Friday, April 3, 2009

Bald Eagles Nesting Pair on Honeymoon Island

Learning to fly — soon (article from April 2, 2009 edition of Tampa Bay Times)

The first documented bald eagle hatched on Honeymoon Island in Dunedin is about 6 weeks old now and should be almost ready to venture from its nest by the end of this month. According to Wilf Yusek, one of the volunteer eagle nest monitors, the eaglet that rangers have dubbed "Cupid" — it hatched after Valentine's Day — is starting to grow flight feathers even now. "They fledge at about 10 to 12 weeks," Yusek says. Sometime late this month or early May it will likely hop up and down testing its wings, then get out onto a nearby branch and try flapping its way back in. Eventually the eaglet will work toward flying tree to tree. The nesting pair enlarged an old osprey nest near the north end of the Osprey Nature Trail and has been raiding ospreys for their fish, said Dan Larremore, the state park's environmental specialist. A barrier, set up 330 feet from the nest per federal guidelines, has been erected, but Yusek, a part-time resident from Canada and a photographer, will periodically add photos of the eaglet to his Web site

No comments: