Update from Fort St. Vrain

– By Lisa Levesque and Elaine Burritt

Good morning everybirdie. FSV44 is 12 weeks old today. I wanted to do a small recap of this crazy, sad, happy, exciting, and educating season.

  • In August 2020 Bill Heston reported that the nest had collapsed. John Howe, Bill, Tina Lopez, and Tina’s husband worked to rebuild this beautiful nest.
  • At the end of January the pair showed up, there were great behavioral differences. It was realized we had a new Pa. It started getting late for eggs, making us wonder if it would happen, when on March 4 (3-4 weeks later than was typical), Ma laid the first egg. Bizarrely, Pa immediately flew in to copulate, which certainly showed that he was a young first-time Dad 😂. She laid two more eggs on March 7 and March 10. One egg was lost to a major snowstorm on March 15.
  • On April 14, our sweet FSV43 hatched 🐣 New Pa was definitely fascinated but very uncertain of what to do. Unfortunately on April 15, we lost FSV43. 😭 RRP did not say what they believed happened [Amy’s note: we don’t know for sure, but hypothermia is a big killer of young eaglets in their first two or so weeks of life].
  • FSV44 hatched on April 17. This eaglet had to be smart right away with a new Pa also learning. 44 seemed to progress quicker than typical (my opinion only) and I wonder if that was because of new Pa also being taught – kind of like an older, larger sibling. On June 17, 44 branched and started its journey out of the nest. On July 6, 44 fledged. This happened off-cam, but shadows and sound clearly showed it. As of this writing, 44 was last seen on cam on July 14. S/he may still make brief appearances or not. This beautiful juvenile is in the nest area, learning all the skills needed for a successful life away from its parents.

The new Pa certainly changed tremendously throughout the season. Did he win Ma over? Will he be back next season? Time will tell.

EDIT On 7/17 it was announced that FSV44 was caught, banded and fitted with a transponder as part of a study by Colorado Fish and Wildlife. Exam and measurements showed FSV44 to be MALE. He is already doing great things to help his species! You can learn more about that here: https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID=7858. For more photos (a lot more!) go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RaptorResourceProject/posts/4195498237153430.