Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Live Bald Eagle Nest Cam Captivates Thousands

In case you haven't heard, there is a nesting pair of Bald Eagles raising their young under the watchful eyes of hundreds of thousands of people world-wide.

As of this writing, two eaglets have hatched and the third is expected to hatch any day. Undoubtedly, the suspense is holding viewers--families, classrooms of students, and office mates--enraptured.

Eighty feet above the ground, in a tree outside the northeast Iowa city of Decorah, the enormous 6' x 5' nest is monitored by two cameras.  Maintained and operated by the non-profit, Raptor Resource Project, the cameras were installed last fall after that season's eaglets fledged and the nest was abandoned. The same pair of adult eagles have been using the nest since they built it in 2007.

This is riveting stuff, folks. The mature eagles brings all manner of food offerings to the nest. Today, I saw crow, fish and small mammal carcasses lined up on the nest buffet-style. The fluffy eaglets take bits of meat directly from their parents' enormous beaks. The babies spar with each other, and simply plunk down beak-first when it's time for a rest. Then the mother settles down over her babies, who sometimes may be seen peeking out from under her breast feathers.  The camera occasionally zooms in during feeding times and then pans to afford views of the surroundings:  a babbling brook below, a horse pasture, sounds of birds and squirrels in surrounding trees.

Be a witness to something rarely seen by the human eye, that is, until now.  Go to this USTREAM video link, gather up the family, and get in on the fun!

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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