Last year a post focused on a bald eagle nest in a sycamore growing on a steep bank above the Susquehanna River. The post ended with the single chick in the nest having grown to an age where it was almost ready to leave and begin a life in the sky above the river.
This year I returned to the nest on a beautiful spring morning and, instead of standing on the outside of the guiderail above the steep sidehill, stood tight between the guiderail and the road as the traffic swished past. The narrow path on the outside of the guiderail had been posted against trespassing by the landowner; although the path is probably within the road’s right-of-way, I chose to avoid a potential confrontation. Neither spot is a particularly safe place to stand, so I didn’t stay long.
The female eagle was feeding two young chicks a fish dinner, offering each young bird morsels of food. From my spot it wasn’t possible to determine which was the older, more dominant eaglet but my best guess was that the nearest one was the older.
Dinner is served –
When neither eaglet took the final morsel, the adult swallowed it herself.
Last year I didn't get any photographs that showed the adult’s lower leg, so there was no way to determine if it was banded. This year it was obvious the adult was banded, but the numbers couldn’t be read and so there’s no way to tell the bird’s age or origin.
I may return to photograph the eaglets as they grow, but the road’s berm is very narrow and the road is a major thoroughfare so ...