I spent part of a recent morning in the company of North Fort Myers' growing eaglets. Both are doing well and are nearly as big as their parents. E-7 fledged April 16 and takes daily short flights around the pasture. E-8, just a day younger, has not yet fledged. He may be a little slow because he had some trauma during his growing days (see paragraph highlighted in red at this link).
When I arrived at the pasture , E-7 was sitting on a branch above the nest looking proud of her(?)self. While I was admiring her through my view finder, she suddenly flew off the branch. Of course, I froze in awe and got nothing but sky in my picture... but, fortunately, she didn't go far, landing on a snag tree just a few feet away.
The top two pictures are the closest I got to a flight shot. She's just landed and it looks like she's looking down to see exactly how high up she is! She sat there quite a while. I looked back to the nest tree to see if I could spot E-8, the younger sibling.
I found E-8 perched on a branch near the webcam apparatus. But of course, almost as soon as I focused on him, I heard some commotion and realized that E-7 had flown off the snag. This time I almost got a decent flight shot -- the picture on the right above is E-7 -- almost home to the pine and being chased by an inquisitive (or stupid) crow.
This picture shows the nest tree -- the shorter pine almost in the middle of the picture. To its right (in the picture) is the leaning snag where E-7 landed (you can see both the eagles if you click to enlarge.) This picture is taken without using the zoom lens and gives a better idea of how far away I was standing.
After that, both siblings hung out together in the nest tree for quite a while. Do you think E-8 was asking his older sibling what it was like to fly off the nest tree? Or do you think he was lecturing her because she left him all alone?
While I was there, Harriet flew in and out of the nest quickly. She may have deposited food. Both Eagle parents are practicing constructive neglect -- teaching the babies to get along without them. But they will continue to bring food occasionally until the babies leave.
I left the nest site after a while to go across the street to get groceries for our own 'nest'. Toward evening, it began to pour down rain . Glad to be home and dry with plenty to eat, I hoped that both babies were snug in their nest and did not spend the whole rainy and breezy night on that branch.
LINKING to SEASONS (thanks Jesh); to OUR WORLD on Tuesday (thank you to Lady Fi, Gattina, Arija, Sandy, Sylvia, and Jenn); to NATURE NOTES (thank you Michelle); to WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY (thank you Stewart) and to Nature Footsteps TREES (thank you Monica).