Posted by: rlukei | 2010/05/05

All Three Eaglets Are Now Banded

Bald Eagle Banding 120Bald Eagle Banding 077Bald Eagle Banding 028

The three eaglets at Norfolk Botanical Garden were removed from their nest today by Dr Bryan Watts, Director of  The Center for Conservation Biology, with assistance from Tim Nuckols and Nate Jones from Nuckols Tree Care. The eaglets were placed in a duffle bag and lowered one at a time to Libby Mojica, Eagle Research Biologist. Once all three were on the ground, the two youngest had bands placed on both legs, a USGS numbered band on the right leg and a purple band on the left leg that identifies the eaglet as being from the Chesapeake Bay region. They were weighed and measurements taken to compare to norms for their age. Both the youngest and middle chick were identified as being of male gender.

The oldest eaglet had been banded (NC) on March 31st.  The weight and measurements for this eaglet were in between the norms for male and female, so for the time being its gender will be considered unknown. Libby Mojica then fitted NC, now named Camellia for tracking purposes, with a 70 gram satellite tracking  transmitter. Camellia now has her own web page at

Oldest – banded NC – #0679-01370 weighed 3705 grams (8+ lbs)

Middle – banded ND – #0679-01371 weighed 3260 grams (7 1/4 lbs)

Youngest – banded NE – #0679-01372 weighed 3368 grams (7 1/2 lbs)

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Reese, thank you for putting this up so quickly. It was absolutely a phenomenal day watching the eaglets being gently removed from the nest, banded, measured, measured again (*g*), and returned to the nest. A lot of very careful coordination, scientific and hard physical effort…and all furthering our knowledge and appreciation of these magnificent wild creatures.

What a wonderful day!!!! I stayed home and watched as I felt it was best for the eaglets and those working. I was not disappointed. The cams were great and the sound excellent. Most of all the faces of those caring for the eaglets showed how much they cared for them. If one moved too much someone was there to calm them. Two males and a ? – for now I will call this one Cam or Cammy cuz Camelia is just to prissy for a male and I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings if indeed he turns out to be a male.

Reese – how do their weights and measuements compare to the eaglets from last year?? Have they caught up with a growth spurt in the last few weeks?

Thank you and everyone from CCB for all you do for these eagles.

It was amazing to watch and I can’t wait to track Camillia :-)…. I did the adoption thing and can’t wait to get my picture. Last year I adopted Azalea and watch her progress daily. Thank you so much for all that you and your fellow eagle lovers do.

Reese, I join in with the above well-said praises! The extra camera was a fantastic idea. Blessings to all for the consideration given to God’s creatures yesterday..the eagles and the humans sharing in their lives.

May I ask a question related to bald eagles in general?…When an egg in the nest is not viable what is instinctively done about it by the parents? When do they “know” it will not hatch? How long will they continue to incubate and roll it?

Dollyrag – Eagles and other birds don’t appear to realize that an egg is not fertile until after all the other eggs have hatched. They will leave it in the nest for a few days then it is usually removed. If you have been watching the James River Peregrine (JRB4 link over eagle cam) you will see that one of their eggs did not hatch. It was still in the nest yesterday.

Reese, thanks for the rundown on this event.

This is the first time I spent at the banding and transmitter site but was unable to see much since the work was done in the shadow of the bushes and trees, good for the eagles but not good for the photographers behind the fence and so far from it all.

Your photos and descriptions made the event so much more enjoyable. You did not mention that the first eagle got away from Libby into the bushes and had to be rescued! Being there, we all had a good laugh about it!!

Great weather and a respectful crowd made the day a success for the folks from as far away as Michigan and Arizona just for this event!

Thanks to you and all those involved with the eagle project.

My question- Have the eaglets caught up to average weight for their age as they were all smaller than expected the first time banding was attempted, or is the brood still a bit on the smaller side. Obviously they appear healthy and are growing so I was just wondering how they compare to average ‘norm’ Thanks.

can we just call him CAM if he turns out to be male?