Decorah Bald Eagles Ustream Livecam:
This morning’s branching confirmation, where Eagle D12 goes to the Y-branch and back to the nest:
The Decorah Bald Eagles are very close to being on the wing!Bald Eagle flying is a process with steps like exercising the wing muscles (wingercising). The eaglets wingercise at the edge of the nest cup. This process takes some time. At the same time, the flight feathers are developing. Next in the process is hovering and then branching, where the bird sort of hop-flys to a branch and back to the nest. What will happen next is that a puff of wind will catch them, and they will find themselves in flight.
This morning, a panner happened to be present to film the eagle D12 (the oldest of three) branching.
Raptor Resource Project states:
Questions of the Week
When will they fly?
Learning to fly is a process. They are currently wingercizing. This entails flapping their wings and hopping. Late in the wingercizing phase, a gust of wind will lift them accidentally, and they will hover over the nest because their muscles are strong enough to hold their wings in the correct position and their flight feathers are long enough to sustain the lift.
Branching comes after that. Branching is defined as a small hop and lift onto the closest branch. Unless there is a panner present at the time, we will not see this first very small journey away from the nest to the branch.
Fledge or first self-propelled flight away from and back to the nest tree comes last.
The whole process last 10-13 weeks.