A story from The Raptor
This story came to me from the guys at
Ardnamurchan Estate. I have been keeping an eye on a buzzard's nest close
by the office - some may recall my post last year when the buzzards moved nest
to the junction by the main road, where they successfully raised two chicks, but they
must have found it a bit noisy and this year moved back to their original nest
I had been watching the rebuild of the nest, then the female spending more time
on the nest obviously incubating an egg or eggs!. Well at
least two as recently I had been watching a couple of little balls of fluff
beginning to stretch and grow.
Now for the brutal reality of life in nature. On Tuesday morning as I
arrived at work I was greeted with looks of horror and comments of 'now I hope
this doesn't upset you'... puzzled I asked what was ado! Then the story
Only minutes before I arrived at work the guys had heard quite a disturbance in
the air, birds of all sorts were circling and calling and as loud as they
could. A white tailed sea eagle was circling over the bay, it came in
close enough to the buzzards nest to set the female buzzard up, this then
caught the attention of a couple of passing gulls who also joined in the
harassing of the eagle. However, the eagle persisted on its mission and kept
circling closer and closer to the nest, then two ravens joined in the
harassment closely followed by a couple of hoodies but no matter how many dives
and attacks this band of birds made on the eagle it carried on eyeing up the
nest and moving in closer and closer, I suppose all the time gauging the
distance onto the nest and also if it could make a successful raid. The
harassing continued unabated by these aerial combatants, all it seems in vain as
the eagle eventually made its move and went into a dive, folding it's great
wings back and at great speed went crashing into the trees and through the
branches straight onto the buzzard's nest. The noise from the buzzard, the
gulls, ravens and hoodies was at a crescendo. Just a second later the eagle
emerged from the tree working its wings hard to gain height and get into the
air and there held in its huge talons was a large limp payload, a pair of
helpless buzzard chicks! A precision attack by a master predator and a
hard earned meal for its young, for it too has young to feed.
The buzzards the mating season was over in an instant all the hard work in
repairing the nest, the laying of eggs, the whole incubation period and the
hours of hunting and feeding the next generation, gone in a second of majestic
but brutal reality of life in nature.
Our tale however goes on. The following day I was sure I heard a high pitched
squeal coming from the trees. I moved closer and waited a while and then
and a very fluffy white head popped up as an adult buzzard swooped into the
nest carrying a mouse or a vole. One chick had survived this aerial attack, and
now on its own and being the sole focus of both parents I should hope it
continues its growth unmolested into adulthood.
I have to thank all my roving reports at the estate for relaying this story.
We will keep you updated on the remaining time our chick has on the nest.