Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Bald Eagle Nests

Posted by  //  April 6, 2020  //  Articles, Creature Feature

A bonded eagle pair begins building a nest a month or two in advance of their brood’s arrival.  Constructed with interwoven sticks and lined with vegetation, the nest is remarkable in that it is 4-5 feet in diameter and 2-4 feet deep.  Eagles exhibit strong nest site fidelity, often re-using the same nest each year.  Upon returning, they add another foot or two of new material; so over time, the avian nursery can reach mammoth proportions and weigh over a ton.  They defend the nest area from rivals and predators. After mating, the female lays 1-3 eggs a day or so apart, which hatch in the order they were laid. Both parents share incubation duties, but the female spends more time on the nest.  Hatchlings are fed tiny bits of fish and meat. As eaglets are unable to regulate their body temperature, the parents keep them warm and also spread their massive wings to create shade on hot days. The male provides most of the food early on, while the female stays by the nest; but as the weeks progress and the chicks approach their fledging time, she becomes the main provider. The parents begin to spend more time away from the nest to coax the youngsters to fly.  At 10-12 weeks the fledglings each take their leap of faith, but remain near the adults for another month or two, honing their flight and survival skills.

Article & Photo of eagle nestling by Margie Manthey

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