Today there has been rain and rain and rain and lots of wind.

The 2 fledglings at First Nest loved the weather and so did dad Petruchio

Coffee in upper right, HC in lower left

HC upper and Coffee lower eaglet

Coffee upper left, HC lower right

Coffee upper left diving on HC in the lower right

dad Petruchio upper right, Coffee lower left

HC is in the nest and Coffee is way UPSTAIRS, almost at the top of the photo.
Both chicks are branching: jumping, climbing and wing wapping from branch to branch above the nest.
They keep the nest below them or just to the side as a safety net
as they build up stength and coordination for their upcoming first flight.
I watch for their yellow feet: sometimes this is the only way I can find them!

I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers for helping First Nest today.
Some materials had been left on the shore very close to the nest and needed to be moved before the rains of the coming week.
Jon Bannerman and Blake Johnson of ACE called me and we talked through a quiet, slow approach and pickup.
The eagle chick HC had begun branching today and this is a very critical time for a chick.
If a branching chick gets startled he thinks he can fly, but the chick doesn’t yet have the needed wing strength.
At this point the chick has only been hopping from branch to branch and if he spooks and tries to fly he will often fall instead.
As you can see in the 1st photo, Coffee on the left and H C on the right, watched ACE approach, 2nd photo.
The chicks stayed attentive and inquisitive, but because ACE was quiet and slow, the chicks stayed in the nest.
As ACE left, H C went back to branching, photos 3-6. Watch for his orange feet to follow his movements.

 

Bald eagles and their growing chicks thrive on cold windy weather.
On the other hand, doc got kinda sorta wind-blown and chilled today –
but that’s ok because the winds blew the limbs aside and gave me a better view of the nest.
Coffee is on the left, hollering something to H.C. whose back is turned toward us.
 
H&G Nest
In the wild winds I only managed to get one chick in view – don’t know if it is Granola or Raisin.
Notice that it is starting to replace its grey fluff with dark feathers around its face.