On July 6, 2003, my good friend, Walnut Creek, Calif., photographer Brian Murphy, and I, did a front page story in the Contra Costa Times about the Shell Ridge golden eagle. The story had many of Brian’s perceptive photos of that huge, beautiful raptor.
Brian takes a lot of photos of wild creatures that live on our beloved 3,849-foot Mount Diablo here in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco East Bay area. Over the years Brian has developed a special relationship with these wild animals. Some people have even accused him of being their friend.
With that in mind, I thought you’d appreciate this e-mail I received from Brian this morning:
Gary: Interesting wildlife soap opera going on in our area.
Last year the Walker Canyon male eagle died from West Nile and it looks like the Walker Canyon female took the Shell Ridge male, not giving the Shell Ridge female enough time to find another mate, so she doesn’t have a mate this year. The two pairs kind of hung out together in Walker Canyon and share part of the territory.
But it looks like the female chick from 2002 is back with her mom and they are hanging out together in Shell Ridge.
I have to confirm this is the 2002 chick. I did see a female golden with white at the base of it’s tail feathers fly by me near the nest and that would be the correct age of the young female.
Perhaps mom is going to show her how to find unattached males? (Brian, Walnut Creek)
Will the Shell Ridge eagle find a new mate in time to breed and raise a family this year (doubtful). If she does, will her attractive daughter lure the new male off to a secret Mount Diablo canyon to help her build a nest?
Tune in next week to further adventures of, "Notes From the Wilds of Mount Diablo."