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Archive for August 2, 2011

Bald Eagles Fledge!

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After several weeks of flapping their wings and hopping from their nest to nearby branches, the two bald eagle nestlings I’ve been keeping an eye on fledged.  Although I didn’t witness this, it is a common practice for the parents to “encourage” nest departure by flying around the nest with a prey item in their talons, vocalizing when their young are hungry.  However this particular fledging took place, it was successful, as one young eagle was in a non-nest tree when I arrived, and the other was perched on a branch near the nest.  When a parent landed on a nearby limb, the juvenile hopped up to it, spread its wings and took off, flying in a circle and landing in yet another tree nearby.  This wasn’t necessarily its first flight, for fledglings typically continue to use their nest as feeding platform, as well as nearby branches, for several weeks as they gain flight and foraging skills.  Young eagles usually follow their parents after fledging, and may be fed by them for up to six weeks after leaving their nest.