Nest notes 7/21/16: Learning to hunt

Images courtesy-thank you

7/16/16 – Have you been wondering what the Harmar eagles have been doing off cam? They have certainly been intently watching as the adults hunt, and soon they should be able to make their first successful hunt. H5 and H6 from the neighboring Hays nest might be catching their own fish already. I wish I had some videos of out own eagles to share, but since I don’t, I am linking some videos I have found of other Bald eagles to help illustrate my point.

The newly fledged eagles will be practicing their aerial maneuvers as well as learning how to soar on thermals and build up their muscles more before heading away in the fall. The young eagles will fly more in their first few years of life than at any other time. While their parents are still feeding them now, the young eagles also spend more time soaring in search of food, and eating carrion than adults do. This is because they must rely on ‘leftovers’ or stolen food more when they are young than later, after honing their hunting skills. Even as adults, eagles will grab a dead fish more readily than hunt for live fish, always taking the easiest meal first.

Harmar juvie eating on the nest 7/20/16
Harmar juvie eating on the nest 7/20/16

In addition to spending so much time in the air, it is also not at all unusual to see eagles on the ground or hanging out in the shallows.  They often will mob each other for food on the ground, or splash in the shallows to cool down.

Read more at Cornell’s page on Bald Eagles or Journey North.


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