VIDEOS: Rare Footage Of Eagle Fledglings At Eagle Landing Park
Story and Videos by Jim Branson
This year, the nesting pair at Eagle Landing Park has successfully raised two eagles to the fledgling stage. For the three previous years, they did not produce offspring successfully, possibly due to the disturbance of the creation of the park and the daily disruption of the visitors. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, eagles can be disrupted by many human activities, causing them to build the nest improperly, fail to incubate the eggs, or abandon the chicks at critical periods.
Here’s a video of one of the fledglings in a tree:
Before Eagle Landing Park was a park, the eagles had their nest on the south side of the nest tree, where it could be seen clearly from the top of the hill. Apparently in a quest for privacy, they moved the nest around to the northwest side this year. This strategy seems to have allowed them to resume raising chicks successfully. Because the nest was hidden from view, I wasn’t even certain they had eaglets until recently.
Now, there can be no mistaking them as they constantly beg for food and practice flying around the park. They are not skilled flyers, and their landings can be especially dramatic and suspenseful. They will fly around for about a month, gaining confidence. In past years, the fledglings have disappeared in September, presumably because the parents lead them to fishing grounds up north. The parents come back in October, alone, having ditched the young eagles and left them to fend for themselves.
If you visit Eagle Landing Park to see the fledglings (website here), please be quiet. Human impacts can cause the fledglings and the adults to startle from their roosts, expending calories they need to survive. Also, your silence will enable others to see the eagles, making the park experience better for all visitors.
Here’s another video: