Tag Archives: Development

Learning Eagle Table Manners

May 10, 2022: Learning Eaglet Table Manners

We were asked about eaglet growth and development during our explore.org Bird Week chat yesterday. Bald eagles spend about the first half of nest life – say, 35 to 40 days – gaining weight, growing limbs and feet, and growing and replacing feathers. In stage two – about 40 to 75 or 80 days – they begin preparing for life beyond the nest by building muscle, exploring their new wings, learning to unzip prey and feed themselves, and practicing their

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Four

April 19, 2022: DN15 and DN16

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week four in this blog. DN15 and DN16 turn 25 and 24 days old today. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days),

Oh poop shoot!

April 16, 2018: Poop Shoot!

Oh poop shoot! As the eaglets get stronger and more coordinated, they begin to paint the nest and crib rails white with slices, splashes, and stripes of poop. But sometimes parents – DNF in this case – get in the way! DN16 does its very best to shoot poop out of the nest, but hits DNF instead. Wonderful moments like this inevitably lead to questions like “What is bird poop?” and “What do eagle Moms and Dads think about this?”.

Monday Morning North Milestones and Eaglet Movie Marathon!

Sibling love! DN15 (right) gives DN16 an adorable wing hug.

We have your Monday morning North milestones and movie marathon! The Decorah North eaglets turn 16 and 15 days old today. While the wet, chilly weather put a damper on nestploration in their second week, we thrilled to several milestones, including a first fish tail (DN15), a first pellet cast (after the fish tail), emerging thermal down, and huge cropzillas on both eaglets! Pellet Casting Why is pellet casting a big deal? Eagle parents feed their hatchlings ‘baby food’ –

Eaglet Growth and Development, Week Two

April 5, 2021: DN13, left and DN14, right

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week two in this blog. In their second week of development, the eaglets will gain roughly two pounds, experience rapid growth in

Decorah North Eaglet Update

April 5, 2022: DN16 and DN15

Today DN15 turned ten days old and DN16 turned nine days old! Although the weather has been a little chilly for adventuring, the two are already beginning to sport some thermal down (it is most visible on DN15 right now) and are eagerly eating everything Mom and Dad bring in. We’ve seen plenty of fish, cowghetti, a rabbit, a chipmunk, and a few red meat UFO’s. What’s on the menu? Sometimes only the eagles know! Who feeds more and how

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week One

March 26, 2021: DN13 eats breakfast!

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week one in this blog. What can we expect in the first week following hatching? Like humans, growing eaglets have developmental milestones.

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 4 days!

An embryonic bird at 33 hours

As of this writing, we’re still waiting for eggs at Fort St. Vrain. The first Decorah North egg is seven days old and the second is four days old. What do embryonic eagles look like as they grow and develop inside their eggs? Dr. Peter Sharpe from the Institute for Wildlife Studies developed a table of bald eagle embryonic development based on work done by Hamburger and Hamilton (1951). While not all bald eagle eggs hatch in 35 days, the

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Three

April 12, 2021: DN13 back, DN14 front

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week three in this blog. DN13 and DN14 are 18 and 16 days old. During week two (seven to 14 days), the

April 7, 2021: Clown Clompers and Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

April 7, 2021: DN13's New Clown Clompers!

Do you like eaglet clown clompers? We love them! DN13 and DN14 seem to have gone from little dandelion bobbleheads to great big clown clompers almost over night. Their gray wooly thermal down is coming in, their little wings are sporting feather fringes, and they are flexing their rapidly growing feet and tiny talons. Motoring is limited to crawling, but they manage to explore outside the nest cup and find new places to hike outside the confines of the parental