VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam: How Quickly They Change

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in partnership with the Norfolk Botanical Garden and WVEC, is providing a rare glimpse into the life of two bald eagles and their offspring!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

“How Quickly They Change”

It is now just over three weeks since the last eaglet hatched. In that time you'll note that have grown remarkably. In the series of images below you can see their general growth as well as the replacement of the fluffy natal down with the heavy brown down they have now. With this more weatherproof plumage and increased metabolism the eaglets are now able to spend increasing amounts of time on their own. This is normal and does not indicate any lack of attention by the adults. One of the adults generally remains close by even if they are out of the camera view.

The oldest of the eaglets has begun to stand on its feet, a good developmental sign. Prior to this the feet were too small and the chicks balance insufficient to allow this feet. Until this point the chicks have rested on their tarsometatarsus (the leg bone above their foot).

The coming week will mark the most rapid period of growth for these eaglets - by next week flight (wing and tail) feathers and contour (body) feather will be apparent.