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Thread subject: Encounters with Eaglets
Name Date Message
Marie 07/17/05 04:42 pm This morning has dawned a beautiful day. Not much breeze around but enough to encourage young fledglings to explore a new world at their wing-tips... The brilliant BLUE hues of the sea and sky are dazzling today. Not a cloud in sight, so off I went early to the Golf course. My visit yesterday morning indicated that the eaglets were ready for Fledging. They were hopping , flapping and jumping from branch to branch. I observed even very small flights from branch to branch. Tomorrow I thought would be their day.
Sure enough, today I stood for 2.5 hrs, and watched and waited. At first I thought they had flown because I couldn't see the eaglets nor hear anything. But as luck would have it I soon heard the tell-tail-signs of large wings flapping in the trees knocking off and breaking branches. I could almost hear her/him say, ''Ãh my goodness, there go my feathers again." The two eaglets were high in the tree canopy , crashing around like a bull in a china shop. Briefly I would see them emerge and then disappear for a moment into the shadows for they were deep within the folliage. Their dark brown feathers completely disappearing into the browns of the tree limbs. They would call to one another for a while and then it happened. First one the bigger of the two( ? a female) , would suddenly open up those enormous wings, pitch forward and out into the open space above me it flew. Very hestitant flaps, but a definite circle above me and then a crash landing. It is quite comical to see these large birds try to land.This one actually broke the branch it chose to land on and fell three feet below. A lesson well learnt. Their weight ranges from 10-14lbs and they are larger than their worn out parents right now. The younger eaglet was not to be out done. It took to the air and circled around the back of the trees and made a better landing right at the top of the firs. It just teetered for a while and managed to hold its balance on a waving limb. Their they stayed quietly for a while till they started their noisy begging calls. It was time for breakfast or mid-morning snack. A parent flew into the nest within 30 minuts of these two screeching. She /he arrived with something which necessitated another flight for the alpha eaglet. It arrived through the branches at the back of the nest where there seems to be more sticks and debris to fight it way through. What a racket. The parent then flew out quickly. Like the ospreys we watch these eaglets now feed themselves. The younger eaglet knew better than to attempt to fly down to the nest at this point. Probably was scared stiff to make another circle around or was planning a beter strategy to get safely to the nest. At one point when they were waiting for food they had worked their way to the same tree to be together. One was on a branch above the other and as the top one looked down to the other who was looking up, their bills came together and they seem to bill-play. This behaviour went on for a while. Nice sibling behaviour and delightful to watch.
Eventually I had to leave for I am to join friends on a boat later today to enjoy some ocean bird watching. Another encounter with Nature.
The younger eaglet flew around a couple of more times before settling at the highest point on the firs so it could watch and screech for a parent that might be coming in with food especially for him. Meanwhile, the alpha eaglet remained close to the nest, having consumed all the food. It knows that the parent will drop off another catch at the nest so it will be FIRST and closest to the diner table again.
Shelley 07/17/05 04:51 pm Marie, what a wonderful picture you paint!! Thanks for this. All that's missing for me is the audio; your visuals are always so vivid!

Can't wait for part 2!
Lori 07/17/05 06:12 pm What a lovely way to spend a Sunday! Thanks for sharing it with us. Hope your boat ride was just as eventful!
cathy 07/18/05 12:13 am Thanks for taking the time to write this amazing event for us to experience too.
Celeste 07/18/05 06:02 am Marie thank you! I have a few questions, since I have not been priviledged to observe eagles as you do.

It sounds like the parent brings more than one catch of food for the eaglets to eat. Does this mean that the eaglets do not have the aggression in the nest at this stage as the osprey chicks do because they "know" more will come?

Also, when the eaglet falls to the ground as you described, does it it easily flap and lift off to fly away?

Thanks Marie, loved your "diary" for the day!
Marie 07/18/05 09:19 am Hi Celeste...the eaglet didn't fall to the ground. It only fell three feet but it was at 75-100 ft up a tree. Fairly close to the top of the tree. If the eaglet falls before it can fly they sometimes hop back up to the nest through the branches using that reptilian instinct of climbing. If they are too young they are doomed unless a Bird Lover comes along and rescues it. An aggressive sibling might push it out of the nest, but they usually kill it in the nest. If a male eaglet hatched first it seems to create more aggression in the nest than if a female eaglet is hatched first. This is what I have read in the eagle Bible....I don't have the book so can't remember who wrote it.
Oh yes there is a pecking order just like the osprey siblings. Eventually the second hatched after many 'pecks' knows its place and seems to allow the alpha eaglet to eat first while they are in the nest or close to it. What happens when they go off as a family to the rocks and learn to hunt, is something I have no idea about.
Have to head to work soon so Part two of my daily diary from will be forthcoming. BTW...IT WAS MARVELOUS.
Celeste 07/18/05 05:06 pm Thanks Marie, looking forward to "part two".....
Pam 07/18/05 07:12 pm Me too Marie !

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006