Jordan Lake. A study this morning in the process of molting in birds. To molt means the bird is changing out damaged and old feathers for a brand new set. All birds do this – in several different patterns. It just so happens that both the bald eagle (1st photo) and the Broad-winged hawk (2nd photo) do what is known as a sequential molt. They molt out the same section of flight feathers on each wing at the same time. Note that on both birds on each wing there are sets of feathers that are sticking out on the trailing edge with a matching set on the other wing. Not all birds do a sequential molt, it really depends upon the species. In this case it also helps me to know that the bald eagle is two-years-old. The Broad-winged hawk is an adult. The molt patterns do make them both look rather raggedy, doesn’t it! Oh and did you see the fish the eagle is carrying?

Jordan Lake: the Count is in … 33 … FLEDGED BALD EAGLE chicks for the 2020-2021 Bald Eagle Nesting Season! Out of 24 nests there were 20 nests that produced fledglings. That is an increase of 3 fledglings from 2020. Way to go parent bald eagles … especially the Captain Nest that had triplets!

Jordan Lake: Food Fight! Triplet Bald Eagle Fledglings update: Dad tried to get a fish for the triplets to the nest, drop it and run, but he got caught in the middle of the fight. At one point there were 4 full-sized bald eagles in the nest! Eventually Dad was able to flee the nest, was exhausted, but appeared to have survived – it can be a rough life to be a raptor parent. The biggest fledgling, a female, won the fish. What a melee!

Jordan Lake: Bald Eagle Nest SUPRISE!!! at Captain’s Nest. You never know, during a bald eagle breeding season, how the cycle will end. Once in a while you’re completely surprised right near the finish … There were actually THREE chicks who fledged from the Captain’s Nest – usually there are 2 chicks. It is always difficult to track the number of eaglets while they are in the nest and Captain’s Nest proved just that. If you look just below the arrow you can see the face of the 3rd chick. We have now seen all 3 of the chicks fledged and enjoying their cove. Way to go Captain Mom and Dad! Triplets! My thanks to Captain Doug for sharing his photo and the Captain Nest journey with us.