First 2019 eaglet sighting for nest CT-018: March 14th

We have had the good fortune to live very near an eagle nest and been able to watch many aspects of eagle behavior and development since we moved into the neighborhood in 2015. This has included nest repair, fishing (including apparent fishing through the ice), fighting, copulation, the development of eaglets into fledglings, first flights, and even the takedown of a mallard duck. We have been more closely monitoring the nest (assigned CT-018, southern Calvert County, Maryland) since 2017 when we entered the nest into the Maryland Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring Program. This year was the earliest sighting of an eaglet. First sightings were on 20 March and 19 March in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Yesterday (25 March) it appeared that a second eaglet might be in the nest, but a firm confirmation awaits. The fledgling success for this nest has been 1, 2, 2, and 1 fledgling for 2015 thru 2018. Based on reported biology of bald eagles, our estimation is that eggs were laid in early January and hatched by mid-February. Egg hatching occurs approximately 35-38 days after being laid. According to the DC Eagle website, some developmental milestones are below:
~2 weeks - able to hold head up for feeding
~3 weeks - one foot high, feet and beak nearly adult size
~3-4 weeks - covered in a secondary coat of gray down
~3-6 weeks - black juvenile feathers begin to grow in
~4-6 weeks - able to stand; tearing up own food
~6 weeks - nearly as large as their parents
~8 weeks - appetite at its greatest; begin to stretch wings with gusts of wind, may even hover for short periods of time
~9-10 weeks - begin branching (precursor to fledging)
~10-14 weeks - fledge; may remain near nest for four to five weeks; parents still provide food
Remainder of summer - learn to hunt
Fall - on their own

Publicado por rosalie-rick rosalie-rick, 26 de marzo de 2019

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