(Since January 2016, I have been observing and photographing a pair of bald eagles which nested, hatched two eggs, and nurtured the eaglets. The series of photo essays on The Eagle Family can be found at these links: Part 1, Part 2.”)
They are testing the limits of the nest as well. The first-born is more adventuresome. He/she has begun to peer over the edge of the nest and also move to a tree limb outside the nest.
It perches there before returning to the nest. I’ve read this exploration sometimes leads to a fall which, in turn, results in the first flight. Sometimes these flights are not successful and the eaglet cannot return to the nest. In such a situation the parents watch over the young bird, feed it, and wait until it gets the hang of flying and can return to the nest. I’m hoping this is not the case with these eaglets.
The maturation of the two has been interesting. The second-born is slightly behind. Recently, father brought in a fish for the morning feed.
The second-born tried to get him to feed her/him. I heard a low whimper that sounded like an animal whine.
But the father was having none of it and left the nest after dropping off the fish, leaving it to the young ones to feed themselves (which they did).
Mother and father frequently perch on the same limb near the nest and stand guard. Here you can see the difference in size between them. The female is on the right. She is much larger than the male. This is typical of most raptors.