Take a close look at Romeo’s feathers. Those feathers to a eagle are like our teeth when we are young. They go bye bye and a new one grows in. Only difference is a eagle repeats this each summer.

Eagles and many birds molt during the hottest time of the year, usually August. The warmth allows them to shed feathers and not become hypothermic. Eagles try not use a lot of energy during this period. Molting zaps their energies. Most of a eagles energy goes to to keeping themselves warm. So during these hot periods they do not need to eat as often. So they can afford to stay still for longer periods of time.

In the winter they need to eat constantly as their heat output needs to increase due to the colder weather.

Think of it like a woodstove,in the summer when it’s warm out, you never use it,but in the winter when It’s cold outside,you use it all the time!


52 thoughts on “SUNSET STRETCH

      1. There was a Great Horned Owl hanging out in one of the big maples at my place all day. Disappeared just before dusk. It was pretty big, but of course much of that was feathers.

  1. Hi Wayne, your pictures and commentary always make me happy. I love these sunset pictures. You have mentioned the molting process before and it is fascinating. Nature is incredible. I recently learned that female hyena’s have a complete fake set of male genitalia. Incredible!

      1. I’ll say! I just read that a Zoo in Japan was trying to get two Hyena’s to mate but couldn’t? Turns out they were both males.
        It also appears to be difficult to mate. Males must be skilled.
        Talk about a good reason to turn celibate!

  2. Another winner, Wayne!

    Yes, Audrey is fortunate to have a great horned owl in her area. If it is part of a pair, she might be able to locate a nest in February or March by owl pellets and decapitated prey heads at the base of a tree or by careful observation. They fly silently because of the structure of their feathers, so be careful around their nests! I used to follow a pair nesting in a local cemetery. They nested in the same tree every year for years and successfully raised babies each time. (There is lots of prey in cemeteries with trees and shrubs!)

    1. I do not believe that I have ever seen a Great Horned Owl Doug? We just do not get a lot of owls out here for some reason? That must have been exciting to follow that pair!
      Thanks for letting me know!

  3. It is always nice to read the information you post about eagles and wildlife. The wood stove illustration is a good example of the energy an eagle uses in the winter. Romeo is such a beautiful creature. Your picture is spectacular.

  4. Thanks for the information about eagles and their feathers. Interesting and it makes sense. I will have my eyes peeled for them in the fall. Lots of osprey here and so seeing an eagle is always a good feeling for me.

  5. It is good to see Romeo has made it through another summer. How are the wildfires up in your area, Wayne? We are getting smoke now from fires south of us, fortunately none are nearby this year.

      1. Yes and tonights sunset will be the same for you Lavinia. I checked the smoke map and Washington State/Oregon has lots of smoke being generated from forest fires.
        I hope you all are doing well.

  6. Poor Romeo! Although I’ve seen ducks and geese flying overhead or down by the Detroit River, the waterfowl at Council Point Park have not yet returned, so I guess their flight feathers are not ready. What a pain for our feathered friends.

    1. Romeo was even more tired last night as he didn’t even come over! Both he and Juliette just sat perched watching me!
      I realized I wasn’t going to get any shots with them,so I headed back to Tsapee Narrows but because of the distance the sun had set just as I was arriving! So I missed it!

      1. Poor birds – the molting takes a lot out of them. Our pet birds were tired and did not talk and sing for about 10 weeks, from the start of molting until the end and then some. With the two canaries I tape recorded them singing and played it for them to try to get them interested in singing again.

        Were you going out for the tail end of the Harvest Moon?

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