And Now There Is One

The second eaglet fledged on Tuesday shortly after 2 PM. That leaves just a lone eaglet in that great big nest. It really looked alone and kind of pitiful up there. Although the nest is around 8 feet in diameter it had become pretty crowded with three adult-sized eaglets flapping around. And even though this last eaglet has the entire place to itself, it spent all afternoon watching swallows, red wings, kingbirds and heron fly by while it waited for a glimpse of a sibling. When one young eagle did finally fly past, only to land in a distant tree, the nestbound eaglet stared at it for several minutes. Once in a while it could hear the chatter of the novice fliers calling to each other or Mom and Dad.

The adults were really feeding this last one well. Mom brought home a fish, carrying it in her beak as she flew to the nest. Then Dad brought a young duck home for dinner. The duck wasn’t in the nest for long when Mom escorted one of the siblings back to the nest to help eat it. It landed fairly smoothly in the nest while Cindy made a tight pass and headed back to the east. I imagine that she was heading back to the other juvenile. Meanwhile, Jim had a clear view of the nest and all of the activity from his perch on a limb overhanging the river. He even appeared to be smiling.

On one trip, Cindy took out the garbage. She carried it in her beak until she was about 30 feet from the nest then she bent her head down and transferred the item to her feet without missing a beat of her wings. They are so amazing to watch and so graceful for their size.

Speaking of size, I have included one picture in this post that shows Jim leaving the nest while an eaglet spreads its wings in the background. The eaglet appears larger than the adult male because it is. The feathers of the wings of the eaglets are actually larger than those of the adults. Over the next few years these feathers will be replaced by smaller feathers through molting. This mixture of the old feathers with the new ones is why the trailing edge of a juvenile eagle’s wings appear so tattered and uneven. Eventually their wings will have the straight, well manicured appearance that you see on the adult birds.

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 5:51 am  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It looks like the last one is saying “where’d everybody go”? !

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