Picture of the Day - "Flight!" - July 17, 2016

Wow! What a day. When we got to the eagles nest, there was only one  (L'eagle) in the nest. We went on a hunt around the area but couldn't find the eaglet. We were standing there discussing when and where the eaglet went when we heard flapping coming from the branches of the trees below the nest. We rushed over and saw D'eagle down on the ground. We backed off after we could see she appeared to be alright. After a few minutes, she walked out into the clearing an proceeded along, down to the stream behind where we watch, investigating everything as she went. She took a short flight over the stream and then found an unexpected pleasure. She tasted some mud and immediatley spit it out with a grimace but then proceeded to lay in it to take a mud bath. She must have spent a good 10 minutes playing in the mud and then washing off in a puddle of water.

She continued to explore, taking short gliding hops around until she found a good sized rock. She then proceeded to try flying with the rock clutched in her talons. She got it up in the air a few times. She then decided to check out some of the grasses in the area and had a few nibbles.

Meanwhile, back at the nest L'eagle was calling up a storm. One of the adults, we think the male, dropped off breakfast and made a quick getaway without checking on D'eagle, on the ground. As we watched, we had a few visitors. We saw an osprey, a heron, quite a few crows and a deer. Just before we left, L'eagle decided to get in on the act and flew into the very top branch of the nesting tree. From reports, she flew back to the nest shortly after, when one of the adults returned with more food. I will be putting up more photos later (probably tomorrow).

Taken with Canon 70D, Canon 100-400mm @ 400mm, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 800