“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”.
A young eagle learning about flying—he couldn’t fly when I drew this, but he was learning a few wing skills, and strengthening his muscles for the big day. High winds helped him learn to balance by using his wings. He came into the world with a sibling who perished due to a late snow and freezing temperatures, though the mother did her best to keep them warm. This one continued on alone, growing and learning day by day. He won’t be mature for another four years, but first things first—he needs to survive the high mortality rate of an eagle’s first year. He fledged this past week, but returns to the nest for food and sleeps there with a parent.