Eaglets Growing Up

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I’ve been watching three eagle nests this spring, and all of them now have eaglets who are getting ready to fledge:   the first one is high in a cottonwood and not too easy to see now that the cottonwood has leafed out, but the other two are totally accessible and great fun to watch.    The one above is near the little town of Craig, and I’ve been watching the parents patiently sitting on the nest all spring.  The nest is a prime example of a Bald Eagle nest:  tightly constructed, high in a gorgeous Ponderosa pine, with plenty of soft nesting material for the three juveniles:

Mom on the nest in April

Mom on the nest in April

Three eaglets in the nest last week

Three eaglets in the nest last week

The second nest is on the Missouri River.     There are two young in that nest, which doesn’t seem to be as well engineered as the first one: it always looks to me like it’s about to slip off the branch it’s built on.    Earlier this month I caught one of the parents on a branch, with junior showing off a little:

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This morning I decided it was time to check out the nest again.  When I arrived I could see that one of the juveniles was sitting on the branch where the parent had been last time: progress!

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A closer look showed that the eagle was making some pretty odd head contortions:

ouch!

ouch!

and some equally goofy “wingersizing”:

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The sibling soon popped up and they checked each other out on either side of the dead trunk.

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Next the sib started a pretty vigorous exercise program of his own, which definitely interested his brother.

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I waited quite a while for one of the parents to return with a snack, but no luck.  Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to see one of these guys make its first flight: how cool would that be?

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Birding, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Eaglets Growing Up

  1. That would be very cool indeed 🙂
    Promise to post it if you see it?

  2. Beautiful photos and a beautiful post. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  3. lylekrahn says:

    Nice to watch the “kids” growing up.

  4. So great that you’re able to check on two eagle’s nests. I always loved seeing the huge nests in the trees or on the platforms over rivers when I visited Montana. Love to watch the osprey nests as well.

  5. mrmarkls says:

    your photography never fails to bring out in me a sense of dumbstruck awe over the beauty you have captured and the magnificent quality of your work

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