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December 2020
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By Alexa Johnson

The Evolution of an Egg -
After the eggs have been laid, both the male and female take turns incubating them for 34 to 36 days. The female will spend significantly more time on the nest. Hatching on Catalina generally begins around Easter.

The new eaglets or nestlings won’t look anything like their parents. They’ll be covered in soft whitish gray down feathers for the first couple of weeks. Then they start growing their dark brown juvenile feathers. 

At first, the mother and father will both tend to the nestlings, bringing them food and constantly guarding the nest. As the chicks grow, parental attention will gradually decrease. At 10 to 12 weeks, the juvenile bald eagles will fledge, or fly from the nest, returning only occasionally to feed or rest.

Once confident in their ability to fly and hunt, juvenile eagles will take off on their own. Bald eagles are nomadic for their first four years, traveling great distances. It’s not uncommon to find a bald eagle from California as far north as Alaska.

Upon reaching sexual maturity, bald eagles will select a mate, often returning to their place of origin. Bald eagles typically mate for life, but if one of the pair is killed, a new mate is sought. 

Fact or Fiction? You can tell a bald eagle from Catalina even at a distance.

Issue #22 / All About Bald Eagles


In an Eggshell 
What to Expect
Fact or Fiction? Knowing Resident Baldies
Did You Know … Eaglets Need Moms’ Warmth    

Photo by Steffani Jijon

This newly hatched nestling is covered with soft whitish gray down feathers. In a couple weeks, the down will be replaced with the brown feathers that completely cover juveniles for their first four to five years of life. After that, bald eagles grow their conspicuous white head and tail feathers.

Missed recent issues?
Issue #1 / All About Bison

Issue #2 / All About Birds

Issue #3 / All About Plants
Issue #4 / All About Eagles
Issue #5 / All About Ravens & Crows
Issue #6 / All About Natives & Invasives  
Issue #7 / All About Rain
Issue #8 / All About Bison Roundup
Issue #9 / All About Foxes
Issue #10 / All About Weeds
Issue #11 / All About Eagle Hatchlings
Issue #12 / All About Snakes
Issue #13 / All About Diurnal Raptors
Issue #14 / All About Diurnal Raptors II
Issue #15 / All About Giants & Dwarves
Issue #16 / All About Fire Ecology
Issue #17 / All About Mule Deer
Issue #18 / All About Feral Cats
Issue #19 / All About Acorn Woodpeckers
Issue #20 / All About Tachi the Fox
Issue #21 / All About Observing Nature



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