Category Archives: Steppe eagles

Return from Naivasha: Rosy, Eagle Sightings

Rosy stepped out of the kennel and onto the glove with a vigour he has not shown for months. I walked him about and reassured him in soft tones that all was well. For the last few months during his complete blindness, he had been mellow and calm. He also “read” – a term used when a hooded (blindfolded) raptor scans his head back and forth as if reading a book. This habit is a sure sign that he was blind. Now he stood with his head still and looking hard. Today he was nervous. This is great news, and I was hopelessly emotional for only a short while till Mwanzia came walking down the path.

Rosy two days post-op
Picture of Rosy this morning

After breakfast, we thanked Sarah and Mike for being such great hosts, for us and the eagles. We got to Nairobi and dropped in to see Dr. Munir Virani, a colleague now heading the African programme for the Peregrine Fund. We then went together to Ngong Forest to view the Crowned Eagle nest where Virani and a photographer friend hope to build a hide. The nest is remarkably exposed, easy to access, and very close to high human density. We discussed various options to minimise the level of disturbance on this apparently tolerant pair. We also talked of the enormous development projects regarding the rural electrification of Africa and the apparent loss of environmental issues in the haste to get this mandate completed. Just what can be done to insure human development and not compromise wildlife and raptors in particular is an enormous challenge.

Approaching home from Nairobi, we turned off into Portland cement ranch. Immediately there were the large herds of wildlife and we aimed for the Martial Eagle nest. This is an odd site as we saw the adult male and female, large chick on nest as well as a 3-year-old sub-adult that was completely tolerated at the nest.

Driving on, we encountered an over-wintering near-adult Steppe Eagle, and three Tawny Eagles as well as a half dozen White backed Vultures roosting in a few yellow fever trees. It was an opportunity to compare these two similar eagles.

tawny eagle at portland cement
Tawny Eagle

steppe eagle at portland cement
Steppe Eagle

Finally arriving home near sunset, Tim flew in and landed on my back as I ducked down to avoid him. Laila then fed him in the evening light. Poor Tim, he still thinks we are family. Thankfully, he is not stupid and I am sure he would not do this with strangers. I hoped he would leave of his own accord, but as he persists in coming home, another solution may need to be found. We could, for example, release him along with the Bearded Vulture near the Tanzanian border in a beautiful mountainous location.