Have you checked on the Decorah Eagles lately? If not, you really must, because as early as next week, they could be gone.
They are 8 weeks old now... and they are big. Not quite as pretty and handsome as their parents, because they lack the white head and tail feathers, but still you can tell that they are eagles. They are wingercizing (stretching their wings and flapping as if to fly) - accompanied by some hops now and again. It is really quite comical to watch. In another week they will be hovering (actually lifting off the nest) followed by branching (actual flight to nearby tree branches and back to the nest). This is all preliminary to actual flight.
The parents are pretty much scarce now. They arrive once in awhile to bring a kill for the eaglets to eat, but then they leave again. At first I worried that the babies would fall out of the nest without the parents there to watch them - but apparently even though they go right to the edge of the nest, they know not to go over, and the parents don't actually prevent such a happening. I would guess it's eagle instinct.
I have loved watching this whole process from egg laying to present. What a beautiful opportunity to see nature at work without man's interruption. Who ever thought that such an event was possible to view... it's awesome to be sure!
The plan is to capture one of the eaglet's about 2 weeks after they start to fly so they can attach a transmitter to monitor it's movements. They have done this with one of the eagles from last year's hatch and they have been able to learn all kinds of things that man did not know about eagles before.
I wish to thank the person's of Raptorresource who have brought us this most wonderful gift. This is a perfect example of the Internet being used in an positive way.