Re: UWOL 20- Tales of Wonder and Woe!
Bald Eagles incubate from 31-46 days depending on environmental factors. The eggs (2-3) all hatch within one or two days and first flight is generally 72-75 days later. Due to sibling rivalry it is not unusual that only one chick survives. The first flight is often more of a controlled plummet than a real flight. The birds live 25-30 years and tend to use the same nest, adding a new nest platform to the top each year so the nest gets bigger and bigger. It is common for nests to pass down generations. One nest I used to watch was known to be over 100 years old. It got so large that it broke a quite substantial branch on the oak tree and came down. The nest materials were gathered as best possible and weighed. The nest was estimated to have been between 1200 and 1400 pounds. Once a nest gets large it is common for songbirds to build their nests in the lower parts and gain protection from the eagles.