Eagles are not migratory. They are here year-round, moving only as needed, in search of the 250-500 grams of food they consume daily. I think they are here because of the low tides during the daylight hours, which leave all sorts of seafood delights uncovered and available for the them, as well as the crows and gulls. It’s always entertaining watching them all on the beach out front, to see who ends up with the food morsel.
Recently, there’s been a lot coverage in the news on several web-cams watching eagle’s nests, with the eggs due to hatch any day. Eagles do mate for life, laying an average of two eggs annually, and both parents take turns looking after the eggs, which take about 5-weeks to hatch. The hatchlings spend another 10-12 weeks in the nest until their feathers and wing muscles are sufficiently developed for flight. During this time both parents continue to bring them scraps of food, and even after they have fledged, the young eagles will stay close to home.
Immature eagles can stay with their family for up to five years, as long as the habitat size and diversity can support the increased population. The immatures don’t get their adult plumage until their fifth year. It is believed that the mottled brown feathers help to keep them concealed and protected. While eagles will live to age 20 or 25, only about one in ten survive past age three.
We’re very lucky here at Coracle Cove as we live in a habitat that is able to support an eagle family of 4 or 5. The immatures keep us entertained as they practice and hone their flying skills. When not in the air or on the beach, they like to roost in a large tree two properties over, but occasionally we’ll see them in the big fir right out in the front of our house… and as you can see, that’s a very magical moment.
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