The eaglets were caught up today for their weekly weigh-in and nest-cleaning. Dr. Miranda, wildlife rehabilitator Suzy Doell, and veterinary technician Leigh-Ann Horne each caught up one of the eaglets and placed them in an enclosed tub for weighing. The trio weighed in at:
#11-0474: NZ: 4.32 kg (last week was 3.41 kg)
#11-0475: NX: 4.1 kg (last week was 3.88 kg)
#11-0476: NV: 3.42 kg (last week was 4.015 kg)
As you can see, there were some fluctuations in this week's weights. This could be due to a number of reasons -- NV may have eaten a large meal last week prior to last week's weighing ... he may have had a light breakfast today ... and perhaps the opposite is true of older sister NZ. We're not excluding simple human error too -- though the vet staff swear they checked and re-checked bands and weights last week and today!
Either way, it appears that all eaglets are doing well and getting their fair share of food. In addition to the weights, Dr. Miranda did a quick physical exam on each just to get an idea of their body condition. All are in good shape.
NV did have additional blood drawn today -- while the vets initially didn't plan on doing this, they decided to this morning since the bird would already been in hand. Trace amounts of lead levels did register -- 0.055 ppm (parts per million) -- which just shows that a tiny bit of lead is still present in his system. This reading is lower than the initial lead test upon arrival. The veterinary team will re-check again next week, but no treatment is needed, and NV is not showing any symptoms.
Just to provide some comparison -- even at last week's weigh-in, the eaglets surpassed the weights of many of the adult Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Center. We don't expect the weights to necessarily continue to increase as the weeks go by -- rather, as the young birds begin flapping more and developing flight muscles, we may see some natural fluctuations in the weights.
The other Bald Eagles at the WCV currently weigh:
Bald Eagle #11-0230: 4.59 kg (we suspect this is a female due to the large size)
Bald Eagle #11-0165: 3.45 kg
Bald Eagle #11-0136: 3.49 kg
Buddy: 3 kg
Since the eaglets' activity level has been increasing over the past few days and more time has been spent around the edges of the nest, additional branches were added. Two of these branches will provide a "bridge" over to the stair-step perches that were set up around the sides of their enclosure.
The worst thing about this addition: if the eaglets decided to "walk off-screen" -- we can't follow! This camera cannot pan around the enclosure. Remember, this was a loaner cam that was hastily installed within 48 hours of the eaglets' arrival -- so things are not 100% yet. We will be working on making improvements within the next couple of weeks.
Cam viewers may have also noticed that pine cones were added to the nest this morning -- just some "toys" for the eaglets! Some feathers were added after today's cleaning as well. A fish lunch was served.
There have been several questions as to which eaglet is which -- it's definitely getting hard to tell on the cam! Within the past few days, there seems to be a remarkable difference in activity levels -- all three eaglets are becoming more active and are about the same size now. While the birds were in hand today, we were able to take pictures to get a better idea of the unique markings that they each have. When the resolution of our webcam improves, we may be able to zoom in on band numbers, but until then, we hope this will help.