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Happy Friday, Eagle Fans!

What an exciting week it has been in the eagle's nest!  Monday, the first egg hatched.  Wednesday, the second egg hatched.  Today, there is a good-sized pip in the final egg that will likely hatch by tomorrow morning.  Three eggs and three hatches is pretty impressive, especially after witnessing all three of them fail last year.  So, the parents are busy, busy, busy. 

Over the next few weeks/months, the male eagle will continue to hunt for food to bring back to the nest.  While both parents take part in feeding, the female does the majority of picking little pieces off of the carcasses in the nest to give to her young ones.  As the chicks and their mouths get larger, the morsels of food get larger.  It is quite amazing how quickly the chicks gain enough strength to hold their heads up to accept food. Eagles have a special digestive system that allows them to eat food that might seem rotten to humans, so the nest filling up with carcasses is normal.  It is also a method of insurance.  If something happened to one of the parents, there would be a lot of food left in the nest for the little ones to hopefully live on for a while until the other parent brings more food. 

There are several threats to eagles and their young.  In fact, even though most eagles lay 2 or 3 eggs, it is rare for three chicks to survive until fledging.  Last week, someone brought in a dead bald eagle to us.  It had run into a power line and died.  The week before that, it was a dead eagle that had been hit by a semi.  These could have been breeding birds. So too, there are threats to the young ones.  Predators like racoons or great-horned owls could get into the nest and kill the young. Also, as the young ones get larger, the demand for food increases exponentially.  As they grow, they become ravenous and compete for food.  One of the chicks might be smaller and too weak to compete for itself. This competition and natural violence WILL happen here.  We want everyone to be prepared for violence, blood or even death in the nest.  This is the natural world and we are just peeking in on it.  We will not intervene in this natural process.  If one of the chicks looks like it is in trouble or dies, we will not rescue it.  It is all part of the natural process of life and everything that happens is a learning moment for us as well as for the eagle parents and their chicks. Additionally, it would be illegal for anyone else to approach the nest and attempt to rescue potentially sick or injured eaglets.  That will not be allowed, either. 

The nest is very high in the tree and a bucket truck was needed to install the camera.  This work was done early in the winter, before the birds were displaying courtship behavior or even frequenting the nest.  The eagles are not fed by humans, nor does anyone physically visit this nest.  They are completely on their own, in their natural environment with no assistance from humans.  This is the way nature intended and this is also why we keep the location of this nest discreet.  Any disturbance could threaten the nest, or habituate the birds which could turn out to be deadly for the new family.  We do not want that to happen! We are very grateful to be able to witness this fascinating and amazing process.  Our generation is very fortunate to have this opportunity.  We hope that you are also enjoying every minute of spying on the natural world and learning from these beautiful and majestic birds.  

 

Eagle Cam

Have a great weekend!  

 

Your Eagle Team


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