Just gotta update you on our son the pilot… from getting his private pilot’s license 5 years ago, he has gone on to being co-pilot on private charter flights in 8-seater turboprops out of Portsmouth NH.
This video is during a recent flight where I got to go up with son Ezra and the pilot, moving a plane from Portsmouth to Laconia NH to pick up a client.
Over Lake Winnipesaukee in PC12 turboprop (VIDEO)– (doubleclick for full screen view)
Ivo Ros, of Harvard’s Concord Field Station, studies pigeon flight. Why pigeons? They are lab rats with wings, he says, and more importantly, they are excellent at maneuvering in the air. Ros and colleagues collected pigeons from a Cambridge parking garage and built a course for them to fly through in the lab. Using high speed cameras, the researchers studied how pigeons make sharp turns at low speeds. Footage courtesy of Ivo Ros, Harvard University
The mated pair of bald eagles has returned once again to their aerie on a nearby island in Lake Winnipesaukee. Late March/early April is egg-laying time for them, then sitting the eggs for 35 days to hatching, then feeding the chicks until sometime in July when they fledge. Once airworthy, the immature eagles hang around the nest practicing flying, and continue to be fed some by their parents until September or even into October, by which time they must have learned for themselves how to hunt and fish. They have the instincts but not the skils!
One of the parent birds, most likely the male, scans the waters on the point of our own island. During nesting, the adults will rarely travel more than a mile away from the aerie, and it is usually the female who tends the nest. Both adults will now be fishing to feed the fast-growing eaglets.
He is in the tallest pine tree, as is typical. The eagles frequent their favorite perches, and can be seen repeatedly in the same trees. (Click on photo to enlarge)
In this video, he is flying off towards another island, perhaps not liking me getting too close in my rowing shell.
On the baldeagleinfo.com website there is a lot of information about eagles, including links to live eagles’ nest web cams where you can observe eaglets in their nests. Especially good are these: White Rock Eagle Nest webcam, Surrey, BC overlooking Boundary Bay, and the Victoria/Sydney, Australia Nest 02 webcam, both run by the Hancock Wildlife Foundation (webcam starts after an advertisement.) The eaglets do a lot of “mantling”, which is to ruffle their feathers and spread their wings, as they approach fledging. I assume this is strengthens their wind muscles as they feel wind gusts and prepare for flight, and may also be posturing at each other to express dominance.
Young eaglet perches on the aerie on Winnipesaukee– he is probably about 9-10 weeks old now and should fledge within 2-3 weeks. Note the massive construction of the nest, which has endured for 7 years now or longer.
Nest is located in top third of photo, just to the left of center. Hope you can make out the dark spot of the eaglet!