Birds of a Feather

One of the many amazing things about Bald Eagle eaglets, and birds in general, is how fast they develop. Not only are the eaglets growing larger and adding body weight, they are sprouting row after row of feathers as well. If you look at the eaglet pictures that I have posted recently and compare them to the photo above you are sure to notice the obvious change in their appearance. The small bodies that were just recently covered with gray fuzz and attached to scrawny, bare wings that seemed to awkwardly always be in the way, are rapidly being carpeted with new feathers. Not just any feathers either, but eagle feathers. Eagle feathers are larger than the feathers of most other birds and quite sturdy as well. They need to be. The typical adult Bald Eagle weighs more than 10 pounds and stands more than 30 inches tall. That is a lot of bird to carry thousands of feet into the air.

The eaglets are already flapping around although the feathering is not yet complete enough to create the lift necessary for flight. The feathers are however reaching the point where they may catch just enough wind to carry the young bird over the side of the nest on these gusty days. The bowl of the nest serves as a safe haven from the winds but when the eaglets hop up onto the rim of the nest the full force of the wind is encountered.

Jim is beginning to show the wear and tear of constantly meeting the demands of feeding and defending his offspring. The underside of his feathers are looking a little dingy these days. And as if he didn’t have enough to do, one of the eaglets (at least I think it is the same one each time) is developing a habit of pulling sticks out of the nest. That is not a good idea when you are dozens of feet above the ground.

Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Go Jim…Hang in there….Love watching them

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