Thanks to the Friends of Kootenai NWR for their efforts in receiving a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the bald eagle camera was successfully installed in the tree in early September 2012. We are excited to watch and learn about our national symbol!
Watch the LIVE EagleCam
First egg laid in the nest over the weekend. Not sure on exact date.
Second egg laid.
About 42 days of incubation and still no signs of hatching.
It is now past 50 days of incubation and it is very unlikely the eggs will hatch. The adult pair has been vacating the nest for longer periods of time, but still come back to continue to incubate. It may take some time before the adults realize the eggs are not viable. There is enough time if they decide to lay another clutch, but we really don't know how likely that is. In the meantime, it has been fascinating watching the daily activities of the adults. They have dined on ducks, coots, and most recently a muskrat!
The eggs have been flattened and have disappeared from the nest. We can now only hope the pair will lay another clutch and have a successful brood! If not, we'll hope for a successful nesting season next year!
The bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, is a bird of prey with a snowy-feathered head and white tail. Both the male and female bald eagle reach sexual maturity around 4 years of age, at which time they develop the white head and tail feathers. The average life span in the wild is about 28 years. Bald eagles can have a wing span between 6-8 feet and weigh 6.5 to 14 pounds. In birds of prey, the female is larger than the male.
The nest is constructed of branches in a large tree near rivers or water. The eagle nest can be as wide as 9 feet and weigh up to two tons! It is believed bald eagles mate for life. Eagles lay 1-4 eggs about 5-10 days after successful copulation. The eggs are a speckled off-white about the size of a goose egg. The second egg is laid a few days later, followed by a possible third or fourth. Incubation takes about 35 days and the duties are shared by both the male and female, but the female spends most of her time on the nest. The eggs hatch in the order they were laid. Eaglets break through the shell by using their egg tooth, a pointed bump on the top of the beak. It can take from 12 to 48 hours to hatch after making the first break in the shell (pipping).
Newly hatched eaglets are soft, grayish-white down covered with their eyes partially closed. Eagles feed their young by shredding pieces of meat from their prey and the female gently coaxes her chick to take a morsel of meat from her beak. The eaglets grow rapidly, adding 1 pound to their body weight every 4-5 days. They will fledge (acquire the feathers necessary for flight) around 12 weeks after hatching. From the time the parents build the nest and the young are on their own, takes about 20 weeks.
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The striking cinnamon colored head and light-blue wing patch make this dabbling duck a delight to see!