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Xavier came in just before sunset and presented Diamond with a little gift at 5:31 pm; he then went to sit on their egg for about 10 minutes and left the nest box at 5:40 pm. Diamond returned at 6:09 pm and snuggled down on their egg.

I havenít been able to track much today but should mention that the nights are still quite frosty in Orange, and on August 19 (just yesterday) it was cold, wet, and very windy!
Raptor Cams / Re: Bald Eagle - DC / National Arboretum
« Last post by Alison on August 19, 2018, 22:42 »
The American Eagle Foundation posted a beautiful tribute to Valor. He was only 13 weeks old, and such a special and beautiful eaglet. He should have been flying free with his sibling Victory . . . this is a very hard loss.
Thank you for the updates, burdi!

Congratulations to Diamond and Xavier on their first egg!

First egg arrived early in the morning on August 20 at 2:07 am! Iím so happy for them.
I enjoyed the videos in this spring cleaning update and hope you don't miss them! :)  Xavier and Diamond were both present and clearly in protection mode - good thing Cilla wiped the cams quickly!

Disturbance for spring cleaning

Published 17 August, 2018 | By Cilla Kinross

I had to give the birds a bit of a fright this morning as the lenses were a bit grubby and it looked like this will be my last chance before the breeding season.  Diamond is looking quite broody and both birds have been doing a lot of scrape preparation.  Diamond in fact spent part of the nest in the scrape (but sheís not straining as yet).  So, although itís unlikely that we will have eggs for a week, itís entirely possible any day.

The videos are broken into three to make them a bit easier to handle.    Cheers  Cilla

All three videos by Cilla are in mp4 format.

20180818 disturbance 1

20180818 disturbance 2

20180818 disturbance 3 hummingbird

Iíve seen Xavier wait hours with a rejected gift and that saddened me as I strongly felt he was trying his very best. However, over the past few days Xavier seems to realize thereís little value in waiting with his gift once Diamond has rejected it Ö and now Iíve noticed heís beginning to persist only when she hasnít yet seen his gift (which will certainly save him from wasting a lot of time). For instance, on August 12 Xavier arrived with prey at 2:41 pm, but Diamond didnít show up (she was likely busy with something else), so although he left in about 40 minutes he continued to persist - coming in and out a few more times - until Diamond finally arrived at 3:50 pm and quickly grabbed the prey! Xavier was pleased she accepted and went straight to work on their scrape. :)  These birds are so intelligent and quite often theyíre able to work things out very well.

I suppose Diamond simply dislikes the taste of starling, though Iíve also wondered if she might have experienced an unpleasant reaction and wants to avoid that again. Well, whatever the reason, I do hope that Xavier enjoys a meal from the prey she refuses.
Early Saturday morning, August 11, Xavier arrived at 6:04 am and the pair enjoyed what appeared (to me) to be a very meaningful interaction. Xavier made half a circle around Diamond before both stood very still - and close - while seemingly whispering words of love to each other. :-*  Xavier left about three minutes later ... and Diamond didnít even move her feet until 6:09 am!!
On the 10th of August Xavier arrived before Diamond had a chance to leave, so they took the opportunity for a nice bonding session. And at 7:20 am Diamond was happy to receive the right prey, and Xavier appeared pleased. Then they enjoyed another bonding at 11:04 am and another acceptable gift an hour later! It was a busy morning.

Later, at 1:29 pm, Diamond stopped by the nest box and Xavier danced a complete circle around his lovely mate - though he left rather quickly.

And at 5:39 pm Xavier brought in a starling, but Diamond refused to come near it! He waited only a couple minutes then flew away with the starling.
Thursday morning, August 9, Diamond left the nest box at 6:05 am. Xavier quickly arrived though appeared to have accidentally landed on the tiny lower ledge we can't see. He might have banged his foot a bit but didn't lose his balance and immediately jumped up to the ledge.

Diamond returned at 6:13 am and the pair enjoyed a short dance. At 11:49 am they had another short dance, and at 2:07 pm they arrived at the nest box together and appeared to enjoy an extra sweet session.

Also, Xavier seems to be improving in his choice of prey for Diamond. He brought a gift which she readily accepted at 8:50 am, then at 3:50 pm he succeeded again! I hope he continues to please her. :)
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