Archive for Thursday, June 17, 1993

YOUNG EAGLES TAKE TO THE AIR AT CLINTON LAKE

June 17, 1993

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Their babies have flown the coop and the Clinton Lake parents have empty-nest syndrome.

Jackie Wedel, park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake, said the three juvenile bald eagles born at the lake in mid-March have fledged, but are sticking close to the nest.

"They're still hanging around, but we don't know how much longer it'll be," she said. "We're just sort of keeping an eye on them."

Wedel said she first noticed that one of the birds had started flying during Memorial Day weekend. "They had all fledged by June 7," she said. "I went to look at them and found an empty nest."

The juveniles were banded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials in April to help track the eagles once they leave the lake area.

A banded male eagle born at Clinton in 1989 and his mate raised a baby at Hillsdale Lake this spring, and the eaglet has been flapping his wings in preparation for flight. Mike Watkins, Kansas City district wildlife biologist with the corps, said he checked on the eagle family Tuesday.

"That bird is doing real well," he said. "He'll probably fledge next week."

Watkins estimated the eaglet's age at around 70 days, and said eagles usually start flying at the age of 70 to 90 days.

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