I finally had the opportunity to go in and check on my local bald eagles and their eaglets, my first visit in a few weeks. The parents were both around and provided some cool shots which I will share in the future but for now, let’s focus on the little ones.
The images are heavily cropped and kind of grainy due to the distance I maintain to ensure not to disturb the eagles. You will notice quite a stark difference in their development with one looking far larger than the other. This is somewhat troubling and does have me a bit concerned.
Bald eagle eggs typically hatch three days apart. While that three-day head start doesn’t seem like much, it can make a big difference as these little guys grow fast. The older eaglets take advantage with their bigger size and bully their siblings for the majority of the food and parents’ attention. This results in differences in their development as the younger one just gets further and further behind.
These little ones are about six weeks old and while the older one looks that age, the younger one looks closer to being at 3 to 4 weeks old in development. I worry the littler one is struggling and fear it has a tough road ahead to survive.
On the plus side, during my observation the older eaglet fed itself while I did see dad feed the little one so it does appear to be getting some help. It’ll be a couple more weeks before I can check on them again but in the meantime I will be pulling for the little one!