Friday, April 01, 2011

Eagles incubate for roughly 34-37 days, according to a number of online sources. Last year, the Decorah eagles laid three eggs: one on February 25, one on February 28, and one on March 5. The first eaglet hatched on April 3. This year, the eagles started laying eggs a little earlier, but had the exact same spread: February 23, February 26, and March 2nd.

Eggs in snow.
The eagles are able to incubate
successfully even in this!
As cam watchers have observed over the years, eagles incubate during some very difficult weather. The eggs are laid in a cup of grasses and other soft material (including corn stalks) that raise them above the "platform" of the larger nest. This insulative cup helps retain the heat of the adult eagles and provides additional protection from rain and snow. It also helps keep eggs from breaking (sticks and branches provide a hard, irregular surface) and is nicer for the adult eagles to incubate eggs in - at the risk of being anthropomorphic, I would prefer a bed of soft grasses to one of hard sticks any day.  I suspect the eagles feel the same way.

Some websites state that both male and female eagles are involved in building the nest, while others state that it is usually the female who places branches in the nest. In our experience, both the male and female eagle are involved in building the nest. Bob has observed that nest building is part of the eagles' courtship ritual: bonding begins with courtship and continues through nest building, copulation, incubation, and raising young. Both eagles bring sticks and nesting material in, both place sticks and material, and both move the other eagle's sticks around.

Eagles may also have a brood patch. Feathers are wonderfully insulative and great at shedding water, but can interfere with a bird's ability to transfer body heat to the developing eggs. The brood patch is a bare patch of skin that is well-supplied with blood vessels, making it easier for birds to transfer heat to their eggs during incubation. I don't have a photograph of a brood patch, but there is a real nice one on the Norfolk Eagle site: http://eaglenest.blogs.wm.edu/2011/03/05/incubation-brood-patch/

So who incubates more: the male or the female eagle? The female eagle incubates more, but the male shares incubation duties as well. This is not the case in all birds or even all raptors: the female owl at Valmont, for example, does all of the incubation duty.  In addition to sitting on the eggs, both birds also roll the eggs. This helps assure that all parts of the egg receive heat and prevents the developing embryo from sticking to the egg shell. The parents are very careful not to puncture the eggs with their talons and sometimes "ball" their feet to keep  from damaging them.

As the embryo grows in the egg, it develops (among other things) a sharp point on its beak, called an egg tooth, and a muscle called the hatching muscle. The hatching muscle tips the developing bird's head back. Once it is large enough, the egg tooth will come into contact with the inside surface of the egg. As the chick rotates its sharp egg tooth pierces the egg, causing first a "pip" (hole or crack in the egg) and eventually breaking all the way through.  It is not usually a quick process, and you can hear the babies as they hatch out. 
Pip in egg at left


The eaglets are altricial. According to wikipedia: "In bird and mammal biology, altricial species are those whose newly-hatched or -born young are relatively immobile, lack hair or down, and must be cared for by adults; closed eyes are common, though not ubiquitous. Altricial young are born helpless and require care for a comparatively long time."

The eaglets are not able to thermoregulate, or control their body temperature, until they are 10-14 days old. During this time period, the eagles (usually but not always the mother) stick very tight to the babies. On a warm day you may see the baby eaglets exploring the nest, but on a cold or rainy day, they will be sheltered under a parent or two.

The eaglets will go through a number of physical changes as they grow. On hatching, they will be covered with a light-colored down that is uniform in color. The baby down will be replaced by a darker, medium-grey second down when the babies are between 9 and 11 days of age. Juvenile feathers will start to appear when the young eagles are around 24 days of age. These feathers will be dark, since eagles don't develop adult plumage (dark body, white head) until they are around three years old. The color of the eaglets' beaks and talons will also change as they grow.

Birds grow very rapidly and, according to Gary R Bortolotti, bald eagles may gain more weight per day than any other bird in North America. As in other animals, different body parts may reach adult size at different times. The growth of the legs will be complete about half-way through the nesting period, but the beak and flight feathers won't reach adult size until after the eaglets have fledged, or left the nest. In fact, an eagle's juvenile flight feathers are longer than its adult flight feathers, which it won't get until it is 3 - 4 years old.

For more reading on bald eagle growth and development, check this link out: http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Wilson/v096n04/p0524-p0542.pdf

2,932 comments:

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Cindy Belcher said...

I have been watching for several days, but have yet to see the adults feed the chicks. How often do they feed them?

The Patterson Family said...

One eagle's beak looks different today. why is this?

Patty Trott said...

I have been "glued" to this camera for almost a week. Incredible!!!

Myrna said...

We have enjoyed watching! Nice educational opportunity.

What happened to the facts about this pair that was below the cam picture?

David said...

I have been glued to the screen for days. How awesome this is! I had no idea they brought food up to the nest, a buffet! We are watching at work also. Thanks!

tom said...

what are the eaglets eating after hatching? i noticed mom rearanging
the nest and then the chicks chewing at twigs etc

saad said...

I was wondering which one is male and which one is female. I know one has a darker face. I call him "warface".

Cory said...

I'm Concerned about the "largest chick getting all the food". Haven't seen the newest hatchling get any of the food. I guess that is natures way.

Dick said...

I don't know if it's just happens to be, but does the male Eagle do most of the feeding. Every time I see the eaglets fed it's the male doing it. Can someone get back to the Blog with an answer thanks.

Dick said...

There are a couple of difference between Male & Female is the 1.Female is a little larger hard to tell in these pictures. 2. The Male has smooth head feathers, the Females feathers are more course and not very smooth. They look like they are in clumps of feathers.

saad said...

Thanks, dick. I guess I call the male warface. Cory, Couple of days ago when there was only two, I was worried, that one was away from the nest by a little almost a half a day. And it was a cold day. But you can see they are doing fine.

chars1948 said...

We have been watching for days, it is so awesome! watched the third chick hatch, the male bringing the fish, squirel, the mother feeding the babies, a very educational tool for the grand children. Thank you so much!

Grant said...

Am I missing something. It appears the third chick isn't being fed as much as the other two. Will she reject the smallest?

Gary said...

Can anyone tell us the status of the three eaglets that were born last year? Did all survive?

Dan Davis said...

I love watching them. the tender feeding is amazing. the amount of food available is incredible. they are great hunters indeed. looking forward to watching the little ones get more mobile. That is onle huge nest. great job of zooming and panning. I love the coverage.

cmg said...

I have never ever seen anything so awesome. I also have never posted to a blog. I have so many questions. It seems as though the parents keep feeding the same big mouth and the smaller guys don't get a chance. Is that just my imagination?

Dick said...

They all get fed they kind of go in order the biggest eats first he/she just pushes it's way in and get higher than the rest then when it lays down she/he feed the next. But who ever said it seems like the smallest doesn't eat as much your right. It's up to nature to tell us who makes it and who doesn't.

Galina said...
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Galina said...

I love this cam! I noticed that she only was feeding the one chick and not the other one (this was when the third egg hadn't hatched yet) is there something she doesn't like about the other chick?? I absalutly love this its so cool i come on and check on them every single day! And hear this i showed my teacher and then she showed all of the rest of her classes!

Sterling said...

We (my entire family ) have been glued to the cam since the first hatch. My two 10 year olds are fascinated. Can anyone tell me which is the female and which is the male? The only difference that I can see is that one of the birds has a small, little brown mark or spec on the left side of its beak. I know that as a rule, the female is generally about 1/3 larger than the male but it is hard to tell in this situation.

Dick said...

Did you watch that feeding the smallest one couldn't get up front until she was done feeding. It's also kind of neat how she picks the bits that they can eat if she feels they are too big she will eat them herself. But I agree in that feeding the smallest one didn't get much. He is pretty young and the others are days older even a week older , it's hard to tell but I'm afraid for the new eaglet.

I just massaged a Woolly Mammoth! said...

Love this stuff! My whole fam is addicted!

Dick said...

Sterling, look at Dick's 11:44am posting it's just ground rules for telling who's who.

Dick

Dick said...

I have them on my Computer 24/7 I watch them @ nite when I can't sleep this is on of the ONLY GOOD things about being disabled I can watch when ever.

Dick said...

I'm not a thumper, but isn't GOD's creations great.

Thomas Anthony said...

Too bad there's always some idiot with an extremely loud motorcycle to disturb the peace.

Dick said...

I just walked in my computer room & saw the eaglets getting fed did anyone see if the little one ate?

naturenut said...

It's so sweet how the babies snuggle together. I'd like to echo someone else's question about the survival of all 3 eaglets last year. I've heard that the larger osprey chicks will kill the "runt" and I'm hoping this is not true for eagles. They are SO CUTE!! It's very cool how the male and female switch off the duties of hunting and sitting on the nest. Very progressive!

Sandra F. said...

I have to say that this is a "Gift" that we have been given!! There is such beauty in the world and we get to watch a little bit of Mother Nature at her greatest! Thank you for giving us the oportunity to share in nature's beauty.

Sandra F. said...
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Thomas Anthony said...

I read that all three chicks survived last year. It looked as though the small chick did get some food a few minutes ago.

Iamcharliebrown said...

The nest has been compromised 4/7/11 8:45 PM Eastern time. The white car in the background on the road moves forward and back into the view of the camera while on the cell phone with friends watching on the net verifying the position. Good luck protecting the nest.

Joan Rood said...

Watching this beautiful pair of eagles has been extremely interesting! Plus I've learned a lot through all the information shared. One question I have not seen yet is: at night, where does the 2nd adult eagle roost? I only see the one in the camera that is covering the eaglets.

Thanks in advance for an answer.

Becky said...

When there were only two babies, the adult tending the nest seemed agitated then took one chick, I think the oldest/boldest one, and flung it out of the soft nesting area. Later the other eagle came back and the chick found its way under the parent. What would have caused this action?

driver_277 said...
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driver_277 said...

One of the best and most interesting cams I've ever watched.To bad it's been ruined with annoying commercials.

Martha said...

I also noticed that one had been flung out and then was accepted back into thenest. Didn't realize it was the two parents, abd not just one. This is so fascinating. Hope all three of the little eglets make it. They are so cute.

Martha said...

this is fascinating. I also noticed the little eglet being flung out by aq parent. then it was accepted back. don't know if it was th same parent or the other. hope they all three make it. they are so cute!

Michael said...

Does the night light bother the birds? Thursday night they are turned away from the light.

Bonnie Jo said...

I also saw the father flip the older chick out of the nest, but it appeared to me he was trying to pick up food in the nest that the chick missed and picked up the food with the twig that the chick was holding onto--I was in tears wondering how the chick would get back, but he or she made it--Why don't the parents pull them back???? That is my question- I have seen this happen twice on live camera and it broke my heart--

Alicia Brown said...

am interested in how often they are fed and if in order of age....

Alicia Brown said...

I so appreciate this feed. I have been observing this family since the past week-end..and am mesmerized. However, scientific info along with the camera heightens one's understanding....Thank you

skimom27 said...

There are numerous u-tube postings on the eagles - one explains the difference between the female and male. Also the agressive eglet was apparently attacking the prey (food), it just looked like a twig, but was a foot. I watched mom feed all three today, even the new one, very cute.

Birdie said...
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Birdie said...

I'm just wondering if the nighttime light bothers them. I guess they seem pretty relaxed.

mouse said...

Where does the other eagle spend the night? Is he/she perched in the tree close by or somewhere else?

skimom27 said...

Around 3am the male returned to the nest and they had a dialogue going on (she didn't appear happy with him, totally cool! He arranged some of the softer stuff and laid down, but when she then got up and flew off for a little bit, he stood up and almost stepped on one of the kids. He just stood there looking around, leaving the eglets uncovered till she got back - then he flew off again.

Mary said...

This is so beautiful to see... Thank you for the lovely gift!
It's hard not to be anthropomorphic when watching the eagle family! I LOVE how the parents settle on the nest and rock the babies underneath them to quiet them down! And whenever those little faces pop out from under whichever parent is roosting at the time, it just cracks me up. I did see the parent put the larger chick out of the nest on Sunday. I think the little one was making a ruckus underneath and needed a time out! :)
And this week before the 3rd egg hatched I saw the larger chick peck the sibling in the head at which point the smaller eaglet fell into face first into the nest and didn't get up for at least a minute or more. I thought the larger one had killed the other! Luckily that wasn't the case but the smaller one did seems dazed afterward. I quickly looked up to see if bald eaglets engaged in fratricide and was relieved to find out that was not usually the case. The source said Golden eaglets have an 80% fratricide rate. Still worried about the 2nd born though...

charlie said...

Mother Nature truly has given us a gift. It is peaceful and mesmorizing to watch love,tenderness,and reality.

Tracy said...

This is the first time I've seen both parents feed the eaglettes. The parent's seem to always bring back food when they return to the nest which means there is enough food for all.

charlie said...

It appears that the camera lens has been dirtied...can the lens be cleaned ?

Millergirls said...

My family loves watching the cam. we homeschool and watching is part of our daily routine. Thanks so much for you hard work. We have shared the site with many people who are loving it as well.

Dick said...

I think we will have to wait for the water on the lens to evaporate. Or if they can turn the camera into the wind it might blow the water to the edges. At least thats what I think I know for sure no one can go and clean it.

Cristian said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!
It's very nice to admire this powerful birds this way, I am from Costa Rica, I used to do birdwatching here, this is so amazing! Keep up the work you guys have been doing.

Judith said...
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Judith said...

Reading everyone' questions and comments is helpful. I now have most of my current questions answered and my assumptions corrected. I also know I'm not the only one worrying and wanting the birds to act like a happy human family, in spite of myself. As I said to NPR in thanking them for their coverage, if more people could watch the quiet miracles of nature as well as its sensationally covered destruction, we might not have so many conflicts about protecting it. Thank you, Everyone.

Judith DeWitt

Dick said...

Did anyone see how the lens got cleared off? It looks so clear for just have it evaporate I would think that it would leave some dirt ring or something!!!!! I agree this is a magnificent site.

Dick said...

I was just reading some of the Blog an I'd like to respond to Iamcharliebrown you sir ar an IDIOT. The only way you could tell someone was on their cell phone was to be the one talking with them. Good luck even trying to get @ the nest those Eagles will tear you a new _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !!!

John said...

I agree with Dick! I'd rather face a bear on the ground than those eagles up the tree.

Kimmi said...

This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. God's miracles. I'm glued to my work and home computer. I find myself praying for their safety-not just the babies, but the parents, too.

Kim Klemen

Barbara said...

It is so cute how the chicks keep trying to pop out from under Mom and see the world! She keeps nudging them back and then, pop, one comes out the side. The another out the front again. Even the grasses she tucks under don't stop them. Makes me smile every time. I was fortunate to see the third chick hatch. Now I worry about them all surviving.
twinzgran

Sue said...

I am very sad to see that the parent is not feeding the 3rd eaglet. I am hoping this one will survive, but I do not see it fighting for its place to be fed either.

Hannah said...

How many chicks are there - I see only two, but the list has 3 hatching dates.

Donald said...

LAst night there were three when the sun went down. Now I only see two. Did anyone see what happen ?
This morning it was raining...Couldn't quite see the eaglets!

Julie said...

This is such a great site; it bums me out that people are able to identify the location of the nest due to the road being part of the shot. It would help a lot if the camera could be panned down just slightly.

Dick said...

The nest is in a tree at a fish hatchery in Iowa

Dutch Denooyer said...

I only saw two chicks today. Is one gone?

jacqueline said...

It seems to me the female isn't very motherly. For example right now, she's only half sitting on the eaglets...exposing them to the cool temps. Why doesn't she sit on them FULLY?

Mollykid said...

All three of them are there - she just got up and stretched, and all three of them were moving about. It's amazing to see how quickly they change day-by-day - the first eaglet is so much more active than the third. I have to agree - it's VERY addicting to watch!

DB said...

A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in bringing these pictures to the world. Utterly fascinating - I've been watching since the 1st egg was laid - and educational. Several friends' children tell me they watch at school. Fabulous stuff, thanks again.

raeyn.cole said...

That baby chick, will the mother/father Eagle accept it back? O.O

Becky said...

Around noon the eagles were trying to move a big branch around in the nest. Did anybody see one bring it to the nesting area? Are they trying to make the nest stronger?

Dick said...

If you haven't read the article above the Blog you should it tell a lot about the different stages the eaglets have to go through

Alicia Brown said...

I saw the father bring in the branch this AM. Watching him trying to make it shorter was rather humorous. He kept getting his head stuck in a fork in the branch. Hope that we don't get the severe weather predicted for the safety of the eaglets and mother and father.

Diane said...

The chicks fed today at 17:47hrs (almost 6pm)

Elliott Smith said...

COOL! I lve watching this!

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www.energysavingtipsbyellio.blogspot.com

Jill said...

My husband and children and grandchildren have been watching for over three weeks, I cannot thank Bill enough for what his love and passion has done for us and the world. Bill your a modern day George Bailey and have brought the world alittle closer and smiling with your work thank you.

Lynn said...

I think there is something wrong with the camera. The picture seems frozen.
This is the coolest thing - I just love watching it! Thanks to the people who have made it happen, and the people who banned DDT to prevent the eagles from becoming estinct!!

Patchen Barss said...

how long is the mama eagle going to sit on the eaglets after they have hatched?

cole said...

dosent this really suck

Barbara said...

I've lost track of it and could use it for my middle school science class on Monday. Someone wrote up the ecology of that aerie--the decomposers, the songbirds who feed on them that are too small to interest the eagles. Can anyone point me to that info?

Dick said...

Patchen Barss Read the article in front of the Blog on this page. That was the male that just flew in his head feathers are really smooth

davey said...

let me know if I'm wrong but the hourly pictures AM and PM they take each day seems to reversed -?

Bob K. said...

I saw a story earlier this week on the evening news about the eaglets and the cam and have been hooked ever since. I have been interested in Bald Eagles for years and I love watching them in their natrual environment. Thank You to those who put the camera in place. I love it...:)

Natie said...

I just found this tonight. How amazing, I can't wait to show this to my little girl in the morning. Lovely

sandra said...

THe messages about someone compromising the nest is so upsetting to me,why would anyone want to harm such beautiful birds.

sandra said...

In one of the blogs it sounds like someone is trying to harm the nest is this true? why would someone want to destroy something so beautiful?.

sistermaryredundant said...

I would like to second the motion and ask that the camera be moved so the road doesn't show. It's been obvious that several times it seemed that the adults were on "red alert" as if someone or something unauthorized was getting too close and you could hear music from a car radio(?). True, it would take a real moron to try to mess with nesting eagles, but there are a lot of morons running around loose. I hope there is also a surveilence camera set up at the bottom of the tree area to identify any possible vandals - but you've been doing this for a while and I'm sure you've thought of everything.

Sterling said...

It must have rained at some point Friday night or early, early morning as I noticed water droplets on the lens. I wish there was another camera on the opposite side of the nest so you could see at feeding time when mom ( or dad ) has the lens blocked. It seems the newest one is hanging in there. But you can tell that one of them , the first born I think, is very aggressive at feeding.

c said...

My family and I love watching the eagle's cam. It has been a great conversation for friends and family visiting.

Heather said...

Fascinating. The live stream's quality is excellent. Thank you for allowing us to share in this experience.

animallvr said...

Thank you to those who have worked so hard to bring us this amazing video. Truly a look at nature that the majority of us would never imagine being able to observe.

mouse said...

A comment on disturbing the nest - my daughter and her family live in Iowa near Decorah. She told me that most everyone knows about the nest and all love "their" eagles. They are thrilled that "their" eagles are getting national attention. And I think they would tar and feather anyone that tried to disturb the nest!!!

Patchen Barss said...

my question was about how long she stays with them after they are hatched, not how long they incubate. now that they are all hatched i am wondering how long she sticks around until she lets them go off to fend for themselves.

Lizcovington said...

Do you have a cam stream to watch the eaglets? I have been watching the eagle cam at Norfolk Botantical Botancal Gardens. You all do such a wonderful job educating us regarding nature. Thank you.

AMVETS said...

Thank you for making this site available. It is fascinating to watch and prompt many questions.

AMVETS said...

Do the young eagles return to the immediate area of their birth after a couple of years?

Do the eagle parents ever clean out the nest?

Is road kill ever a part of the hatchlings menu or do the parents only feed the young what they kill?

Dick said...

Trying to answer some questions:
Q. How old are they before they can fly?
A. 11-12 weeks, when they leave their nest.
Q. Do the same eagles come back each year to the same place?
A. Generally, yes they do, which is why it is so important to protect those areas eagles are known to use.
Q. When do eagles learn to fly and how?
A. At between 10-12 weeks as they first leave the nest (fledge), and then with more and more practice to and from the nest and surrounding trees over the next month or two.
Q. Is it illegal to possess a bald eagles' feathers? If so, why?
A. Yes, eagles or any parts, unless you have a special federal and state permit to do so. The reason is that many eagles used to be killed for trophies and for their feet and feathers. Such unregulated killing can threaten populations of eagles and other species.

The baby down will be replaced by a darker, medium-grey second down when the babies are between 9 and 11 days of age. Juvenile feathers will start to appear when the young eagles are around 24 days of age. These feathers will be dark, since eagles don't develop adult plumage (dark body, white head) until they are around 3-5 years old.

I hope this will answer some peoples questions on the Eagles & their eaglets.

Dick said...

I'm not sure but earlier in the week one of them brought up what looked like a Blackbird or Crow, but it was in very poor condition like it came from the road. From then on it's been fresh meat now it looks like mostly fish which is one of there main staples. Most older Eagles are known to eat only fish and carrion.

Claire said...

Are the eagles called anything? It may seem irrelevant, but it would be nicer then calling them the male nd the female.

Claire said...

Okay, this comment IS irrelevant, but does anyone know if pigeons renest? There's a pair in my barn and neither egg hatched.

Claire said...

These guys remind me of my chickens, except my chicks climb on top of their mother. Can't really see the eagles letting their babies do that, LOL!

lisarest said...

I have come to the conclusion that the adults know what they're doing and things eventually sort themselves out in the nest. It has bothered me too that the younger birds don't seem to get as much food, but I now think that first of all, the oldest bird will demand more food (and need it) because it's bigger, second, when the others start asking for food the parent feeds them what they need, and in a few weeks they will catch up. The parents may inadvertently be preventing sibling rivalry (to the point of the eldest killing a younger chick) by feeding the older one until it's full. It's a testament to these experienced birds that they have already raised three other clutches successfully and all their offspring fledged.

sunny said...

I would like to see you sell t-shirts with the eagle on the nest and the babies peeking out. $15.00 a shirt would help your project I would assume and we would love it.

think about it

KB Everybody I know who has been glued said sign me up for a t-shirt

sunny said...

If this didn't come through here it is again.

I think you should sell t-shirts with the eagle sitting on the nest and the babies poking their heads out from under her. the actual eagle and family. $15.00 I know soooo many people who would buy them and I asssume it would help fund your project. I want to watch year after year.

think about it.

KB

Michele said...

Do the Eagles have names. love watching them.

Martha said...

just saw two bozos on the road back there waving their arms for the camera. Go home and watch on the web cam.

Martha said...

is it a rabbit that is the most recent food source that the other eagle brought? Saw what looks likr a rabbit or cat's paw.

Dick said...

I can't find anything about what they are called. Someone in another article called the Male a Tercel but that is in falconry An Hawks not Eagles.

Flandre said...

I haven't see the third one eat yet. It's sad, because I was hopeful all three would really make it.

Michael said...

Wow, this is amazing. We’ve been watching since Saturday and the two older eaglets have grown quit a bit in a week.

Dick said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hecXupPpE9o&feature=player_embedded

Watch this great video on the Eagle catching fish. It is really a great clip just copy & paste the link. They are really graceful even doing this.

Lorna Engwall said...

I love watching the eagles and have named the parents Ed & Corah in honor of their nesting location. I have not thought of names for the eaglets, yet. I do get very upset when the oldest one attacks the younger ones viciously. I hope they all survive!

Selina said...

Notice how the biggest eaglet is now attacking the smaller ones when they are moving near him/her and he can see their faces (more specifically, eyes?). So they put their heads down and quit moving. I think the big one will be the only one to survive, unfortunately.

Lorna Engwall said...

I have given the eagles the names of "Ed & Corah" in honor of their nesting location. I love watching them and their babies. However, I am very upset by the vicious attacks of the oldest eaglet on the younger ones. I sure hope they all survive! Thank you for this wonderful project.

Diane said...

I have heard that the eaglets stay with their parents for up to a year or more in order to learn how to hunt. Does anyone hav information on this?

Don said...

I only see 2 eaglets but i thought 3 hatched???

Don said...

i only see 2 eaglets but i thought 3 hatched?

dkostuk said...

There are 3. One tends to stay under the parent most of the time. I think it is the youngest one.

Michelle said...

YES! I noticed that the biggest eaglet has been picking on the 2 smaller eaglets. Once it attacked the parent. Starting young, I see.

Joan Rood said...

In answer to a question regarding the 'freshness' of the eagle's prey--I learned at the International Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN, that bald eagles are opportunists. If there is road kill available, they'll snatch that up before launching on a fishing or rodent expedition.

How about 'Hewey, Dewey, and Lewey' for the eaglets, even tho' we don't know their gender... I love the idea of 'Ed & Corah'...

Kim Weyhrich said...

I would love to know what kind of food is brought to the nest each day. Can we get a little lower view of the nest so we can see what they are feedinn each day? Comments would be great too.

Frankie said...

Been watching for the last hour and when she got up to stretch I saw 3 eaglets. The one in the rear seems lethargic though. Maybe it is an age difference.

Kim Weyhrich said...

I loved seeing the different meals that were brought to nest each day in the early videos. What meals are delivered now that the eagleets are bigger/older?

Angel Bear said...

I am hooked, every day, all day.

minou9 said...

After watching the feeding just now, I was sooo wanting to see the little one get some food. That one eaglet is a real hog! Must be a boy with that bottomless pit of a stomach! LOL After seeing the youngest one actually get a bite or two, I was standing up, whooping with my fists in the air (like scoring a touchdown or something!)... I know only too well how competitive it can be with two or three eaglets, especially since there will always be a difference in size/age... What a show! :)

Dick said...

The eaglets will take their first flight at about 10-12 weeks. Parents will allow the eaglets to come back to the nest after they take their first flight and they may stick around for the first year, but after a year, that's it. So, yes, they do recognize their young.

Dick said...

bald eagle is programmed to grab fish from the surface of the water and immediately continue (carrying its prey)They are not the type of bird that takes their prey either in the air or on the ground.

PD said...

Does anyone know what they are eating today... it looks kinda big and I can't tell what it is.

dkostuk said...

Thanks for answering my question, Dick! Also, is there a way to rewind the live feed in case you miss somethng?

Selina said...

In response to the kind of prey the parents are bringing to the nest, I've only been watching since yesterday and so far saw a small fish and then the rabbit (both this a.m.).

Dick said...

I think that the whole process has been put on YouTube.com

Susan said...

It's only 45 degrees there... won't the baby freeze if she doesn't pull it back up under her? It looks cold!

jbrown said...

I am so thankful for this live cam! Watching the Eagles and their chicks, brings tears of joy to my eyes. Such beauty, the entire process. Again, thank you. God Bless.

Sossity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sossity said...

I missed how the one baby got out from under mom this afternoon. It has been out for a while, was it another accident or was it pushed out? It also completly missed the last feeding, will it be okay?

The Radman said...

Dee
i have been watching most of today and it looks like the largest baby has been out from under the parent for almost 2 hrs. and appears very weak. He didn't eat this last time either. I hope he is ok.

Julio said...

I follow their transmission from Costa Rica. Excellent initiative, it is very educational.

scp said...

It doesn't look good for the chick in the nest not underneath the adult. I hear it's been out for about 5-6hrs now. It's quite inactive but I did see it stand up & peep at the adult once. Unfortunately the adult seems to be ignoring it; it likely knows that there's something wrong with it. It looks awfully cold & windy to be exposed for this long. This is breaking my heart. We might be due to see some of the tough lessons of nature. I wish someone could tuck it back under the adult ... I wish she would feed it. I can hardly bear to watch it, but keep peeking in because I want to see that everything is OK. The adult just left the nest, maybe when it comes back it will tuck that one in with the others ...

LJ said...

I am watching from Nova Scotia, It is amazing that such tiny helpless eaglets survive through so much. At night the mother looks exhausted as she tries to catch a few moments of sleep and is awakened by her squirming young.
I am wondering if the eaglets are exercising some autonomy by wondering away fr under the mother. On an earlier blog, I read the mother sets most of the time and has the grey area around her eyes, is this the case? Can the eaglets thermoregulate yet and can they eat at the food also? without mother's assistance? Thanks for the wonderful vid. My daughter's class is now watching too!

Tazgirl18992 said...

scp,
I've been watching for a while(I haven't got a life), and it does seem reasonably active. It has been crawling around and looking around, so maybe it got too warm? At the moment, none of the chicks are being sat on. I don't think the adult is ignoring them or negleting them. They all seem fine, even if they aren't underneath the parent.

Plus, if you look at saad's second comment (from the top), it isn't the first time a chicks been out from underneath the parent for a a good few hours.

Susan said...

Now none of the eaglets are under her! There is one in the back of her too. All I can do is hope this is normal because it's so hard to watch and not be able to help!

anjale said...

I live about 150 miles north of Decorah. It's cloudy here but you can see the sun is out by the shadows in the nest. National weather says it was over 70 degrees this afternoon. I figured the oldest was just sleeping in the sun. Now it's after 5:00 p.m. and the sun is low in the sky and is probably cooling off, so I was surprised to see the smallest one was also out.

Cheryl said...

Have been watching since Monday...saw 3rd eaglet hatch...amazing!!! are the parents tagged and will the eaglets be tagged??

anjale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sterling said...

I don't know why my last comment was not posted so I'll try again. I read in earlier postings something about the youngest chick being chucked out of the nest. 1) Was it actually thrown over the side, as in on the ground below or just set outside the nest proper where mom keeps them tucked in? 2) When did this actually happen and why? Mom PMSing? 3) obviously it was retreived as there are 3 in the nest.

Sterling

Gwen said...

I see where they are out of the nest..will the mother put them back?? I've been watching this every day..Thanks you so much for sharing!!

Gwen said...

Why are the babies out of the nest..will the mother put them back in?? I saw before the father knocked them out and the mother put it back in. Is that common? I have been watching this for over a wek and it is so educational!! Thanks you for doing this!!

scp said...

A short time ago I saw the one originally out open-mouthed breathing with its head twisted to the side - not good. But it is encouraging to see that they are all out from underneath her now, making it seem less abnormal. They're all hunkered down too - protecting themselves from the wind? I hope this is what the first one has been doing the last few hours. I haven't seen them feeding today because I just logged on a short time ago, but my friend said the adult didn't feed this one earlier, even though it tried to feed.

anjale said...

It was the oldest that was tossed to the side. He bit onto the adult's feathers near his beak and the adult shook his head sending the little one flying near the "food" pile. he tried to eat a paw of something that was there and then crawled back to the adult.

I really have no life. :)

muddler said...

I believe the smallest has been behind and not under the mom for quite a while now and one of the other ones has been out much of the day. As the sun gets lower it will start to get far to cold for them all to stay out from under a parent. I know they are tougher than they look and a good feed and some warmth will bring them back from near death but I am starting to get concerned for this family.

Lazy Smurf said...

My goodness, did the dad just eat that really long piece of string?! That can't be good.

Tazgirl18992 said...

Lazysmurf,
I think it was just a bit of meat, not string.

loveanimals said...

I wonder if the ones head is stuck? Seems to be moving some. Not a lot. And it has just missed its 2nd feeding that I've seen

Gwen said...

I think it was a piece of grass..
I am scared for the little one that can't seem to get up..

rayo said...

I would like to know the exact geographical location of the nest (coordinates) to locate by google earth, thanks

Sterling said...

Is it the dad sitting on the nest right now - 7:00 p.m. EST? I thought is was the mom based on Dick's description of the female having knotted or clumped up feathers and the male's being sleek (leave it to the guy to be always clean and presentable!).

Sterling

rayo said...

I would like to know the exact geographical location of the nest (coordinates) to locate by google earth, thanks

Tazgirl18992 said...

rayo,
I don't think anyone is going to tell you, if they do know.
We want to protect these beatiful birds from any human influence. So we aren't going to tell anyone where they are, so no one can disturb them.

Susan said...

The nest in Norfolk has a moderator who puts everyone at ease when something doesn't look right. Dad brought a stick so maybe they are reinforcing the sides of the nest as the little ones get more active.

Susan said...

Whewww.... the one out for so long just ate. I think I can start functioning again. I told my husband and he said, "Ok, how about feeding yourself now?" :)

loveanimals said...

Looks like the one that was out is getting to eat this time!!!!!

rayo said...

Thank you Tazgirl18992, my intention is not to bother, I'm about 3,500 miles of Decorah, Iowa, was just a geographical interest, thanks again.

dkostuk said...

Looks like that particular one that wasn't eating and was to the side, just had a good meal. Now if only he would get under the parent! I think he'll be ok.

Sterling said...

O.K. I worried now. There was a major feeding and the youngest one did not even get a bit. Didn't even try.

kadeex said...

Rayo, just type "fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa" into Google Maps and the location will show up.

anjale said...

That's mom on the nest now. She was on it most of the afternoon. When she flew away, dad came for an hour or so. Then she came back with a stickmand stayed.

dkostuk said...

Looks like everyone is sleeping under mom now. Susan, you're funny! My husband is being very tolerant of me. Fianally asked me if he could get on the computer for just a minute!! I can't believe how wonderful this is. Someone commented that they didn't have a life by watching this all day. This is LIFE!!!!!

Danette said...

There is a great video on youtube about the differences between mom and dad. Basically what I look for is: Mom's beak goes almost past her eye while dad's only goes to about the middle of his eye. Mom has greyish feathers around her eyes giving more of a shadow and makes her look mean when she looks straight on. Dad's head is brilliant white and looks like he's "slicked" it back while mom's has some dark feathers and always looks a little ruffled.

Linda said...

Dick, can you tell us if it's normal for the youngest to appear to get less food? I think he may be getting more than we think since the mom or dad's back is to us a lot during the feeding. I hope. !

Sterling said...

Danette: Don't know if you are married or not and have kids, but see any resemblance? You could not pay me enough to be a mother. I (we) have two 10 year olds and I don't know how my better half does it. It is deffinetly a 24/7 job.

Sterling

Linda said...

Little Bit is getting a good feeding now-whew! :D

Jenn said...

I had to leave for about 20 minutes and I missed the one baby getting back under the mom. How did that happen? Thank you to all that are posting! Because of your posts, I know that the baby was fed! I was worried about that! Keep posting!!

kadeex said...

But (Little) he's mostly not able to swallow the big chunks offered to him.:-(

Linda said...

Little Bit can't get all of the big pieces but mom seem patient in continuing to get pieces for him, and he seems to be getting little bits (pun intended :D )

Lazy Smurf said...

It's 7:13 pm Central Time. Let's see if I am getting any better at this. Mom is on the nest right now right?

Linda said...

I think it's Mom....I'm not 100% on that, tho.

anjale said...

yes :D

Susan said...

Based on the great information above from Danette, you're right, Linda- that's the mother as her beak starts past the back of her eye. The male's beak begins right under the middle of his eye.

Lazy Smurf said...

Is she hot? It looks like she's panting. Interesting. Cool to see that tongue.

Jenn said...

Did anyone see how the baby that was near the edge of the nest got back with the other two?

Susan said...

To dkostuk, Thank you, my dear... I agree- what a great treat for us all to watch this... I can say that now that all eaglets are fed and warm and my blood pressure has returned to normal. :)

Susan said...

Jenn, that eaglet just kind of made his way over- very gradually- and finally was fed with the other two.

Jenn said...

Thank you Susan! I was worried that the baby was going to fall out of the nest! I didn't get to see the little baby eat so I really appreciate everyone's post telling me that he/she did!Thanks!!

susieworms said...

I had so many questions about the eaglets and found this site. It has alot of useful info!


http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle4.html


(their nests are between 5 - 9 feet wide :)

dkostuk said...

Same here, Susan!! Did you feed yourself? I was so happy to see the little one eat! It had been a while. Yes, you're right. The mom is very patient in trying to provide the little one with smaller pieces. What a great mom! Dad doesn't seem to be as insightful. But then again, he does most of the hunting. Seems he brings back more fish and those are very fresh!

Susan said...

Jenn, It really was a tense few hours not knowing what would happen... now we won't be so worried next time it happens since this day had a happy ending. I'm glad the eaglets are tired now and have stopped pecking one another.
:( Thanks, Susieworms- great site!

Lazy Smurf said...

thanks for info link :)

Susan said...

To dkostuk, we did eat- my husband cooked fish- just like the eaglets eat! :) Now I'm off to work for the night but I watch them at work thanks to the infared camera. It's neat to watch Mom nodding off- she looks so tired.

Selina said...

Just through the course of the day it seems like the parents are able to feed them bigger chunks. Seeing that Lil' Bit is getting to eat some makes me feel better. Still worries me how Big Guy picks on the other ones and makes them put their heads down and freeze to play dead so they don't get pecked at.

dkostuk said...

Have a good evening at work, Susan. I think to make it easier to distinguish mom from dad, I have noticed that mom has two black spots on the top of her head. Has anyone else noticed that?

Elizabeth said...

This is AMAZING! I'm in Los Altos, CA and found this cam yesterday--since then I've been obsessed!

Someone asked how todays loner baby got back under mom (or dad?)... I was watching and the baby did sort-of stumble closer to the others during a feeding. Then the parent settled over them and began pulling lots of the softer bedding closer to her, and that bedding, in turn, pulled that stay baby closer underneath her. It was like the parent knew not to use its talons or beak for fear if injuring the babies.

Jenn said...

dkostuk, I noticed those black spots too.I've been waiting for the dad to come back to the nest to see if he had the same spots. I don't think he does. When he came back to the nest the last time, I couldn't get a good look at the top of his head. Maybe this is another way for us to distinguish between the two.

Alicia Brown said...

what as eagle fans, we have to be concerned about, is the potential for bad weather in the next 48 hours. Strong winds, hail, etc. So, let's hope that all survive, including the parents. Thank you to those who have been providing this over several days...it is most informative just to observe the behavior of these magnificent birds.

scp said...

Did you know that a bird's trachea, or "windpipe", opens into the back of the tongue, instead of the back of the throat like most animals (including us)? So when you intubate a bird, you have to pull out their tongue (when they're sedated, of course) & put the endotracheal tube through the hole (which is the opening to their trachea/windpipe) in the back of their tongue. It's useful because you can't get their tracheal opening mixed up with their esophageal opening (to their stomach), which opens into the back of the throat in everyone. It's not good to put the endotracheal tube into the esophagus - they can't breathe.

Barbara said...

Mom, Dad, and Lil' Bit...though I like Joan Reed's idea too. I've read we shouldn't anthropomorphize the birds, but it's hard not to. Though Hewey Dewey and Louie are a little before my time...how about Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe?
And thanks for the beak/eye tip on telling Momma and Poppa apart.

C.C. said...

I love watching the Eagles and eaglets! What an amazing thing to see, especially sharing it with my daughter. I'm learning so much about Eagles too, thanks to all of you and your comments!

Diane said...

What's up with Pops! It's night-time and he's not keeping them warm.

Alicia Brown said...

let's hope the predicted high winds, hail and possible tornadoes don't present havoc.

shermart said...

Thank you for this very special experience! What's up with all the honking today? Doesn't seem to bother the birds but...?

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