Black-and-chestnut Eagle adult landing in the nest. Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
My childhood dreams about the tropics were partly fired by a wonderful book my parents had bought me, Birds of Prey of the World. One of the most mysterious birds it described was the Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori, back then called Oroaetus isidori), an inhabitant of the remote Andean cloud forests. Hardly ever seen, almost nothing was known about it. Today forty years later this endangered species is still one of the least-known Neotropical eagles, and it continues to capture the imagination of bird students everywhere.
In January of this year I got a letter from one such person, Ralph Buij, a raptor specialist from the Netherlands. He wrote “only for seeing those eagles I’d be willing to fly halfway across the world…” He had read on this blog about our eagle nest the previous year (the young bird died shortly after leaving the nest), and hoped the eagles would re-use the nest again this year.
In late May and early June our rangers saw the adults bringing sticks to the old nest. By July an adult was sitting on the nest. Ralph began to plan his trip.
He arrived in September and the eagles did not disappoint. These are some of his photos.
This year’s baby Black-and-chestnut Eagle. Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle adult bringing leaves to the nest. Looks like the baby is thinking “Mom, you KNOW I hate vegetables!” Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle adult bringing more leaves to the nest. These leaves may repel insects or acarid nest parasites. It would be worth investigating these further. Ralph’s photos may be good enough to get a tentative ID for the plants. Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle adult and young at our nest. Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle adult and baby in the nest. Click photo to enlarge. Photo: Ralph Buij.
Lou Jost, EcoMinga Foundation
Earlier EcoMinga posts on the Black-and-chestnut (or Andean) Eagle, Spizaetus isidori:
Last photos of our young Black-and-chestnut Eagle, (Spizaetus isidori)
Sad news: our baby eagle died
Our baby Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori) leaves its nest
An eagle specialist team visits our Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori) nest
Monkey killer: Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)
Black-and-chestnut Eagle nest discovered here at last!!!!!!!!!!
Better views of our Black-and-chestnut Eagle nest
Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori) again, in a different reserve
Our baby Black-and-chestnut Eagle is growing up fast!
Rio Zunac update: predator and prey