From the Aerie
By Dara Miles
BCC Raptor Program Director
We have an eaglet!
Sometime in late April, a little white chick pecked its way out of the egg in the Eagle Rock nest. Since then, the parents have been busy feeding it and keeping it warm throughout our crazy “spring” weather.
This kid will grow quickly, as long as the parents keep a steady supply of prey and carrion coming. Adult Golden Eagles hunt smaller birds and small mammals like squirrels, rabbits and—yes—housecats, but they are also opportunists who will not bypass a chance to pick up carrion, even stealing ready-made meals from other predators.
Back in the nest, the adults share the childcare duties. While one adult hunts, the other babysits and serves up the meals. It’s pretty thrilling to watch an adult Golden Eagle tear up pieces of meat using its bill and talons, and feed the strands to the chick. We watch them through a powerful spotting scope, because we’re a quarter mile away to minimize the intrusion. But the adults know we’re there, and they watch US.
Right now, the chick is covered with white down, which accentuates the dark eyes and bill. At this stage, it’s a cute but clumsy baby, with uncoordinated movements and seemingly random wing flapping. Because of the depth of the nest, usually only the head and an occasional wing can be seen in these early weeks. But that will change soon.
Check back in a bit and we’ll update you on baby’s progress. Fingers crossed for continued success for this nest!