One of the two eaglets from the 2nd clutch in Southwest Florida this year. They look so much alike now it would take Mom to tell them apart (and she’d be guessing). This one is bathed in cool blue shadows– one of the worries about a possible 2nd clutch was how hot it would be as they were growing up. Temperature today reached 93 degrees (F). But they are both doing great, and in the process of fledging now, with the younger, E16, taking its time getting its pilot’s license. You can always trust the eagles to know when the time is right.
Bald eaglet, Jules, one of our increasing young bald eagle population. Jules, by nature, fears nothing and no one. Nevertheless, this next nine months will continue to be a time of perilousness, as an eaglet’s 1st year always is. Jules and sibling Romy recently fledged, and they will be missed as they will soon embark on their Journey North.
This is the final family member in my paintings and drawings of the 2019 Big Bear eagles. Shown here is Angel Cookie, forever 42 days old. The drawing is done using only a small piece of sterling silver, and a small piece of 14k gold. The silver will tarnish and darken some, but will still reflect light (as shown below). The pale layer of gold will never tarnish; you can almost see it in this image, along the back of the head, the eye, and the breast. The gold can also be seen in the larger image below, taken in sunlight too bright for the camera to handle. The method is called “silverpoint” or “metalpoint” and was used during the Renaissance. It’s said to be the most difficult method of drawing (they’re all difficult for me!). This is my 2nd attempt at silverpoint and there’s some surface damage and other problems. But, hey. It’s Angel Cookie. And he reflects pure sunlight. (I had to wear shades to take the sunlight photo.)
The bald eagle builds the largest nest of any North American bird, up to 13 feet deep, 8.2 feet wide, and 1.1 tons in weight. And nests are used year after year, with about 2 feet of added branches and “fluff” each season.
Liberty is shown here delivering soft pine straw to her nest just before sundown. It won’t be long, once eagles begin restoring their nests, before eggs are laid. In this case, eaglets Ch’áak’ and Anáaski (Tlingit for “Eagle” and “Alaska”) arrived soon after the nest was restored, comfortable, safe, and near water for fresh fish.
“Pre-Fledge Flight Check” is a new painting of one of my favorite eaglets, Simba. He fledged on July 23rd, after weeks of wing flapping and hopping madly around the nest in order to to build his flying muscles. He’s about to fledge here, hence the “pre-flight check”.