a lot of new information that we will be putting in our book.
Here is what we found out from Patty at AEF Live Nest Cams:
When the Bald Eagles dig at the nest, it is called "aerating". They are pulling dry fluff up to top, which keeps nest bowl dry and soft. You will also see them pull fluff closer to their bodies. That might be to keep all drafts from getting under them.
The nest bowl is quite deep and holds the eggs - well it now holds the eaglets. The bottom of the nest bowl is nice, soft grasses and mosses, brought in by the parents. The parents don't put their full weight on the eggs or eaglets. Their wings are held up on the side of the nest bowl, so only partial weight is on eggs/eaglets. As the eaglets grow, you will see them crawling out from under the parent to begin exploring!
This nest is only 2 years old, so it is rather small compared to other nests. Each year the parents add on to the nest before the next season begins. We call this "nestorating". They will bring in more soft fluff, build up the nest rails, etc. Between season 1 and season 2 at this nest, they built it up 3 more feet.
As the season progresses, the nest bowl will disappear and be flattened out - some call it a "landing pad" or "trampoline" as the eaglets begin flapping their wings, hovering and jumping up and down on the nest as they learn to balance, perch on any small twigs in the nest, and practice "wingercizing".