“Six Weeks Old and Growing Fast”
What a difference a couple of weeks makes! The three chicks are now approximately 6 weeks old and look very different than they did in the last journal entry. The eaglets have grown considerably in size: during their development, they gain an average of 102 grams/day for males and 130 grams/day for females, faster than any other North American bird. As in other raptors, male eagles are smaller in size than females, but this difference won’t be evident until around 12 weeks of age, and then only by taking measurements. Note also that the downy plumage is well on its way to being completely replaced by dark brown feathers, which will make up the juvenile plumage with which the eaglets will fledge.
If you have been following the Eagle Cam, you may have recently noticed fewer appearances by the parents at the nest. While at least one parent is present at the nest almost 100% of the time during the first 2-3 weeks of development, parents will spend considerably less time at the nest beginning around week 5 or 6.