Bald Eagle nest


Eagles have returned to the nest and have produced one chick. Rapidly growing, now the chick looks almost as large as the adult, but is dark brown, being fed, and still lacks all its feathers and its skill to fly. So far, all it knows are the confines of the nest. Both parents bring fish to the nest.

We watched the nest for three days, and even during that short period, one could see the chick’s skills improve.

These two adults have only one chick.

In the beginning, the chick is mouth fed. Later, it foraged for food by picking at fish brought to the nest by a parent. 

Both parents caught fish and brought it to the nest. It is carried in the bird’s claws. This is the female. Photo by Cynthia Fraser.

The female brings a fish to an excited chick. Photo by Cynthia.

The chick would practice flying by standing up and flapping its wings. Its wings show many pin feathers which are the white lines extending from the beginnings of the feathers. These are seen (on the left) extending from the underwing coverts against the dark of the flight feathers, and on flight feathers (in the right) against the sky. They have a blood supply until the feathers are formed.


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4 Responses to Bald Eagle nest

  1. Trevor Goward says:

    Many thanks to you and Cynthia for bearing witness to life in process of renewal! In this time of an uncertain future, there’s something profoundly uplifting here – if only I knew how to articulate it.

    Take good care


  2. Gail Frampton says:

    Gorgeous photos once again. Thanks for sharing what most people never get to see.

  3. Christine Boyd says:

    These are superb! Thank you, Alistair.

    Several years ago we in Blewett were able to watch a family of raptors by live cam. I was truly honoured to watch one day, as the chick, alone in its nest, began flapping and slighting lifting off. Something told me “this is it!”. I watched for a few minutes and sure enough – the grown chick took off into the air for its first fight!

  4. Prospero says:

    The fight or flight response is not part of the fledging process. Maturation is not behaviour. And it is just as dependent on episodes of tranquillity as on those of trauma.

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