March 21, 2006

For the Students

flappingNest Update: As a reminder, if the weather is good on March 23, Craig Koppie, our endangered species specialist, will be heading up the tree to check the family and the nest, and also to recenter the cam so we can see more of the family.

As for action at the nest, today we got to see a clear shot of the oldest eaglet's pin feathers starting to arrive. Very exciting news!

Also, some folks had asked about our Eagle Festival, which we held about ten days ago. It was a wonderful success, and we were very pleased with the turnout. The weather was good, and it seemed as though all had a good time.

I especially want to thank those folks who came a long distance to visit us. I know we had some visitors from Ohio, and we were thrilled that they were willing to make the long drive to see the refuge and our wonderful wildlife. Thanks again to everyone who came and everyone who asked about the day. :-)

Finally, in case anyone missed it, we posted a link to an absolutely amazing eagle gallery that includes some fantastic aerial battle photos. A cam watcher asked what kind of brown bird was trying to steal the adult eagle's meal -- it was an immature bald eagle.

For the Students

In the last couple months we've received several emails from teachers who told us they have students watching our Eagle Cam and now our Osprey Cam.

computer.gifWe thank those teachers for their emails, and we also want to thank each and every student who tunes in to watch our fascinating raptors. We feel privileged to know that young people are interested in our birds and want to learn more about them. In fact, we often brag here at the refuge that we have students watching our website. :-)

In honor of the young people in attendance, I want to offer some fun web links for you to visit. First, be sure to check out our picture quizzes here on the Friends of Blackwater website. We have interesting quizzes about eagles, ospreys, and the refuge itself. And for the younger crowd, be sure to also check out the Albert the Squirrel section on the US Fish and Wildlife Service Blackwater Refuge website, which has coloring pages and also information about our Junior Refuge Manager program.

If you've never seen a bald eagle up-close or never seen a bald eagle fishing, then we want to offer two video clips that are neat to watch. The first one shows a bald eagle softly calling while looking straight into the camera, and the second one shows a bald eagle gently floating down over a river to pluck out a fish for dinner. Right-click on the images below and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" to download the video clips (courtesy of the USFWS).

eaglevoice.jpg fishingeagle.jpg

Speaking of video clips, there is a European website called ARKive that is a lot of fun to visit if you like wildlife. The ARKive website calls itself a Noah's Ark for the digital age, and the people who run it collect images, video clips, and audio recordings of endangered and threatened species.

On their website they have a large collection of fantastic video clips showing European white-tailed eagles, which are the closest relative to our American bald eagle. Be sure to take a look at the video clip that shows the adult eagle fishing and also the clip that shows the eaglets getting fed by their parents. The European chicks look a lot like our cam eaglets.

At the ARKive website you can view the streaming video clips or you can download the QuickTime movies to your school computer. I've found that the video clips play better if you download them. Just click on the "Download QuickTime" button on each video page.

Also, if you have questions about bald eagles that I haven't answered yet in the Web Log, be sure to check out the Journey North eagle website, where they have a collection of questions sent in by students who are interested in bald eagles. The students' questions were answered by bald eagle expert Peter Nye, who works for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

And finally, if you're interested in one day working with raptors as a career, be sure to read the story of Jim Watson, a raptor biologist who works for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department. Maybe one day in the future you can spend your time like Jim does -- climbing trees, tracking raptors, and helping to make the world safe for eagles and ospreys.

We once again thank all the students for joining us on our exciting raptor adventure. And we hope we can provide you with more interesting moments as our eaglets turn into mighty birds of prey.

Until next time,
Lisa - webmaster

Posted by Webmaster at March 21, 2006 08:24 PM