Juvenile American Bald Eagle’s Maiden Flight!

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I received my long lens back from service and couldn’t wait to get out and try it, but I got that bug so, didn’t go out to try it until yesterday (Sun. June 18th).  I headed over to Milpitas to see if the American Bald Eagle Fledgling was out of the nest testing its wings.  I arrived just before 7 A.M.  I didn’t have to wait long before it started flapping its wings and hopping onto a branch outside the nest.

It sat on the branch surveying the land for a bit then turned around and did a hop/fly combo back to the nest where it tucked itself down out of sight. It remained out of sight for over an hour. As we waited the morning got hotter, and hotter. When I left just before noon, hot, sweaty, and very thirsty it was 96º degrees Fahrenheit.  The high hit a record breaking 103º F!  That broke the 1945 record of 99º F.

Myself and several other photographers, and birders were patiently waiting for one or both of the parents to return with food, and of course we wanted the Fledgling to come up out of the nest again, but quite a few people left as it began getting hot and there wasn’t anything to see.

Finally, the young Eagle got restless and called its parents to no avail then it began to jump and flap its wings again. It jumped way up and flew to the branch!  It stayed there awhile pecking at the branch and looking around then suddenly it made a leap of faith into space and FLEW!!! Its maiden flight! A Fledgling at last!

Oh, I wish you were there to see it, to feel our anxiety and hope for success, and hear our joyous cries of delight when the young Eaglet made that leap of faith and flew to a neighboring tree!

There are quite a few images today, and the story doesn’t end here! Because there are so many images I’ll share the rest of the story another day.  I hope you enjoy these first images of the young Eagle’s Maiden Flight.

Popping up to check out what’s happening…

American Bale Eagle Fledgling in the Nest

Lemme test out my take off, and wing position. I wonder…

Practicing flight

Ha! I’m outside of the nest! Okay, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

That was Easy!

Ready. Set.

American Bald Eagle Fledgling Take Off


First leap into space!

Okay, wings start flapping already!!

Oh! How do these Wings work again!

Oh, nearly there I can make it!  Talons ready, tail in position…wings open…

Okay there's a branch nearly there! Landing gear still down!

Ta Da!!! I made it, I made it! Where’s Mom? Now, how do I get back to the nest?

It's hot. How do I get back!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…



38 thoughts on “Juvenile American Bald Eagle’s Maiden Flight!

  1. This fledgling juvenile made me tear up. . .
    I found myself rather busy since last week! My oldest daughter, Carrie, was proposed to, planning simple wedding (I made her bridal bouquet! 💐) and altered her dress! It will be on 7-7-17. 🙂 🙏
    I and her father plus his wife won’t be at the courthouse, just Micah, Skyler and her fiance, Daniel. I’ll be already up on Lake Erie. . . Just work plus little joyous tasks to complete. ❤
    I wanted to share here, so all will be hush hush on my own post till it is all past.

    1. Oh my, what a rush of exciting stuff for your Carrie! Did you take photos of the bridal bouquet to share on your blog after it’s all over? I’d love to see what you made.

      Mum’s the word until you talk about it on your blog. xx

      1. Thank you and I was so happy I was asked to come so I will share the dress and bouquet but the bride and groom will get their privacy (for now!) Thanks for your sweet mum’s the word and hush hush. xo

          1. I wasn’t upset about her not including me because she was trying to not include her father. It is a long story. . .

            Once her friend couldn’t come, I was tickled pink (secretly) since she told him she now needed me. Hard for him to say too much. . . There’s a one year anniversary (2018) party planned in a tent in the back yard of their house which closes on the 26th. Daniel, her boys and she are moving in and will begin saving for their party. Thank you for listening. xo

  2. I haven’t seen a bald eagle since my 20s!
    I have seen nests, but to see one now, oh I think I’d appreciate it much, much more. I love your photos, especially knowing the story of the fledgling!

  3. Awesome catches, Deborah! I wanted to check out the juvenile eagle again but got home at 2:30 a.m. Sunday from shooting the mw and was wasted that day. Hoping to go there this week to see and say goodbye to the eagle since we tracked them for 4 months.

    1. They should stay around long enough to teach the Eaglet to hunt, and select a territory. About a month longer they’ll hang around I’m guessing. The parents should stay since they’ve already established a territory, but they’ll be chasing the little one away after the lessons are done.

  4. I love the photos and the captions, Deborah! Thank you so much for sticking it out in that heat and for sharing these. I hope he enjoyed having an audience. Then again, I hope he doesn’t expect applause every time he takes off. That could be disappointing 🙂

A penny for your thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.