Home Again!

We’re delighted to be back in Maryland but totally amazed to see our fuzzy eaglet has sprouted real feathers and is nearly as large as Mama.

Where is the male eagle? We don’t see him during two visits.  I find a helpful site online with answers to some of our questions about Eagles:

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/www/critters/eagle/826572782.html

Do Eagles mate for life? Yes.

How long do Eagle eggs take to hatch? About 35 days.

We read that Eaglet feathers are brown as soon as they start to appear at about 5 weeks. Eaglets can be fully feathered by 9 weeks.  Although our Junior is looking sturdy and healthy, I worry to read only one in 10 eaglets normally survives to adulthood.

We’re pleased to note that Junior is adapting to his world and observes protocol by shooting excrement over the edge of the nest.  Way to go! Good job!

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Vay-Cay

We head for Norfolk, Virginia, and are delighted to spy an eagle on Breezy Point at the US Naval Base looking stalwart and regal.

With his second shot, Ted is able to capture the amazing “eagle eye” in action with its retractable lense.

eagle eye

Unrest

“I think the mom is older and the dad’s younger and new to this,” Ted decides. At any rate, the male is seldom “home” or near the nest.

H-m-m-mmm.

During our past few visits, both adults have vacated shortly after our arrival so we leave, too, hoping our observation point, over 200 feet away and across the river is not threatening them.

cuatro

How Many?

A baby in the nest! One eaglet! Maybe two? One or two babies, whichever, Mama and Papa Eagle are proud as punch.  We observe them watching their nest, shoulder touching shoulder, a couple of lovebirds!

8After a windstorm we see just one eaglet but keep hoping a smaller sibling is hiding in back of the nest.  We bring our friend Deb to have a look-see.

5

Fast Forward

Today is April 18th.  Where has time gone?  We took a trip to Connecticut. Then, after a quick turn-around in Baltimore, we were off to Norfolk and the Outer Banks.  All this matters not.  What about the eagles?!

Mama must have been cleaning up egg shell. That had to be the white Ted saw in her beak. Upon our return from Connecticut, we could hardly believe our binoculars…..

2

Waiting

It’s Sunday, March 19th and nothing’s changed.  An eagle sits on the nest and another circles overhead. They call out.  Are they warning us away or communicating with one another?

On Monday, we try something new and park our vehicle further down the road. We make our way to a rocky ledge on the opposite bank of the river where a clearing in the canopy gives us a view although we’re now 200 yards away with an expanse of water between us and the nest.  Ted’s camera is nearly maxed out at this distance. His photos are blurry.

Through binoculars I  see nothing unusual.  I’m cold and tired of snow and freezing rain. Will spring ever come this year? Will the eggs ever hatch if they’re even there?  We haven’t actually seen any.  We leave our post and go for a short exploratory trek in the woods.  Upon our return, she’s gone.

Has the eagle left her eggs unattended on a cold afternoon? Phew! Our eagle is not ruthless afterall.  We spy a glint of her white head in a tree nearby, her eagle eyes glued to the nest.  Poor bedraggled dear, she must be tired, too, of infinitisimal waiting. Where is her mate?

On Wednesday, March 20th, we observe the mother alone on her nest. Ted thinks he sees her spitting out something white as if she’s cleaned her nest of feces, he says. Has she projectile vomited whatever she’s plucked up with her beak? I’m amazed. How could I have missed seeing such a thing? It’s warmer today but we’re traveling to Connecticut tomorrow with colder weather on the way. We wonder if the eggs will have hatched by the time we return.