Thursday, June 16, 2011
Thursday June 16 2011
It's time for a final check on the golden eagle nests to see if they were Successful.
Golden eaglets fledge (leave the nest) at around 63 days (9 weeks) of age. A golden eagle nest is considered "successful" when the young reach 51 days of age, or about 80% of days to fledging.
Two weeks ago we checked on the Brown's Creek cliff nest. The two young were still on the nest, and now estimated to be 56 days of age - therefore, a successful nest with two young!
At this stage the eaglets may be larger than their parents. They have longer feathers than their parents; the theory being that it will help cushion them for when they crash into things when they actually fledge - and they will crash into things. Additionally, the parents stuff them with as much food as they can, because the young don't know how to hunt yet on their own, and they may get a bit hungry as they try to figure that important part of their lives out.
Today I checked on the Bates Creek tree-nest eaglet. He/she is about 2 weeks behind the Brown's Creek pair, but as of today, the eaglet is approximately 57 days old - therefore, a successful nest!
Ma and Pa Eagle still like to perch on the distant ridge, which gives them an eagle-eye view of their nest, and presumably doesn't draw attention to the nest tree, which 3 adult-sized eagles sitting together would easily do.
After failing while brooding on the nest last year, this year the Bates Creek golden eagle pair are proud parents (if I may so anthropomorphize - WE are proud anyway). Here's hoping they'll return again next year!