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Growing up: DNR's EagleCam chicks could take flight soon


They grow up so fast, don't they?

The three bald eagle chicks that have gotten worldwide attention after being featured on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources EagleCam are almost ready to take off on their maiden flight.

The DNR says the birds have done an "excellent job" surviving the harsh Minnesota winter and are now about a month old. Although they look small compared to their parents, they are about the size of a crow.

The young eagles are stretching and exercising their wings for the camera and in another month, they'll be almost full grown and ready to fly from the nest, the DNR says.

Although the eagles made it through the winter, they'll still have to deal with the thunderstorms that come with Minnesota springs, which the DNR says can be hazardous to the birds.

Post by Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program.

The DNR said Tuesday that they have finally been able to identify the mother eagle based on the band on her left leg – she was brought to the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center for a foot injury and was treated and released in 2010. Doctors at the Raptor Center believe she hatched in 2009, so this trio of eaglets is likely her first successful brood.

The DNR believes that the eagles featured on the EagleCam last year are the same parents as this year, which could explain why the nest failed last year – inexperience by young birds often leads to an unsuccessful brood, the DNR says.

The eagles aren't the only birds the DNR is featuring on its website. This week, the DNR announced it's streaming a peregrine falcon nest, which is located in downtown St. Paul.

The DNR says the female falcon has already laid four eggs and will incubate them for the next 30 or so days. Last year, a pair of falcons laid and incubated three eggs, but none of them hatched.

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