News About The Raptor Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Harmon to Fledge Soon
Harmon the bald eagle chick will be 11 weeks old on June 30.This means that at any time in the next few days, Harmoncould “fledge”, or leave the comfort of his nest, testing his fully developed wings to explore nearby surroundings.Like any other eagle chick, learning the skills to fly with the grace we all recognize takes time.You’ve all watched Harmon flap to where he has “levitated” up a bit from his nest.Because Harmon’s nest tree is very near other trees,his first “flights” will probably only take him to nearby branches.So, for a short while, you might see Harmon return to the nest; these visits, however, will soon become infrequent as his flight abilities improve and he begins learning how to hunt. Sometimes, early in“flight school”, eagles land in rather unusual places (the ground, playground equipment, and fallen trees to name a few).This is a normal process and most often the young eagles are just fine. Be assured that each year, all of Harmon’s wild cousins make these same tentative steps that will ultimately shape them into magnificent flyers and make them independent of their parents.