Good Evening, Fellow DryNestizens!!
After a long day at work and a very busy evening I find I have run out of time tonight. It was a great day on the nest with lots of fishys and other treats and I will give a recap tomorrow night. For tonight we have another great guest blog from JREagle. I was going to post this tomorrow but it is so good I am sure you won’t miss my maunderings tonight. So without further adieu….
Shaking Those Tail Feathers!!
We have been watching the growth and development of these two chicks for a couple of months now—hatch was mid April for both. The chick down has been replaced by soon to be adult feathering. The wing and tail feather development are important as when developed they allow the birds flight.
So, the tail feathers—rectrices ( from the Latin word for helmsman).
As we watch the adults come to and depart the nest surface notice the positioning of the mature tail feathers. Even as the adults “run” up the tree trunk—observe these feathers and see how they function for the activity.
The wing feathering and muscles will strengthen over the next few weeks as the chicks flap and eventually hover. The tail feather’s slower development will help the chick remain on the nest surface or if branching on the limb. When the tail feathers are fully developed and the chicks are able to flare the feathers outward it will be able to successfully fly using the tail feathers like a rudder.
We have all seen pictures of eagles fishing and catching prey over water. Note that the tail feathers at the moment of snaring the prey are spread and downward. This downward positioning creates some drag but more importantly it creates lift, which allows the eagle to fly upwards carrying the captured prey. For those of you that have flown, as you taxi to the runway the flaps on the wings are lowered as are the elevator flaps located at the rear end of the aircraft. This creates lift as the plane reaches the necessary ground speed to fly. When landing the flaps on the wing and the tail wing are lowered which creates drag at landing and helps slow the plane. Same with the tail /wing feathering of birds.
The chicks have many hours ahead of them practicing, strengthening, and feather development!
Many chicks fledge the nest tree and the feathering is just shy of complete development. We see some chicks remain on the ground near the nest tree for a few days until they are able to take flight and return to the nest. The adults will care for the fledgling on the ground and protect from predators.
We have many behaviors to enjoy these next weeks up to and including fledge. Enjoy the nest and the behaviors we observe. Most importantly don’t question nature, the development of these chicks, the activities of the adults, or our fellow chatters. We all will take away different treasures from watching wildlife and each will embrace this memory in their own way.
I hope this prods you to watch closely these next weeks!
Remember it’s all about the eagles.
Enjoy, and see you on the nest!!
Here are todays vids.
MNBound Eagles ~ Good Morning Sunshine ~ Lazy Morning ~ Wingersizing
MNBound Eagles ~ Deliver, Steal, Mantle, Defend ~ Double Food Delivery
MNBound Eagles ~ Let Go Of My Tail ~ Another Partial Fish Delivery
MNBound Eagles ~ Get Your Captures ~ Cute Close Ups
MNBound Eagles ~ Time Lapse ~ Real Time With Gossamer and Sounds Of Nature
And one pic of the day!
I am sure you enjoyed JR’s blog, so I will say good night and we will see you on the nest tomorrow!
If you have been wondering where the mods went we are here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/for-the-love-of-nests-critters. Also click to join the MN Bound Chatters group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MNBoundEagleViewers/. It is a closed group so just click add and one of the admins will add you toot-suite. Thanks!