concern was the response of people who do not hunt. We did just fine.

 

The money from stamp purchase is used to buy or lease habitat for not just waterfowl, but all bird species that depend on wetland and grassland habitat. Stamp purchase is a significant contribution to wildlife conservation, one with a very visible outcome.

 

If you bought a stamp, you helped. Do it again later this year when the new stamp arrives.  (You can buy them at your local post office and at many major sporting-goods chains.)

 

 

DUCK STAMP COMPETITION IN WISCONSIN THIS YEAR

 

2017 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will take place Sept. 15 at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point/

 

 

 

(Information has been taken from the newsletter  “Wingtips, Friends of the Migratory Bird / Duck Stamp.” Join at http://www.friendsofthestamp.org/about-us/how-to-join/)

 

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