Posted on February 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM
Thursday, Mar 1 at 10:07 AM
LLANO, Texas -- Time is running out to see a pair of baby bald eagles near Llano. One of the eaglets is venturing from the nest and flying nearby. The other baby eagle hasn’t left the nest yet, however, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say that could happen any day now.
The eagle’s nest is located on Highway 29 a few miles east of Llano. A pair of American bald eagles built a nest along the Llano River, and their offspring draws a daily crowd of cameras and binoculars.
“You get hooked, and then you are addicted,” Burnet resident and wildlife photographer Peggy Thompson said. “You can't stay home; you want to come watch them.”
Thompson has taken thousands of photos of the eaglets and posts them daily to her photography website
The baby bald eagles hatched in early January. They are almost the same size as their parents -- roughly 10 pounds, and their wingspan is six feet.
One baby eagle left the nest Friday and returned Saturday. On Wednesday morning the eaglet ventured out again flying from a tree stump to a brush pile. Wildlife officials said as of Wednesday evening, the eaglet had returned to the nest again.
“Once they take their first flight, you don't know if they are going to make it,” said Dale Schmidt, the Parks & Wildlife biologist for Llano County.
Schmidt warns both eaglets will leave soon and learn how to hunt and fish for four to six weeks near the Llano River. After that, the birds will migrate north as far away as Canada.
“The river provides a good food source for fish, turtles, and ducks,” Schmidt said.
The eagle’s nest is roughly the size of a small truck bed; it can weigh up to 800 pounds.
The government removed American bald eagles from the Endangered and Threatened Species List in 2007. There are roughly 10,000 eagle nesting pairs in the U.S. The pair in the Llano area have lived there since 2003.