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Young Eagles Preparing to Fledge

6-11-15 eaglet 062For several weeks prior to their first flight from their nest, Bald Eagle nestlings practice flapping their wings to the point of lifting themselves up several inches into the air. This develops their wing muscles, flight coordination and landing ability.

At anywhere from eight to fourteen weeks of age, juvenile Bald Eagles fledge, or leave their nest. According to Birds of North American Online, up to half of young Bald Eagle nest departures are unsuccessful. The young land on the ground and may remain there for weeks before regaining flight ability. More often than not their parents will continue to feed them, but they are much more vulnerable to predation in this situation. Fledglings may continue to use their nest as a feeding platform for several weeks after leaving it, as they gain flight and foraging skills.

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2 responses

  1. Kathie Fiveash

    Mary even though I live among eagles I had never heard before of the vulnerability of young eagles as they fledge and potentially end up on the ground. I did once find an eagle skeleton on the ground near a nest, but for some reason assumed it was an adult. I ‘d never heard of the Birds of North America Online website either. I checked it out, and it looks great. Thanks so much for mentioning it! I’m always interested in good resources I don’t know about.

    June 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    • Hi Kathie,
      That was new information to me, too! You will love BofNA – almost my one and only bird resource. You can rely on the information being correct!

      June 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm

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