Merlins versus Crows but no eaglet at 9:00 AM March 28
This is the third day with no sign of the eaglet. We watched the empty nest from 9:00 - 9:45 AM today and
heard no calls. The adult female was roosting on the Melaleuca snag west of the nest.
Fish Crows were flying around the nest, possibly in search of left-over prey remains.
Some of the crows also surrounded the roosting eagle and flew over her head, perhaps trying to distract her while the others checked out the nest. They waited until the eagle was preening and then flew down at her.
Suddenly a Merlin made a dive at one of the crows.
The crows fled together and sometimes chased after the Merlin, which was much faster and more maneuverable. Boldly, one of the crows tried to take over the Merlin's favorite roosting spot just west of the eagle nest. The Merlin counterattacked.
Finally the crows relented and let the Merlin take his rightful place.
The Merlin will soon migrate back to its home in the Arctic tundra. Just as we were leaving it suddenly dove into the Mahogany tree in the median and came out chasing a smaller bird, possibly a grackle. They disappeared to the south.