6/20/16 – Going out on a limb…a word about branching. Branching is a major developmental milestone in a young eaglets life, so naturally there have been plenty of questions about what will be happening next on the Harmar nest. The answer is, watch with us and find out! Generally eagles start branching in their ninth week or later and both eaglets are there now (Hr3 is 64 days old today). Branching involves leaving the nest proper, often upward. Not all eagles branch before fledging, for example, check out this video of an eaglet hovering over the West End nest on Catalina Island; no tree, no branching, just hovering and then fledging.
From our cam view we see one branch at the back of the nest that looks like it goes straight up, but it has some nice footholds and does level off some above the cam view. But from the road side of the nest we see there is a second possible branching limb there, and it is almost completely hidden from view on the nest cam. Second photo is my own.
Lately, both eaglets have been spending a lot of time in front of these two branches, so my guess is they will use one of them for branching.
Whether an eaglet branches or not, the last few weeks in the nest involve exercising and growing their flight muscles. They play eaglet games, flapping and hopping about, occasionally catching air and hovering briefly.