I'm Coming In For A Landing
This eagle was landing, and flying in fast, I barely had time to take a picture, before my lens was full of feathers. I could hear a whooooosh, and there he was.Talk about the "wing span" and the spread eagle, an amazing, iconic bird. I support our local wildlife shelter that helps these eagles. Last year a couple of eagles were holding tallons, and flying through the air, and neither would let go, and they came thumbling down to the ground, and hit a boat shed close to our house! They needed medical help, so our wildlife shelter took them in, and rehablilated them back to health. It's really nice to see we have such animal lovers here! I see when they get ducks in the pond, and I always feel pretty squeemish, (can't get used to the "killing") but I want to see them grow and flourish too! You can't believe how BIG these birds are. It's really awesome! Here are a few fact about the American Bald Eagle if you are interested.
The mature Bald Eagle, our national emblem, is an easily recognizable and spectacular bird. It has a dark brown body and wings and a white head and tail. Its legs and feet are bright yellow, as is its large, hooked bill. Its piercing eyes are light yellow. Females are larger than males, weigh from 10-14 pounds, and have a 6�- to 7-foot wingspan. Males usually weigh from 8-10 pounds and have a 6- to 6�-foot wingspan. Juveniles (one-year old birds) and sub-adults (birds up to four years of age) are brown, with varying degrees of white mottling below. Young eagles do not reach full adult plumage until they are 4-6 years old. Bald Eagles may live up to 40 years. ( I hope this family lives that long!)
Habitat The Bald Eagle is found only in North America, generally in coastal areas or near large inland lakes and rivers that have abundant fish and shores with large trees.Behavior Bald Eagles are usually seen soaring on flat wings, flying with strong, slow wing beats, or perching in trees adjacent to water. They are opportunistic feeders - scavengers at times, predators at others. When scavenging, they are often seen on the ground or on the bank of a river or other body of water. Sometimes they steal food from other raptors. When hunting, they swoop down to the water or ground with feet thrust forward to snatch their prey. The undersides of eagle's feet are rough, and keep the fish from slipping from the eagle's grasp.Diet Bald Eagles eat many fish, live fish that they snatch from the water and dead fish, especially spawned salmon, which they pick up from stream-sides. They also eat ducks and other water birds as well as small mammals. In the San Juan Islands, rabbits, hunted living or scavenged dead, are the main source of food. In many parts of Washington in winter, American Coots are an important part of the diet as well.
Nesting Bald Eagles build large stick nests called eyries in tall trees or on cliffs. They continue to build up the eyries year after year until they are massive, up to 9 feet in diameter and weighing up to 2,000 pounds. Bald Eagles do not breed until they are 4 to 6 years old, but when they pair for mating they tend to remain paired for life. The egg-laying season is generally late winter to early spring. In western Washington, sometime during the last days of February and the first days of March, the female lays 2 eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for 34 to 36 days. For the first two weeks after the young hatch, one parent is with the chicks almost constantly. The young do not start to fly until they are 10 to 12 weeks old, and the parents continue to feed and defend them for another 2 to 3 months.
It's fun around here to see the Mother teaching her babies to fly! The two babies in the nest, the older brother threw his younger brother out of the nest! I was sort of shocked to see this, but I guess this is the real sybling rivilary! So harsh!
June 30th, 2012
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