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 Post subject: Re: EAGLES MISC MIDWEST & CENTRAL USA-2018-2019-2020
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:07 pm 
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From MN DNR:
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"Preparing our Wings
Our two little nestlings are not so little any longer. They are approaching almost adult size by now. They are a little over five weeks old and it is all about feather growth and strength development from here out. The blue feathers emerging from the chicks' wings and tail are the blood feathers.

What are blood feathers?
When the feathers first emerge they are called pin feathers - or blood feathers. The shaft is filled with blood while it is growing in and shuts off when complete.

The blood is in the calamus or hollow shaft of the feather. In order for the feather to grow it needs a blood supply. The shafts (of feathers) grow from a follicle in the skin - and are rather like veins since they are connected to the eagle's blood supply. When the feather has come in completely the follicle closes and the blood will dry up inside of the shaft. The blood is red, the shaft appears blue because light is diffused by the covering. Also, the blood inside is dark red and exhibits poor light reflection.

How many feathers does an eagle have?
A Bald Eagle has approximately 7,000-7,200 feathers. However, that depends on when the feathers are being counted. When going through molts eagles have less and at other times have many more.

What are feathers made of?
Feathers are made of keratin, like their beak. The feathers have tiny interlocking structures called barbs which the eagle can be seen ‘zipping’ up when preening - meaning they are rejoining the barbs together - as the feathers will separate. Due to the construction of the feather, it is very light, but strong.

What are the parts of the feather called?
A typical wing feather consists of a central, stiff shaft with the softer vanes on each side. The leading edge of the feather during flight is called the outer vane. The opposite vane is wider than the outer vane and is referred to as the inner vane. The trunk of the feather is called the central shaft.

Characteristics of Primary Wing Feathers:

Primaries are the outer wing feathers, attached to the bird’s small, fused “hand” bones. Most groups of birds have 10 primaries. The front primary feather is relatively narrow, but stiff and is used to break the wind in flight.

Watch as the feathers develop over the next several weeks and see if you can name each feather part! They are preparing to use their feathers and wings just like their parents do and you can almost picture it already!

Special thank you to everyone who has donated to the Nongame Wildlife Fund! Your contributions make it possible for our hard-working team to bring this 24/7 spectacle into homes and classrooms around the world. We couldn't do it without your support."
Visit the DNR EagleCam:

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 Post subject: Re: EAGLES MISC MIDWEST & CENTRAL USA-2018-2019-2020
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 6:28 pm 
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MN DNR
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"Getting Stronger Every Day
Banding decision
To ensure the safety of staff and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNR has decided not to band the chicks in the EagleCam nest this year.

Banding birds causes no harm to them, and is used as an identification and research tool. Neither of the parents at this nest are banded, so information about their birth places or their ages is unknown. Not knowing the age or location of the nestlings makes these chicks just like nearly every other bald eagle in the wild. They will carry on with their lives normally - just without identification.

What happens now?
The chicks are now a little over seven weeks old. They have been stretching their wings, flapping and walking around the nest. Jumping, flapping and catching wing is how they will get a feel for their wings and learn to eventually fly as a fledgling eagle.

They will start branching very soon. Branching is when the chicks venture out to the branches surrounding the nest. They use this exercise to strengthen their legs and wings. They are also developing their eyesight and watching the parents as they hunt. The parents will spend less time in the nest with them, usually just to feed them.

Often, the parents will perch nearby with food or fly over with food, to entice their young to try out their wings. They will vocalize, flying low above the nest to encourage the chicks to leave the nest. Once the young feel confident enough, they will take their first flight. They are usually clumsy at first, taking off and flying from the ground and honing their flight skills with the direction of their parents.

They will take their first flight at about 10-12 weeks. Once they leave the nest, they will spend a month or two near the nest, begging for food from their parents and honing their flight and hunting skills. After a couple of months, they often fly with and learn soaring skills - eventually wandering off on their own.

We will continue to update here until the chicks fledge. The camera will remain on until the third week in August, so you will still have the opportunity to see the eagles in the nest from time to time, even after they leave the nest.

Special thank you to everyone who has donated to the Nongame Wildlife Fund! Your contributions make it possible for our hard-working team to bring this 24/7 spectacle into homes and classrooms around the world. We couldn't do it without your support."

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 Post subject: Re: EAGLES MISC MIDWEST & CENTRAL USA-2018-2019-2020
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:02 pm 
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Photo recap from MNDNR

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"Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary."
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 Post subject: Re: EAGLES MISC MIDWEST & CENTRAL USA-2018-2019-2020
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:17 pm 
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From MN DNR:
Sad News
July 4, 2020
Yesterday was a sad day. We regret to inform you that E1 passed away yesterday. Unfortunately, she flew into a power line and was found dead. One of our photographers who monitors the nest reported a chick was dead and hanging from a near by power structure. He reported it to Nongame staff and we contacted Xcel Energy, who immediately responded and had a crew on site to retrieve the chick, which was identified as E1.

No one witnessed the event. Her wing caught a loop and she was found hanging. Once Xcel retrieved the remains, Nongame took possession of E1. It was determined that she was not electrocuted. It appears she hit the line and likely died on impact It happened some time between 8:30 am and 6 pm yesterday, July 3. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for eagles to perish by hitting power lines, but it is always sad to witness and report.

The first year of an eagle's life, particularly after fledging, is the most dangerous. The mortality rate of eagle chicks during the first year of life is greater than 50%. Survival after the first year is much higher.

We've witnessed dangers and mortality at our nest, yet never really knowing for sure how many chicks survive past their first year. Power lines, vehicles and predators are all hazards for eagles and many will encounter dangerous situations, especially when they are nesting so close to urban areas. Because Minnesota's eagle population is healthy, there is a higher percentage of eagle mortality. It is difficult to see mortality as a positive thing, but it does mean that our population as a whole is healthy.

Of course, we hope that E2 will continue to thrive and survive until adulthood. There is no way to protect birds from all of the environmental hazards, but escaping them will result in a stronger individual. E2 has, and will continue to visit the nest and we will keep the camera on until at least the end of August.

As we remember E1 and celebrate our nation's birthday, we wish a happy July 4th to everyone.

We also need to thank you for your continued support of the Nongame Wildlife Program . We rely on your contributions - they make it possible for our team to be on call to respond to these emergencies 24/7. We couldn't do it without your support. Thank you!

Thomas Demma captured this beautiful image E1 right after fledge. RIP E1"
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