annexensen (annexensen) wrote,

Eaglet Tai chi

I drove back down to Nokomis to the Loreto launch to see the eagles...only one eaglet was there---I did see the two adult eagles flying in tandem way way way up in the sky...they were fabulous and it was amazing how they flew in unison.

Here is the eaglet doing a bit of eaglet tai-chi.


Immature variably patterned with dark brown and white; takes five years to acquire full adult plumage. White not restricted to well defined areas, but appearing scattered throughout body, usually with brown mottling in same area. White in wings primarily in linings and not flight feathers. Bill and cere blackish gray. Eyes dark brown. Feet and lower legs yellow.

The male eagle is smaller than the female. He weighs about 10 lbs. and the female tips the scales at about 14 lbs. Being smaller, he is slightly quicker and more agile, giving him an advantage in catching prey. She, being larger, is better able to incubate the eggs and brood the young chicks, using her body to shelter her offspring from cold, soaking rains or hot sun. The male's wingspan is a little more than 6 feet from wing tip to wing tip, the female's is between 6.5 and 7 feet.

The chicks will be nearly full grown at 9 weeks of age. They will add some weight as they develop their flight muscles after they leave the nest. Their wingspan will be as large or slightly larger than the adults at this time.

Once most of their wing and tail feathers are developed, the eaglets can finally leave the nest. First flights usually occur at 9 or 10 weeks of age and are preceded by vigorous exercising and flapping. When a male and female are in the same nest, the male may fledge first. The chick will typically lift off of the nest by facing into the prevailing winds and flapping. Sometimes the adults will force the eaglets to fly.

Often the first flight will be to the nearest branch above the nest. When chicks leave the nest they usually glide to a nearby tree or stump, returning to the nest tree frequently and continuing to be fed by the adults. At first the eaglets have difficulty landing on tree limbs. However, if they land on the ground, they need open space to flap their wings to become airborne.

While eaglets improve their landing and flying skills, they depend on their parents for food. The adults will bring food to where the eaglets are perched. Eaglets will stay close to the nest and nest tree during the first few weeks after fledging.

Within one month after fledging, eaglets will soar and drift over the river.



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