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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

GO!

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…

 

 

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32 Comments

  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.

  2. What a cool moment to catch! I bet it was incredible to be there, and I can’t wait to hear and see more. Great pictures Deborah!

  3. Well, that is certainly a morning you won’t forget. 🙂

  4. A wonderful series … I love your captions!

  5. What an incredible sight to witness!! Thanks so much for sharing your photos with us. I’m sure it was a breathtaking experience. 🙂

  6. Beautiful behavior images, nice!

  7. So breathtaking!

  8. How wonderful!

  9. HOLY!! Your persistence paid off. The 3rd photo is amazing – look at those wing feathers!

  10. 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!

    • Thank you so much Joey! This was the first time I’ve seen an Eagle chick or one Fledge! I do appreciate it much, much more.

      Aren’t their nest HUGE!

      • Big enough for humans! Unbelievable and unforgettably huge!

  11. 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.

    • 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.

  12. 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 🙂

  13. Wow, what a thriller!!! Wish I’d been there

  14. This is wonderful!!

  15. So cool, Dehorah

  16. Wow!

  17. Deborah, these are wonderful. I can imagine your excitement and joy. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it.

    janet


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