Martin Smart Wildlife
Nesting Bald Eagles (Part 3 - 2008)
All images on this website are copyright (©martinsmartwildlife) and are protected by Canadian and International copyright laws. They must not be reproduced in any way for any purpose. Please see Homepage for further details. Please note that although some of these images, and those of Eagles nesting on other web pages, appear to be taken very close to the nest I wish to assure viewers that this was not the case and my presence on a cliff some distance away was in no way or at any time disruptive or intrusive to the Eagles nesting routines.
* * * * * * *
23rd May 2008: Approx. 7 days old
Both adults are kept busy feeding their two offspring and make regular trips to the nest with food, mainly fish. Although one eaglet may have been born a day or so before the other there didn't appear to be a great deal of difference in size at this stage. One adult always remained on the nest whilst the other was hunting or resting on a nearby perch. Quite often they would then swap roles.
4th June 2008: Approx 3 weeks old
Both adults are still kept very busy with feeding and tending to the nest. Already one of the eaglets is looking noticeably bigger and stronger than its sibling and is definitely more aggressive and getting more food. In the previous two years only one eaglet out of two has survived and already I am thinking that the same will apply this year.
24th June 2008: Approx 6 weeks old
Clearly now one eaglet is significantly more developed than the other in size and has also lost its gray down in favour of its juvenile feathers which it will need in order to make its first flight. It is getting the lion's share of the food brought to the nest and the weaker sibling is making no attempt to compete for it. Furthermore neither of the adults are making any effort in providing additional help or restraining the stronger eaglet in favour of its weaker sibling. There seemed little hope of averting its decline.
30th July 2008: Approx. 11 weeks old
This was my last visit to the nest for this year and it came as no surprise to find that only one eaglet remained and was getting close to its first flight. The adults rarely came to the nest now, only occasionally to drop off some food. One of them was never far away though, often perching nearby at the top of a tall Douglas Fir to keep an eye on things! The surviving eaglet now appeared to be fully grown and eating well, unaided by its parents other than in the delivery of food, and was looking strong and healthy. It tested out the strength of its wings on several occasions, flapping them furiously whilst jumping up and down on the nest. Only a matter of a few days now before it would be soaring on the thermals high above its home of the previous three months, in search of its first self-caught meal.
The proud parents, looking forward to this years graduation........