Dad, are we there yet?

March 22, 2011 • 7:38 am

Over at EagleCam, the bobbleheads can no longer be contained beneath the parents.  Here’s a screenshot from an hour ago.

Keep watching, because those cute and fluffy babies won’t be cute for long.  Check out these pictures of other chicks in Virginia (you can see more here), brought to my attention by eagle-eyed reader Diane G.  In about a week they’ll look like this 16-day-old chick getting banded.  Look at those talons already!

A chick at 20 days, stretching its wings:

Two chicks at a month old, starting to look like eagles:

Banding these babies is no mean task.  You have to climb to the nest (avoiding, I suppose, attacks by parents). Here’s Craig Koppie making the ascent.  Look at the size of the nest!

13 thoughts on “Dad, are we there yet?

  1. That photo of the nest from below really surprised me– I knew the nest was big *around*, didn’t think about it being so deep! Watching the chicks continually poking their heads out from under dad was *really* funny and sweet today– dad’s expression was *so* full of “How come they always sit quietly when *she’s* on the nest??”

    1. I know you’ve been busy. The nest is 6 feet across and 4 feet deep according to the moderated discussion. I tend to forget the scale watching on my 17″ monitor at work.

  2. Wow. I wonder how many calories a day they have to consume to meet the demands of such an enormous growth curve.

    Mom and Dad certainly can’t have a bad day at the fishing pond.

    1. You’d be surprised how much time the parents just sit around doing nothing. As a general rule, the bigger the bird the less time they spend on collecting food for their offspring.

  3. We had Coopers Hawks nesting in front of our house in Milwaukee for a couple of years. It was great fun watching when our local ornithologist would come by to band the chicks. One year they captured the adults to get blood samples. (A captive owl, being a predator of Coopers, is used to get the parents to fly into a capture net.) Sadly, the pair moved to a nicer part of town after a while.

  4. I had friends who would scale pine trees to check on red-cockaded woodpeckers in their cavities. But getting into that eagle nest is of an entirely different scale all together!

  5. A friend of mine told me of watching an eagle collecting a stick for its nest. It landed on a dead branch near the top of a dying tree and then pulled it off by gripping it and flapping hard. Much effort involved along with loud cracking sounds.

    The nests get huge because a pair returns year after year and add more sticks each time. This can get to the point that it breaks the tree and it all comes tumbling down.

  6. So, you all probably don’t want another eagle cam to watch, let alone two, but out on the west coast there is a bald eagle restoration project that includes two nests that have online cams. The Institute for Wildlife Studies runs them from Santa Catalina Island (there is also an online nest cam on Santa Cruz Island but the eagles moved this year) and here is the url for the cams:
    Both have “night vision”, too, though the West End cam hasn’t been great at night.

    The West End nest has three eggs! The female is called Wray and she is, like, 26 years old and is much loved by the cam watchers. Two Harbors has two eggs. Both should be hatching bobbleheads any day now, which is why I thought I’d mention it. Another Catalina nest has hatched two already.

    At the link “Channel Islands Live! Discussion Forum” there is a daily thread for Nest Observations where you can follow along.
    Also, the IWS Updates forum has weekly updates on the nests they work with on the Channel Islands (separate updates for Catalina and Santa Cruz +). The best thing about those is that you get an idea of what the biologists are doing in the field. Well, that, and the pictures and videos of beautiful places.

    There. I can’t contribute much to any of the discussions here but, hey, I can at least help others procrastinate 😉

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