Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mama eagle checks in

Papa eagle watches the nest while mama is out hunting dinner.
The kids are spending more and more time alone in the nest, in pre-flight training, although mama and papa are rarely far away. A few weeks ago, I was at a meeting held at The Home Course golfcourse at the foot of Hoffman Hill. The course is probably a half mile and about 200 feet below the woodland where the eagle's nest is located.

Mama checks on the kids.
I instantly understood why this pair chose that spot. It's a perfect lookout and well-protected. They can check on intruders from a half mile away, while hunting over the ridge above Puget Sound. From the nest area, any of the trees in the woodland would offer a panoramic view of the entire hill and valley below.

Both parents alternate checking on the nest and how their kids are doing in pre-flight training. They're bringing less food to keep the youngsters motivated to make those first flights. Meanwhile, the juveniles practice leaping and short flights from one side to the other of their massive aerie. It's no wonder I've often seen just one at a time.

Check-in complete, mama eagle takes off for a tree opposite her mate.
Pre-flight practice continues with one sibling checking out the other's wing form.
Let me know which images are favorites. I'll be adding a few to my Talons Gallery in the next week or so.

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