Saturday, 13 July 2013

Table Mountain National Park Black Eagles

A pair of Black Eagles have been breeding at Silvermine since at least 2004 when the nest was found by Lucia Rodrigues and avidly monitored by her ever since. They have been a very successful pair, but I have just received the sad news from Lucia that this year has seen the loss of the male and the consequential death of the young chick. Lucia's report is below. If you see Black Eagles anywhere on the peninsula please please report them to us AND via Special Watch http://sabap2.adu.org.za/special_watch.php?Spp=ve

Dear all,
The very sad news is that the week old 2013 Silvermine Black Eagle chick has died.
As far as I can tell, the female has lost her mate.
When I arrived at the nest on the Tuesday the 9th, I was immediately concerned to find the small chick lying by itself in bright sunshine with no food on the nest.
The female was in the vicinity, but never attend to the chick.
Just flew by several times, leaving the arena, coming back, perching on the cliff and always looking into the distance.
Same routine the following day and yesterday Thursday, the chick died.
It seems the female was too distracted by the absence of the male to attend to the chick.
I did put out a recently killed guinea pig, kindly donated by the World of Birds, but this did not seem to help in any way.
In the big picture, this probably happens to several pairs every season, but I am concerned what this might mean for the continued presence of a pair at Silvermine.

On a brighter note, I regularly receive reports of Black Eagles seen further up or down the peninsula mountain chain.
During the first week in June, Ross Suter watched a pair of Black Eagles “playing” with each other at Valken Ravine which is the section of Table Mountain overlooking Camps Bay.
Tuesday, Karoline Hanks, spotted a single adult near Venus Pool Cape Point.
These are only two of regular sightings I am notified of.
So I would like to take this opportunity to ask that as you drive or walk anywhere along our peninsula mountain chain, please keep a lookout for Black Eagles and let me know where and when they are seen.
Also keep in mind that there is a green wing tagged adult Black Eagle that commutes between the east coast of False Bay (Botrivier estuary/ Steenbras) and Cape Point.
I have a feeling we are entering into a period of transition with our Black Eagles on the peninsula and it would be nice to keep track of where they are seen.

Kind regards, Lucia.
signet@webafrica.org.za