Dutch White-Tailed Eagle Ready To Fledge

The attracted attention earlier this year has raised one chick to fledgling age. The young bird is now almost as large as a full-grown eagle.

Forest rangers were surprised that the young mother eagle was able to raise a chick to maturity in her first attempt. The mother is believed to be three years old while the father is believed to be a more mature eagle.

The eagles began nest-sitting in March and by the beginning of May the egg had hatched. Due to the size of the nest (approximately 2.5 meters in diameter) and the deepness of the bowl, rangers were not able to see the number of eggs laid. However one chick is quite normal for this species.

The sex of the chick is not known. It has an almost black plumage, normal for a young eagle. White-Tailed Eagles achieve their adult plumage, which is much lighter, in their 5th or 6th year.

The parents bring food to the nest but the chick eats the meals alone. It is performing flying exercises on a regular basis which consists of fierce wing-flapping and some lift to a maximum of 2.5 meters. Rangers expect the bird to fledge within a week.

After fledging the bird will remain dependent on the parents for another two months while it learns how to hunt for itself.

Source: Jonge zeearend in Oostvaardersplassen op punt van uitvliegen

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