OK, technically Jim and Cindy are feeding an eaglet!

At 6:20PM EST, Jim flew into the nest carrying a fish and after tearing at it once or twice, he left it there next to Cindy as she incubated the eggs, and flew off. I thought “Well that was interesting.” Cindy stretched her neck over and pecked at it a bit and then became quite still again. Ten minutes later she stood, repositioned her clutch and then repositioned herself as she settled back down on the eggs.

At 7:40 PM Jim flew back to that same side of the nest and began shredding that fish. With Cindy well to the left and Jim shredding fish from the right rim of the nest I could see some independent movement through a hole in the wall of the nest! Something was thrusting itself upward from the nest floor and then dropping back down, blocking out the daylight visible through that hole with each thrust! After three distinctive thrusts, Jim began dipping his head towards that area with bits of meat from the fish in his beak. The feeding was still going on as the evening’s darkness claimed the skies.

Again I sit here amazed. Yesterday was the 35th day after Cindy began incubating the first egg. Not only is 35 days the average incubation period for Bald Eagles, each of the last 3 years, Jim and Cindy have begun feeding an eaglet exactly on day 36. Knowing that the exhausted eaglet usually will rest for around a day after struggling to free itself from its shell, their eggs are hatching on day 35 every year. Since they fledged 2 eaglets in 2011 and 3 more in 2013, I expect more eaglets in the next few days.

Now the activity in the well field will greatly increase. Jim and Cindy will need to make many hunting trips each day and they will be very aggressive in defending the nest. In the past years I have seen them chase off Red Tails, Coopers, Turkey Vultures and even Great Blue Herons that wandered into their restricted airspace. I have not seen Pride, their surviving 2011 juvenile this week. I imagine that Pride will now find the welcome mat removed, if it hasn’t been chased off already. In about 10 weeks the feeding trips will begin to slow as Jim and Cindy begin to use a little hunger to coax their eaglets to fledge from the nest.

I will sleep better tonight knowing that the first eaglet has hatched. Jim and Cindy will sleep with one eye open for the next several weeks.

Published in: on March 22, 2013 at 12:38 am  Comments (12)  

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awesome news thank you so very much I look today at the cam I did see a bit of Cindy’s head (I assumed it was her) and then the wind moved everything and that was it i have been checking my email for the past 2 days hoping to see your name pop up. Sorry about the babbling I’m just so happy.

  2. How wonderful!!! SOOOO excited to hear more great news!!!

  3. great news Jim, I watched quite a bit of nest action at the rim of the nest today also.

  4. No apology needed Jannice! It is a pretty exciting day!

  5. Makes you feel kind of giddy doesn’t it KeeKee? It should fledge between May 30th and June 21st!

  6. It was a big day for the eagles and their fans, Carlene. In a few weeks we should be counting bobbleheads!

  7. Wonderful!

  8. I also watched the eagle cam and I’m very happy for the good news!! I wonder if Jim will pass out cigars….oh I mean fish to all of us who love these precious eagles?? Thank you eaglejim and to all the EEW who share this exciting time with us!!! Polly.

  9. Yes it is JP!

  10. I don’t think that he smokes cigars Polly, but I imagine that he would like smoked salmon.

  11. As I was driving home tonight along 25A between Piqua and Troy heading north I saw an eagle!! Needless to say I almost wrecked my truck and slowed traffic way down! It flew from a large tree and was an adult eagle for sure. It flew along the river for about 10 seconds and then back up to a tree. This is a wooded area but my question is, have eagles been seen to the north of Dayton? Thanks eaglejim and I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight, too excited. I will for sure go back to that area and take more time to watch. Polly.

  12. Yes Polly, there are eagles north of Dayton. The eagles re-populating the state are most likely descendants of the Lake Erie populations, which are spreading southward across the state. Grand Lake, Sidney and other points north of Dayton have eagles now. I just today heard of a confirmed nest near Cowan Lake in Clinton County south of Wilmington. The recovery is quite remarkable. I too had a close encounter on a highway today. While driving on Ohio Route 4 near Eagle Lake I saw Jim soaring ahead of me. As I passed, he folded his wings and dove, talons extended, towards the lake passing about 20 feet above my sunroof.

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