Eaglet Morning

Michigan Eaglets in their Nest

Eaglets, photos by Kevin Povenz

The State of Michigan’s page on Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) says in part:

When bald eagles reach maturity (at four to five years of age), they select a mate, with whom they probably mate for life. In captivity, they have been known to live to 50 years, but in the wild, they probably don’t reach much more than 20 years of age.

The beginning of the breeding season, from mid-February to mid-March, consists of the establishment of a territory, nest building and mating displays. The mating “cartwheel” display begins high in the air with the two birds darting and diving at each other, until they lock talons and drop in a spinning free fall, until the last possible moment when they separate. The nest is usually located in the tallest tree in the area, often a white pine or dead snag. They are usually made of sticks with a lining of grass and moss. Nests may be added to each year until they reach enormous sizes, up to ten feet in depth and 20 feet across.

From late March to early April, one to four (average two) pure white eggs, approximately twice the size of a chicken egg, are laid. Both males and female bald eagles participate in the incubation, and the feeding of the chicks that hatch around seven weeks later. In about three months, by late summer, the fledglings are ready for flight. When it is time to move for the winter, the young birds are abandoned by their parents.

Kevin is certainly the Official Bald Eagle Photographer of Michigan in Pictures! View his photo bigger and see more (including more of these little ones) in his Birds of Prey slideshow.

More Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures.

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