Feathers are unique to birds. Today April 9 chick #1 known as Sunday is one day shy of being four weeks old. She (?) has begun to show feathers pushing up through her second coat of down. You can see the black looking specks that are these feathers. In the closeups you can see the feather shafts (quills) that the wing feathers are growing out of. The body feathers (contour feathers) are growing out of the same follicles as their natal down, thus the feathers have white tips. This down will fall off.
Thank you Reese! This is very good to see. We hear a lot about down and pin feathers, but this makes it a lot clearer. I know a lot of the cam watchers will enjoyh seeing this.
This is amazing. I’m wondering if the shafts/quills poking through become uncomfortable or itchy for the eaglet? ALso wanted to remark that when mods were away today (4/9) in mid-afternoon, I saw #1 stand tall On her feet and take a few steps! How amazing to watch all this growth. I’m so enamored with these fascinating and beautiful birds!
Response – The quills are a natural part of their body development that they will have for the rest of their lives. I suspect that if they were uncomfortable, by now nature would have found another way to produce and retain the feathers.
These are awesome pictures & a wonderful explanation for us. Thanks again for all you guys & gals do for us.
Thanks as always Reese for your enlightenment!
Eaglet watching is very addicting !