Eaglets From Hacthlings to 8 Weeks

Eaglet at Week 8;
Rollingwood Bluffs Park, Folsom – Orangvale, CA; May 17. 2019

Twenty Nineteen is the third season a pair of Bald Eagles has nested on a bluff above Lake Natomas near Orangevale, CA. This year, as well as the last 2 years, this pair of eagles has produced 2 offspring. According to the volunteers that monitor the nest, the eggs were laid in late February and they hatched approximately March 26. One baby hatched 3 days before the other. This year, I decided to visit the nest weekly and post a set of images showing them as they grow.  It’s been a great experience because I got to know some people who have been observing eagles for a long time. They were very happy to share their knowledge with me.

My first visit was MAR 31. On that visit, all I was able to see was a tiny patch of down just above the nest edge. At week 2, I could see a head. Although, it looked more like the stereotypical gray space alien with its long head and neck. By week 3, the yellow down had been replaced by a gray down that will remain as an underlayment for feathers throughout life. From week 3 to week 4, the eaglets had grown substantially. One image shows some sibling rivalry. At week 5, feathers are emerging. On the image, you can see the pin feathers on the wing. By week 7, the feathers had filled in substantially, but the flight feathers aren’t developed enough to support flight.

Mother and father eagle feed the oldest eaglet first and do so until it is full because if it is not satiated, it will kill the younger one. But, when they feed the younger one, they make sure it gets food by preventing the older one from stealing it.

The babies will fledge by mid-June. By the end of June, the babies will reach adult size. They will not fully mature for 2 – 5 years. It takes about 3 years to get their distinctive adult plumage.  Mom and dad will leave the nest about July and leave the babies to fend for themselves. They will return about November to prepare the nest for next year. When they do, the babies will be invited to leave and told never to come back.

I will try to follow-up with some more images as the summer progresses.

Two Eaglets born approximately MAR 26, 2019 are in the nest;
A small patch of yellowish down can be seen below the adult to the right of a longer diagonal stick. That is one of the eaglets. March 31, 2019.
Mother Eagle with one of the eaglets at Week 2. April 7, 2019.
Mother Eagle with eaglet at Week 3; April 14, 2019.
Eaglets at Week 4; APRIL 21, 2019
Some Sibling Rivalry. Eaglets at Week 4; APRIL 21, 2019
Mother Eagle with Eaglets at Week 5. April 28, 2019
Mother Eagle and Eaglet at Week 5. Eaglet has Pin Feathers on Wings; April 28, 2019
Mother Eagle with Eaglets at Week 5; May 3 2019
Eaglets at Week 6; May 12, 2019
Eaglet at Week 8; May 17, 2019
Father Bald Eagle, April 7, 2019
Mother Bald Eagle; April 7, 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s