Spring bald eagles chicks fledge
There are an estimated 350 nesting pairs of bald eagles in NYS this year and about seven pairs are here in Genesee County. The birds pictured in this post live just outside of Le Roy. Other nesting pairs have been reported in Attica, around Silver Lake, and a few pair in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The oldest recorded banded bald eagle in the country lived close by in Henrietta to the age of 38.
This nesting pair was first reported to The Batavian in March of this year. (Original story.) From what is reported by local residents, this is the first year for this nest in this location. Most bald eagle clutches consist of one to three eggs. From what was observed in this nest, there may have been only one egg. There was only one chick ever spotted in the nest.
It is common for the chick that hatches first to eat the small chick once it hatches. This is normal and the parents pay no attention if this happens. In this bald eagle family, the father was banded and the mother was not.
Mom and Dad trade places sitting on the incubating egg(s).
Father sits in nest on eggs as mom flies by.
After about 35 days of incubation, a chick was hatched. At the time this picture was taken, the chick was about two to three weeks old.
The chick has fresh fish flown in for lunch by Dad.
Mom and chick snuggle up in nest as the weather turns cold again in April.
Growing very quickly...the chick, about six to seven weeks old, is still fed by Mom.
Even though the chick now looks like a big bird, there is a lot of learning and practice that needs to be done before the chick can leave the nest.
About the second week in June, the chick fledged the nest. While looking strong and graceful in flight, this eaglet is still not very graceful at landing. Mom will still hunt for the eaglet for about another five weeks. After that, the eaglet will be on its own until it mates in maturity in about five years. After about four years, the eaglet will have the white feathers on its head, yellow beek and solid brown body that we are familar with as our national bird.
Below the eaglet practices life skills, in this case, using its talons to pick up a stick.
If you haven’t already seen some of the local eagles, keep an eye to the sky and look for them, thanks to a managed recovery program we are blessed with quite a few in this area.
For more information about bald eagles visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/74052.html
If you would like to learn more about photography visit: Batavia Photography Club
Mr Burns, thank you for this awesome timeline. My family has been respectfully observing the Oatka Trail nest for many months. You must have spent many, many hours out there, and I am very grateful for your diligence. :)
Thanks Bud. It was fun to watch them for hours. I learned a lot about them.
What a great article AND pictures! So informative, too. I saw my 1st one last week flying over the Oatka Creek bridge in Jug City, LeRoy. How magestic, flying right over my car!
GREAT ARTICLE !!!!! THANKS !!!!!