Bald Eagle Migration Update: May 5, 2004
Today's Report Includes:
Latest News and Migration Map
Field Notes from Peter Nye
No field notes from Peter Nye this week. He is off in the field taking surveys again. Since nesting activity is underway in Bald Eagle habitat everywhere, we can focus on nesting phenology this week.
Shoulders, Wrists and Elbows
Look at how this eaglet is growing, and how gangly it looks now! The bones and muscles of the wings grow before the flight feathers come in, and the wings look strangely scrawny. At this point, you can see how the eaglet's wing bones correspond to your arm bones.
Can you find
the shoulders, wrists and elbows? (Hold your arms in the same position
to your body, to help you visualize.) Once the feathers grow in, it's
much more difficult to see the structure of the wing bones, as you can
tell by comparing the young eagle to its parent. The adult’s wing
bones are identical, but are buried under flight feathers.
Look at this baby's big, strong feet.
on eaglets must grow strong and sturdy very quickly after hatching, because
it's critical that the baby be able to hang on tight in powerful winds,
and when the baby goes to the edge of the nest to poop.
How are they Changing? Observations for CQ #25
It is a lucky thing for eagle lovers to be able to watch the eagles in Massachusetts grow and develop in the nest. How have they changed since hatching out 3 weeks ago? Here are some of the things you noticed:
Weeks Old and Counting
Eagles are Big Babies
Fresh Fish Deliveries Also Attract Flies
Pet Nye shares his observations:
To help keep nests clean, eagles continuously add fresh vegetation to their nest, covering up old food. I have yet to see them actually "clean-up" their nest, however, by removing old fish scraps. Some nests get pretty gross with old, maggot-filled fish parts stuck in the sticks of the nest, baking in the hot sun! Eagles often build "alternate" nests, within their territory near their other nest, likely in an attempt to let one nest sit unused for a year or two, to allow it to "weather" and clean itself out.
Home Again, Home Again (When will Eggs Hatch in Canada?)
What are our eagles busy doing from their locations in Canada? Eagles usually don't lay eggs until several weeks after arriving at the nest site. They spend the first days dealing with their neighbors, if any, and performing their courtship rituals. The spring is filled with the tasks involved with bringing up a family – and producing the next generation of eagles.
Since we have no nest cameras focusing on the eagles in Canada we have to rely on what we know of eagle nesting phenology. Last week you learned about the critical steps involved with producing an eagle family. We have also been watching the Bald eagles raise 2 eaglets via the Eagles Online web camera.
Now put yourselves to the task of predicting what is going on in our eagles’ nests in Canada! Use the eagle maps and data to calculate when the birds arrived in their nesting area. Then calculate what is, or will be happening by reviewing the phenology information on the chart provided.
Use this chart and the Nesting Phenology information:
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