Skinner Butte Eagles Nest

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Leader: Margaret Essenberg
Hike: 1 miles, 200 ft (Easy)

Thirteen people met at the the foot of Skinner Butte at 9:00 a.m. The leaders gave everyone a hand-drawn map that shows paths and eagle-nest viewpoints. We walked to the Lamb Cottage from which the nest can be seen, and everyone tried to memorize the Gestalt of the split-top fir in which the nest sits. We ambled up the switchback trail, hearing bird-songs and enjoying early Trillium flowers. We prowled about the summit, looking eastwards toward the completely cloud-obscured Sisters, southwards over Eugene to Spencer Butte, down the south slope to the U of O's letter "O" and South High's letter "E", and north to the osprey nest. We have not seen any ospreys at the nest this year and suspect that the eagles have been such unpleasant neighbors during the past two breeding seasons that the osprey pair are seeking a safer neighborhood for raising a family this year. From the paved, wooded path that traverses the summit, we saw an adult bald eagle sitting on the nest. The leaders tried to imprint on all members' minds the location of the viewpoint so they can return later to watch the eaglets grow from gray fluff-balls to dark, awkward, flight-eager adolescents. We walked down the west face, traversing the meadow that is recovering from last summer's grass fire, descended beside the basalt columns, and returned to the parking lot at 11:00 a.m.

Hikers were: Rick Ahrens, Liz De Shetler, Karen Ecker, John Harimar, Ed Lozano, Sally O'Donnell, Jim Pierce, Margaret Prentice, Bonnie Richman, Pat Soussan, Peggy Windle and leaders Margaret and Richard Essenberg.

Members: Rick Ahrens, Liz DeShetler, Margaret Prentice, Jim Pierce, Bonnie Richman, Pat Soussan, Peggy Windle, Margaret Essenberg, Richard Essenberg. Nonmembers: Sally O'Donnell, Karen Ecker, John Harimar, Ed Lozano.

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