This was a day of fog and failure. We had dense fog at 8:30 am - so dense that we couldn't see the trees on either side of the field initially. Soon the sun got to work and by 9:00 visibility was much better and the distant fog added atmosphere. The eagles - about 50 of them - came down at about 9:10 and there was a decent aerial show and an excellent ground show for about 15 to 20 spectators. Because the feeding was late in getting started I deferred the 10:30 feeding for a quarter of an hour.
By 10:30 we had a glorious day with plenty of sunshine and some fleecy clouds. It was warm - above zero and climbing slowly. With some trepidation I put the chicken out at about 10:45. The number of spectators had grown to over 70 while someone counted 58 eagles. The warmer weather, number of spectators and the lateness of the first feeding conspired to keep the eagles in the trees. There were several false starts with some excellent aerials from 5 or six eagles and on a number of occasions we got two eagles on the ground. But while they moved the chicken around they didn't really start eating and each false start fizzled out.
Stalling for time I went on my chicken run, then went to lunch but when I returned at about 1:40 the feed had been out for three hours. The number of spectators and eagles had shrunk to about a dozen and it was clear that there wasn't going to be any glorious last minute show. Sadly, I picked up the chicken.
I am particularly sorry for those that drove some distance today - many from the Metro area and at least one NB license plate. Better luck next time.
We'll try again tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30.
Malcolm lives in Sheffield Mills and is our resident eagle feeder. He feeds the eagles daily and has a unique relationship with these large birds. These are his adventures!