Taken at Alki Beach in Seattle, WA.
These young bald eagles lived behind my house with their parents. In a pair of eaglets, the female is often bigger and more robust than the male, and the weaker bird sometimes doesn’t make it through the winter. On Alki Beach, where there are plenty of fish for the birds to scavenge, the birds typically did well. Still, we were concerned when the semi-fledged male showed distress and difficulty in learning to fly. His parent and sister flew out to the nearby buoy and called encouragement to him while he peeped and ran desperately on the beach. His sister finally flew back to apparently comfort him. Then she flew away again. With lots of coaxing calls from Mom (or possibly Dad) and Sis, the youngster finally flew off, circling ecstatically into the sky to the rejoicing of his family. A year later, he is a fine, snowy-headed, imposing eagle–with no reminder left of this rumpled and somewhat grumpy and pathetic baby.