21 March 2022
Note: I have not included any graphic images of the early afternoon events. If you have watched this nest you will understand the ways in which Big has attacked Middle – leaning over it, pecking and pulling at its head. The day began and ended well.
It has not been a good afternoon for the Middle chick at the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. DH15. It ate well at the 06:43:46 feeding and again at 08:34.30. While it is true that Bald Eagles do not have to eat every day, Middle is a chick on the nest and should be getting regular feedings in order to develop properly and have good feathering. Stress causes what is known as ‘stress lines in feathers’. What Bald Eagles want are healthy strong chicks with excellent feathering.
Big was set off when River only brought in a fish head at 12:54:06. Middle did not get any of the fish head but was attacked on two separate occasions with Big maintaining an intimidating posture. Indeed, even after Big ate it went after Middle. That was 13:12:30.
River came in and fed scrapes and an old fish tail to Big at 14:25:11.
HD15 Middle has been prey crying.
At 16:51 a small headless fish is brought to the nest by Obey. River arrives shortly after at 16:53:07. Big attacks Middle at 16:53:59 Middle does not get any fish.
At 17:21:06 Middle sits up. Big looks at him. At 17:21:07 Big attacks Middle for just getting up. It is very clear that Big now perceives that there is only enough fish for it. Middle has had enough fish. She is however continuing to intimidate Middle so that he will not eat. Will more fish arrive today? A huge fish to calm Big? We wait.
At 18:27 the chicks appear to hear ‘something’. They become alert. Big still has quite a crop. Middle has no crop. At 18:30 Obey arrives on the nest with a large headless fish —— just like Bald Eagle dads do. They eat the head and bring the body to the Mum and the chicks.
Big begins to eat. Middle is keeping its head down. He is hungry but also very scared.
Middle is trying out strategies. It wants to go between River’s legs like it did in the morning where it can eat and be protected.
Middle winds up, however, going on the left side of River where she feeds him. He is protected from Big!
Middle gets fed well.
Big gets some more bites.
Middle moves and River steps on its back.
This scares Middle. He does not appear hurt but he moves away.
Slowly he returns to eat.
Big is full and Middle continues to be fed by River.
Big is too full and lays down to sleep. 18:58.
Middle gets the last bites. That big fish was completely consumed.
It is really good for Middle when fish, large enough for both, come on the nest. Remember the size of the eaglets. More larger fish will be needed on this nest, not fewer. Middle is learning some devices to protect itself and eat – eating between River’s legs and going to the opposite side where Big is. Let us all send warm wishes and positive thoughts to this nest so that the fish – big ones – continue on this nest. It looks like they need four large fish a day to keep the nest stable. We still have to take this nest a meal at a time and enjoy the good times. At some point Middle will, hopefully, be large enough that Big leaves it alone.
Thank you for joining me. It was a good beginning of the day at Dale Hollow and a good ending. Take care Everyone.
Thank you to the Dale Hollow streaming cam where I took my screen captures.