Today Is The Day!

Thirty-five days ago today Cindy took to the nest!

Assuming that she laid the first egg that day, today is prime hatching time for the first new eaglet! After the arduous struggle to free itself from the shell, the exhausted eaglet will need some rest but soon it will begin to realize that it is hungry. It will stay hungry for the next ten weeks. Watch for a gradual increase in hunting trips by whichever adult is not on the nest.

The eaglet will be totally defenseless even from cold weather as its white fluff is a poor insulator. The chick sized eaglet has been confined in a three-inch-long egg with no room to move about and will enjoy being able to stretch a little. Its feet are useless and the large beak makes its head heavy, but stretching and wiggling around will begin the process of strengthening its muscles. In a day or two it may have siblings in the nest to contend with for food. The white fluff will soon give way to a warmer gray fuzz, then true feathers will begin to sprout. It is almost hard to believe that the awkward looking youngster will soon be a majestic Bald Eagle.

Opportunities to see the eagles fishing the waters near Eastwood will increase as the eaglets grow. They each gain one pound in weight every five days or so and Jim and Cindy also have to feed themselves. Here are a few things to watch for to indicate the presence of an eaglet or two: the adults aggressively defending the nest; the parent in the nest moving around more often; food being delivered to the nest; the adult bird in the nest shredding the fish and bending down to feed the eaglets.

The eaglets will be hard to see for a few weeks still. The walls of the nest have gotten quite a bit higher this season which is why the pole-mounted eagle-cams are having a hard time capturing much activity but soon we will see fuzzy gray heads peeking over the sides and the flashes of scrawny gray  wingtips. By the latter part of May we should see adult size eaglets dancing on the rim of the aerie! But let’s not count our eaglets before their hatched.

The accompanying photos show how deep the nest is getting. What a difference a year makes! When looking at them remember that an adult Bald Eagle stands 30 to 35 inches tall for a proper perspective.

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 5:36 am  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Looking forward to seeing more pictures and hearing about the Eastwood eaglets. I noted a protective mode by one of the eagles, yesterday, in shooing off some other birds when I checked the web cam.

    It will be getting noisy soon, I am sure.

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