with the state Department of Fish and Game, witnessed the older
sibling taking its first clumsy flights out of the nest on Saturday.
She saw the youngster try to land on a branch, losing its grasp
and tumbling down the tree, finally catching itself on another branch.
On Monday she saw the same fledgling come in for a nest landing
accompanied by an adult.
is still getting used to landing," she says. Normally, an
adult will extend its feet just moments before landing, but the
young fledgling extended its feet for quite a while, maybe 100
feet or so, before landing, explains Ms. Colton. "It was
Cummings also observed the younger sibling, still on the nest,
but flapping vigorously. At one point it jumped up into the air
and did a little glide from one side of the nest to the other.
"He has a lot of desire to follow his sibling," he says.
He saw the older one soaring in the air, just off the slopes
of Goat Mountain "diving and rolling and doing all kinds
of aerial stuff, testing his wings," he says.
was not anticipatead that both birds would fly at the same time,
since one bird was more advanced with feathering, says Ms. Colton.
The tail and wing feathers have to be a certain length to
fly, and one sibling was two weeks ahead of the other in feathering,
is no doubt both birds will be flying on their own before the
Fourth of July,"says Mr. Cummings. The scheduled holiday
fireworks at Bass Lake should pose no problem to the pair. Last
week the eaglets could be seen perched on the edge of their nest
high atop a dead tree on the south side of Bass Lake. "They
were getting their muscles built up and getting the feel of things,"
says Mr. Cummings, who says the babies start flapping their wings
about two weeks before flying away.
are right on track," he says. Once they fly at about 12 weeks
of age, they will hang around the nest for a while then expand
their horizons. By the fall, the parents should be sending them
on their way to find their own territory. "Everything is
food-dependent," he says. Mr. Cummings says that eagles laying
two eggs are the most common. When there are three or more, there
is trouble hunting for enough food.
to Bass Lake who would like to “take a look” at the
nest can obtain binoculars at Ducey's Bar and Grill at Bass Lake,
says Brian Wilkinson, director of sales and marketing at The Pines
eagles caused quite a stir last year when the nesting pair and
their one baby were discovered. Even more exciting was the discovery
that the mother had been originally fostered into a nest on Santa
ago, eagles, once on the endangered species list, were dependent
on breeding successes in different parts of the country to increase
their population. Northern California eagles were doing well,
for instance, while those living on Catalina Island were not.
Hence, the mother bird, as a two-week-old baby, was collected
from a nest in Northern California and placed into a nest on Santa
Catalina Island. She was banded and tagged by the Institute for
Wildlife Studies before leaving the nest. Scientists then lost
track of her until she was spotted in Washington state in 1995.
in 1998, she showed up at Bass Lake with another adult adding
sticks to an old osprey nest but a little late in the breeding
season. In 1999 the couple returned to the nest and successfully
raised an offspring before sending it on its way.
couple of years ago, the eagle was moved from the endangered status
to threatened, says Mr. Cummings. Now, the plan is have them taken
off the list completely.