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April 19, 2010: Padding the Nest and Keeping it Clean

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Mom and dad are constantly adding and subtracting from the nest. On several occasions the male has brought in new greenery---this not only pads the nest and adds clean material, but green vegetation also helps repel insects that otherwise might accumulate. Those who were watching at 7:30 this morning saw mom pluck a pigeon and shower the feathers on top and around her young. She was pretty clearly adding padding to the nest. The plastic bag appears to be gone---perhaps it blew away or the adults decided to remove it themselves (it also may be hidden beneath the chicks.) In its place a long rubber strip that has also been in the nest for weeks but which  has now become more prominent. The young also play a role in keeping the nest clean---Almost from the time of hatch the young instinctually lift their butts and aim their poop outward. A clean nest is important not only to keep bacteria and mites and other nastys to a minimum but also to keep the young clean. Feathers that are covered in poop or other debris will be compromised.

Also keep your eyes out for humming birds buzzing the nest. It happened fairly frequently last year and there were a few reports earlier this year, but nobody has commented on it recently.

It was great to see lots of people out for the eagle release yesterday in Lake Oswego---Thanks to all the Raptor Cam viewers who came up and introduced themselves including folks from Westridge Elementary who have also been sending in outstanding questions. The eagle flew great! See story on Bald Eagle release.

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