[Bristol-Birds] South Holston eaglet out of nest.

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 19:27:59 -0400

Bill and Sandy Lawson wrote Monday (25 May) that they had concerns about the 
South Holston eaglet.   Sunday  morning, when they looked to the nest, the 
eaglet was on a lower branch about 6 feet below the nest.  At various times it 
was flapping and flapping and they kept checking to see if it perhaps had begun 
flying and would go back up to the nest.   However, as of dusk Sunday night and 
at 8 a.m  Monday it was still on the lower branch.  They could see it flapping 
its wings.   So they figured it had been there at least 24 hours or longer.

For days it had been sitting on the branch to the left of nest , flapping, 
flapping, and at times almost seemed to lose its footing.  So they were 
wondering----could it have fallen, was it in trouble?   or is this just part of 
the growing up cycle?    They were worried about its feeding, etc. or was it 
the right time for it to leave the nest?

This all seems normal for young Bald Eagles leaving the nest.  To the best of 
my knowledge, eaglets usually leave
the nest with limited if any ability to fly.  I recall that when birds were 
hacked at the hacking tower near Little Oak Campground on South Holston Lake, 
back in the early 1990's, the eaglets would go down in the woods under the 
tower.  Some would fly a ways and crash into trees, often tumbling through the 
canopy.  Some were a few days
on the ground before they were able to fly from tree to tree and begin the 
process of learning to fly.

This is not much different than what we see with lots of backyard birds which 
come out of the nest appear to have a struggle until they get their wings and 
begin to fly.

I hope this is the situation at South Holston Lake.

Let's go birding . . . .

Wallace Coffey
Bristol, TN

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