Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our first hatch fundraiser! While we watched and chatted, little crops swelled, D32 and D33 ate (both parents fed), tussled, and went feet up! Compare their tiny talons to see how much growing D32 has already done, and enjoy all of these videos. Sometimes I have a favorite, but I loved all of these! Thanks so much to our camera operators and videomakers for their hard work finding and sharing life in the nest(s)!
4/08/2019: Mom brings in a price winning sucker fish – https://youtu.be/Ea8yPrNJ77c
. Wow, Mom – that fish is amazing! White suckers are spawning right now. They are very easy to catch when they come up on to shallow gravel bars and provide an important food source for eagles and other midwest animals during a time of the year when food can be a little scarce. She carves it up and doles it out to her hungry waiting eaglets (check out the crop on D32 in the third minute!). Why is this fish so big? White Sucker don’t reach sexual maturity until they are three to eight years old. This means that spawning suckers are a minimum of three years old at spawning, and could easily be older. The operculars we found at Fort St. Vrain yielded an age of four or older, with several between six and nine years of age and the oldest (the outlier) about fourteen. Judging by the size, this was not a young fish. Judging from the lack of roe, it was either a male or a female who already spawned. You can read more about Fort St. Vrain here https://raptorresource.blogspot.com/2017/10/whats-on-menu-at-fort-st-vrain.html
The oldest tries, ‘It’s too hard.’ The youngest gags, ‘It’ too big.’
Eaglets commence bonking each other. Mom eats the fish eye and ends the squabble by brooding them. Once again, Super Mom demonstrates her super parenting skills!
4/08/19: D33’s first feeding – https://youtu.be/xXpvin9Aehs
. Everyone likes to see the first feeding! Mom expertly fills beaks, pulling a very large chunk back out of D32’s beak at around 1:55. We have a brief, unintentional but still cute sibling wing hug at 3:09, a poop shoot by D32 at 3:31 (what looks like trying to sit on D33 was just trying to get the rump in the right position), and D33 falling over immediately before brooding at 3:55. Check out its feet – still pink and tiny – and compare them to those of D32, older by three days. Eagle footpads are among the earlier body features to take off and grow, and you can see that very clearly here!
4/07/19: D32 grabs at the fish, tumbles and kicks his feet in the air – https://youtu.be/VE4uq7L1wuc
. At 3:10 in, D32 decides to go after his own bites of fish, loses his balance and ends up upside down, kicking his feet in the air. Slow the video down for a brief look at D32’s feet, which are already noticeably larger and more yellow than they were two days ago!