It has been such a delight to watch these young eagles learn to fly and eventually soar. I’ve taken most of the sound out of my videos because you hear me encouraging them–“Just try! You can do it little dude!” and then my squeal of exhilaration when one finally does lift off!
This first video shows them practicing from ages 8-10 weeks, jumping up and down on the platform. Eagle nests usually have nearby branches so the young eagles can do some short hops, but from this pole that first step is a doozy.
While I wasn’t looking, the first eaglet took flight, following a parent to scavenge on a carcass in Lake Timicau. The second bird stayed on the nest as you can see, being fed by one and then BOTH parents while he or she shamelessly begged for food. Until that moment when the second bird seems to topple off the side of the platform and gains some lift.
It hasn't always gone so smoothly!
One year, the young eagle fell out of the nest before he could fully fly so we closed the road to let the adults feed him, and we were delighted to finally watch him fly.
Another year, a young bird just learning to fly landed near a small pond, attracting the unfortunate attention of an alligator. It didn’t end well for the eagle.
And some years the eaglets grab a live wire, or try to fly and end up sliding down everyone’s roofs along the impoundment, or even fail to survive even a day past hatching.
Adult Eagles are still attentive
You’ll still see the adults around for a couple of weeks, and the juveniles still beg for food when they are on the platform. We’ve had fun spotting the eagles as they look for food or simply watch out from the tops of the tallest things around.
We'll celebrate these youngsters and watch them while they hang around.
We usually see these eagles well into May and occasionally June, but then they’ll leave and spend the summer north of here, we assume.