Thursday, April 21, 2011

There were a lot of comments about eagle growth rate on Facebook this morning. 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.


The two eaglet pictures are the first and last photographs taken, over a period of slightly less than a month. That should give you some idea of the physical changes the eaglets go through as they grow, although the photo album makes it even clearer. Our little Decorah babies will be taking to the wing before we know it.I've got a Facebook album of Forth St. Vrain eaglet growth 2010, published here: FSV Album

The kestrels have laid a third egg. The photograph of the female kestrel clearly shows what I've heard called her "eye spots". Although no one knows for sure why she has them, the most commonly accepted theory is that they help frighten attackers away. Unlike falcons and eagles, she should lay a bunch of eggs, although not all of them will hatch. Again, unlike falcons and eagles but like many other birds, kestrels are sexually dimorphic in plumage - males and females have different plumage. Wikipedia reports that plumage has more variation between the sexes than size.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

The Decorah eagle babies seem to have gotten off to a nice start today - thank goodness the bad weather is gone!

43 comments:

stichnRN said...

will these eaglets be banded before leaving the nest????

stichnRN said...

will these eaglets be banded before leaving the nest????

Amy Ries said...

No, we don't have any banding plans.

Cap'n Sylvia Sharkbait said...

Thank you for the info about growth rate and the link to your 2010 album. Those pictures speak a thousand words. Yesterday I was noticing how big the talons are on the oldest eaglets; so big! Thanks to the nest cam and your posts I (and many others I'm sure) know more about eagles than I ever thought I would know. Thank you for providing such an exciting educational experience.

Patricia Chambers said...

Will the Social Stream for the eagles ever be put back on?

Sheila said...

The camera shots today, especially the close ups, are just amazing! These birds are adorable and it is just so amazing to be able to see them in real life. The parent eagles are spectacular - what a testiment to good parenting! Thanks so much for sharing this with the world!

Sheila Bowden

Julie said...

We have been watching closely since the eaglets were hatched! Thank you, this is such a wonderful experience.

We are, however, quite worried about the smallest eaglet, he seems to get much less to eat than is sibs (and he is VERY skinny.) Is he going to be ok?

rebeccahamblin said...

I have been worried about the baby too so watched late this evening and was surprised by what I saw. Eaglet #2 was very affectionate towards the baby and laid so close to him I thought he would suffacate it. When the baby finally decided to go under the mother for shelter, he/she wanted to follow. The most attention Eaglet #1 paid to either of them was to butt his behind up to both of them. Am I imagining it, or can there be real affection between the eaglet siblings?

Mrs. VandeVelde said...

Our 4th and 5th graders love watching the eagles and eaglets, especially when the babies seem to be sunning themselves? It's interesting to see how a parent has been covering the eaglets up and how windy it seems to be. Is it possible for you to note daily on the blog or even under the USTREAM-LIVE LOGO in the top right corner of the cam picture, the local temperature so the students will understand some of the actions of both eaglets and parents.
Thank you,
Suzan VandeVelde
Special Ed. Teacher
Marietta, GA

Cap'n Sylvia Sharkbait said...

@Mrs. Vandevelde - I've been tracking the weather everyday at the NOAA and Weather Underground sites. Looking at the temperature is interesting but as you know there is so much more to weather than just the temp. For example is it raining? Snowing? What is the wind? What is predicted for later today, tomorrow and next week? The day before the snow storm the parent eagles were very busy stacking bits of stick and leaves around the eaglets, possibly creating a warmer environment for the cold weather to come. The Weather Underground site also shows moon phases and other cool (to me) stuff that might be interesting to your students. NOAA is slightly more technical but they have very thorough information. Could be an added learning experience for the students? Sorry to blather, as a sailor I'm kind of obsessed with weather. I think it's awesome that your class is interested in the eagles and that you want to include the weather in the experience. I wish I'd had a teacher like you when I was that age.

kwiwi said...

So glad I found this blog!! My husband and I are really enjoying this so much. When my grandkids are over visiting we all have to watch too and we discuss what's happening, etc. Very interesting. Never saw anything like it before. Thanks so much!!

jim_boulton2002 said...

The babies are growing very fast. What are the parents doing when they continually stir the soft material in the nest?

jim_boulton2002 said...

I too am concerned about the smallest eaglet. The mother or father do not seem to give him food as regularly as the other two eaglets.

Will these eagles be banded before leaving the nest?

Wendy said...

Every time I log in now Facebook or twitter is not longer available. Do you know why????? It's only been this last week, before that I was able to read and post my comments on it.

Wendy said...

Every time I log in now Facebook or twitter is not longer available. Do you know why????? It's only been this last week, before that I was able to read and post my comments on it.

Wendy said...

Every time I log in now Facebook or twitter is not longer available. Do you know why????? It's only been this last week, before that I was able to read and post my comments on it.

Carole DeAngeli said...

A couple of times, in reference to the kestrels, you said, "unlike falcons and eagles," but, kestrels ARE falcons.

Carole DeAngeli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

Some of us have expressed concern about the youngest eaglet, but after watching it feed just now, I think Amy got it right when she assured us that this pair of parents has raised triplets successfully in the past and she was optomistic that they'll succeed this time. The youngest one pushed right up next to the carcass, seemed much more assertive than its two older siblings and appeared to have gotten most of the food. YAY!

Philk said...

Concerned about the little one. The other two really bully him.

luc_215 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a_reader said...

I think that the two first hatched are females and the third one male.

Just a guess after viewing the close-up camera work today.
Big thanks to all who made this possible, I'm absoultey addicted.
Have watched this live stream since first discovered just after the first one hatched. What great parents these magnificant birds are.

baturco said...

It appears that one eaglet hasn't moved position in the last day or so. Is it okay?

Ronald said...

The one chick lays on its side a lot. Could this chick be injured? There is certainly three different personalities with the sibs. The mother's dedication is unblievable. Thanks so much for your site

Dawn said...

Amy, a logistics question: how is it that the screen all of a sudden looked so clear-- do you have a way of cleaning the cam lens?

Billie said...

I am amazed at the size of the eaglets. The one is huge compared to the others. The littler one is so tiny in comparison. I love it when both parents feed the young. Seems the male takes care of the smaller one when he is there. I am very addicted to this site.....thanks guys!

Greg Miller said...

I just came across the video feed. I heard about it from watching the Red Tail Hawks in NYC. Where can I learn about how we're getting this video? Is there an explanation somewhere about the camera used, how it is controlled and powered etc.? In NYC, the camera is inside an office and is aimed at the window ledge so that's easy to understand. But I'm curious how they got a camera up in a tree.

a_reader said...

For Greg Miller and others who are looking for specific information about this nest.
Found the site at the following link quite good.
On the ustream site, all kinds of links and video of how they rigged up the cameras how they work.
Lots of info on these specific pair and some history as well.

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

That's one huge nest - it's hard to get a real feel for how big it is until you see the video of the guy standing in the nest and he looks small in it.

(There is a thrid thread down on this (RRP Blog) site that's quite filled with good info as well, but it's getting very weighty with well over a thousand comments to go through.)

a_reader said...

Wow, an eaglet was just munching on a leg of a rabbit by itself!
Big step. Mom was looking on, and now they are totally wiped out with the huge meal they just had. Rabbit and fish.
Neat how the parents traded meals, it's like "here I'm sick of this rabbit-hows the fish?" LOL.

[posted 29/04/11

roll with buddha said...

Amy, there is one eaglett that is appears not to be moving not near the others, is there anything you can do for it?

roll with buddha said...

Sorry Amy, I think I see 3 heads moving now at feeding, or I hope so. And have to remind myself that this is not a "managed" home movie and it is nature, the good and the not so good sometimes. Thanks for all your hard work to bring this to all of us.

Millergirls said...

My whole family enjoys the eagles and eaglets. Our friends have also become attached. Thanks for all your hard work!!!

tiyospaye said...

I see E1 and E2 are pretty close to each other and getting harder and harder to tell apart each day But E3 is smaller because of being younger, is Mom and Dad still helping him eat still? Have watched almost from the beginning and always been pulling for E3.
Do they normally hatch with this much time difference, or are they normally closer?
Great job for bring this to us all.

idan said...

hi
correct me if i have a mistake, but one of the eagles looks sick!
while the two others are moving all around the nest, the third one is almost motionless, and several times it seen laying on his wing (compared to human, laying on our body side), which is not typical, since they always rest in a "sitting" mode.
the only movement seen is breathing...

sandwaterskyhi said...

These eagles have been a gift from mother nature. Having lost a parent recently the cycle of life has been a comfort to me. Each day they remind me that we are
all part of that cycle. They have given me much joy and put smile on my face every day during a sad time. Thank you to every one that is involved in this project . I intend to support this project with the gifts my parent left for me.

Aria said...

how long will it be before they are full grown??

Dean said...

did all the eagle babies fly?? Why is the site empty?

Dean said...

did the baby Eagles fly? and I missed it?? Shucks.

Bea said...

We would like to see that the camera is soomed out more so you can see more of the eagles. Right now you can't see anything.

Jory said...

I don't see any recent posts, but I have a question about the Decorah eaglets: is one of them sick? It's lying on the nest most of the time, while the other 2 are up and flapping, etc.

I've been following them since the eggs were laid, and this is the first time I've really been worried!

Jory

rgmoore58 said...

I love this I have it on my laptop all day. One ? is how do they get water. I think that the camera need to parked back some more so you can see more of the nest.I can't whate to see them fly.
Thank You for this GREAT CAM.

rgmoore58 said...

I love this cam. I have it on my laptop all day. How do they get water is it from the fish?. The only thing is that the camra needs to be park a little more back so you can see all of the nest. I think it will be cool to see them fly. Thank You

rgmoore58 said...

So how long do you think it well be befor they well fly. I don't see mom or dad bringing food to them as much lately. And without water and food and in the 90s how long can they go. This is great.I hope they will be Ok.