Eaglets are nestlings for 10 to 12 weeks. By the time they are 9 weeks old, they are fully grown. The eagle parents watch their young continuously during this time, feeding and protecting them from cold, heat, and predators. If the eaglets were left unattended at the nest, raccoons, crows, and nocturnal great horned owls could take the small eaglets. One parent, or both, are always either sitting on the nest or perched nearby.
After hatching, chicks are wet, exhausted, and nearly blind. Their eyes, dark brown in color, are closed, but open after a few hours. A newly-hatched chick can’t regulate its body temperature and needs the warmth from its parents. Adult eagles are large birds, but while on the nest with very young eaglets, they move about carefully with their talons balled into fists to avoid accidentally skewering their offspring.
When there are young eagles in the nest, both of the parents have to do a lot of hunting. The chicks never seem to get enough to eat. They feed the young 1-8 times a day. The parents feed them directly, bill to bill until they are 5 weeks old and they start to feed themselves.