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:
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:
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!
A closer look showed that the eagle was making some pretty odd head contortions:
and some equally goofy “wingersizing”:
The sibling soon popped up and they checked each other out on either side of the dead trunk.
Next the sib started a pretty vigorous exercise program of his own, which definitely interested his brother.
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?