We measured field metabolic rate of nestling Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in northern Wisconsin, using doubly-labeled water. In inland northern Wisconsin and along the Wisconsin Lake Superior shore, eaglets aged 39–60 days, weighing 3.08–4.85 kg, expended an average of 2,427 ± 100 kJ day−1. Nestling field metabolic rate was weakly correlated with nestling age, but not with mass. Field metabolic rate of eaglets can be used to estimate the biomass of food that adult eagles must provide from their environment, a datum that is important for determination of habitat suitability.
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Vol. 103 • No. 1