After watching these young Eagles for the last couple months we feel that the countdown is drawing near for the empty nest. Typically it will be three months from hatching until the young Eagles step to the edge of their treetop home and leap into the air to begin their own life in the wilderness. We have spent countless hours watching these young predators and have witnessed the various stages. At this stage they definitely show all the characteristics of being an Eagle. Their talons are yellow and already have sizable claws, perfect for grasping a tasty meal. Their beaks are pointed and capable of tearing apart the food that the mature Eagles bring them. A couple weeks ago their wings were wide but the feathers were not fully developed and filled in. That has changed significantly on our last visit. At this point they are branching which means they will try out their wings to hop up onto a branch growing within the confines of the nest. As we watched from a safe distance we witnessed them spreading and flapping their wings as if to do a dry run without actually taking flight. It's like they already are well aware of what these wings are capable of. Yes, the time is drawing near!
As we watched them on our recent visit we thought about their life since they poked their heads out of that thin egg shell. Imagine opening your eyes and realizing the ground is 75 feet below you. And what if you happen to be an Eagle that doesn't like the taste of fish. That Eagle would be in a pickle and best acquire a taste for seafood real quick. Imagine spending the first couple months in a crib with your baby brother or sister and occasionally Mom and Dad. Imagine sleeping there, eating there and it's also your bathroom. You will be there as Mother Nature shakes that treetop with strong wind gusts and pelts down heavy rain and hail and perhaps even snow and sleet. There will be no protection as the valley rumbles with thunder and lightning lights up the sky. Perhaps this explains how Eagles end up being such a strong and majestic bird of prey.
We made another observation on our last visit. It seemed apparent that these two young Eagles are beginning to wear on each others nerves. Chances are this will be the last time we see these Eagles before they take that first flight and fend for themselves. To witness that event would be awesome but will probably only be witnessed in our imagination for now.
Time to do the wing exercises!
I'm really getting tired of seeing you day in and day out, now get out of my face!