Monday, September 3, 2012

Empty Nester?

Female Bald Eagle perched in a pine tree

Last week I shared the image “Watchful” featuring a juvenile bald eagle I photographed while kayaking.  While I can’t be completely positive, I believe the bald eagle in this photo is its mother. 

I spent some time on the lake this past weekend and while I crossed paths with Mrs. Eagle a few times, her youngster was no longer in residence during my visits.  With her “chick” now nearly as large as she is, it’s entirely possible that its fate is now in its own wings.  Once they leave the nest, young eagles are left to learn to hunt and survive entirely on their own.  Their first fall and winter is a very critical time as its been estimated that as much as 40% of the young won’t survive.

Godspeed little one and great job, Mom.

Update: The ink was hardly dry on this post when I learned of the true fate of the young eagle photographed last weekend.  Lori, the owner of Wausau’s Wild Birds Unlimited, informed me that the young eagle was taken to Raptor Education Group in Antigo with West Nile virus.  Unfortunately the disease was too far advanced and they were unable to save it.

Rest in peace little one.


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