Three little eaglets

I was remiss in not announcing that, over at EagleCam, the third chick hatched.  All three bobbleheads are doing well, and you can often see them being fed. It’s an awesome sight. You can even see tandem feeding, in which pop tears off a piece of fish and passes it over to mom, who then gives it to the chicks.

Here’s a screenshot showing all three getting fish noms:

8 Comments

  1. Posted March 21, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Forgot to add–kids and I got to see the tandem feeding the other day. Amazing–and truly beautiful. The moderator said there should be a video of the tandem feeding up in a day or so, in case anybody missed it!

  2. Sajanas
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    That’s great news. The more eagles there are, the sooner they can make their way back to NC and deal with our Chick-Fil-A fattened squirrel population.

  3. Troy
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Love watching that cam, but these eagles are doing something wrong. It seems they could easily raise twice the number of chicks.

  4. Grania Spingies
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Does the fact that they hatch at different times disadvantage the last hatchlings? They must be significantly weaker when competing for fish at dinner time than the older one(s).

    • Troy
      Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes it does. If there’s nestling mortality, it’s usually the chicks at the end of the hatching sequence that die. But in the case of eagles it can be complicated by their sexual size dimorphism. A female born later in the sequence can still outgrow an earlier born brother. There are some studies that suggest eagles can bias the order of the sexes in their clutch, thus minimizing mortality (Bortolotti et al I seem to recall).

      • Grania Spingies
        Posted March 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the answer.

      • Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        From the moderator at the webcam: the later-born eaglets already seem to know to wait until the first-born has had his/her share before they pop their heads up for food (I observed this myself yesterday during the feeding pictured at the top of this post). They *do* all get fed, and learning their places in this literal pecking order would also tend to reduce mortality. And be of good cheer–this is the fifth time this eagle pair has hatched three eggs. All four other times they fledged all three eaglets, so I expect they will this time, too.

        • Grania Spingies
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          Oh good, experienced parents 🙂

          It always amazes me to see such powerful, cruel beaks gently offer food to vulnerable little balls of fluff.


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