. . . As I was leaving the nesting area late in July, one of the juvies flew back to the nest and perched above the nest. So I turned around and went back and was able to capture its silhouette against the soft evening sky, a wonderful sight indeed.
Taken the 2nd week of August, this image of one of the juvies coming in for a landing at the nesting tree really shows off the beautiful feathering of this majestic bird. Having fledged around a month and a half ago, they have had plenty of time to practice their landings, and it is quite the joy to watch them as they gracefully navigate the wind and gently land on a branch.
By early August the juvenile eagles are spending more and more time away from the nesting area, but for now they still come back to the nest in the evening and like to perch on the branches around the nest. One evening while watching them perch around the nest, it became obvious that they can also get bored and restless (like young kids) as they started picking at the bark on the branch, moving up and down the branch for no reason, and then started bickering with each other with one of the juvies jumping up and pushing his sibling away with its feet. Pretty funny to observe . . .
This has been quite a year for Mama Eagle, and she deserves to take a long rest in the cottonwood tree in the evening sun. She lost her mate at the end of May and was left to raise and feed a couple of hungry eaglets on her own. What a wonderful job she has done! All of us who follow her and the eagle's nest are very proud of her.
But then on August 13th late in the afternoon, I thought I'd drop by the nest to see if by chance there would be any of the eagles around. It was nice and sunny, so if they were around the lighting would cooperate. Sure enough, one of the juveniles was sitting up in the tree, and as I was taking a few portraits, these showers quickly moved in and then out . . .
. . . So I was able to get pretty close before it turned around, crouched down and then sprung to flight. Very lucky that the evening sun was perfect, and it flew right into the light. The colors and the layers of the feathers are stunning and beautiful. Hard to believe that just a mere 3 and a half months ago it was a little gray furball that could barely keep its head up.