April 07, 2006

Day in the Life

pairNest Update: As we mentioned on the cam page, Craig Koppie had to delay his visit to recenter our cam today because of an incident at a local bald eagle nest at which Craig thought he might be asked to assist. We haven't heard at this point what happened with the nest, but if we do, we'll pass it along. Right now, we're hoping to see Craig next week. Thanks for everyone's patience as we try to coordinate our schedules with Craig's schedule and the weather. Fortunately the eaglets at our nest have been spending part of their day hanging around the trunk, so at least we get to see them.

Craig did mention that if he is able to come, he would like to sex and band the chicks, if possible. So that would be an added bonus of him visiting.

Speaking of local eagle nests, a cam watcher forwarded me a link to the Norfolk Botanical Garden website in Virginia where they have still photos from their eagle cam. The eagle cam can only be seen at the gardens, but be sure to check out the amazing photos on their site. And if you're near Norfolk, check out the gardens as well, and you can see the cam live.

And a note about our Eaglet-Naming Contest: We plan to go live with the contest very soon. I'll post a link on the cam page when we're ready to start.

A Day in the Life

As those who watch our Eagle Cam know, a day in the life of the eagle family now involves mostly eating, sleeping and flapping. Each day the eaglets develop more of the feathers that will help them become fledglings in about four to six weeks. Throughout the day we are fortunate to catch glimpses that show how the eagle family makes a nest into a home.

For example, we've recently seen some shots showing how the eaglets back up to the nest edge to slice -- which, as we mentioned before, is a falconer's term for defecating. We've also seen a parent eagle bringing in pine needles to add to the nest -- this is often done to freshen the nest and bury old food remains. And speaking of food remains, we've also seen shots of the eaglets digging for leftovers to snack on between meals.

Each day more of the eaglets' time is spent flapping and exercising their wings. This activity will become more common as we see them get closer to fledging. At this early stage, they hold onto the nest with their talons when they flap, so they don't go anywhere. But once they are stronger, they will let go of the nest and let themselves rise a little in the air. Eventually they will start making hop flights around the nest.

In our cam photos, we've also seen the ever-popular mealtime -- surely the best part of the eaglets' day. One of the cam watchers asked if the eagles eat at night. We hadn't really seen much of that activity until recently, when cam watchers caught several photos of a late-night feeding session, probably with some leftover fish. So it does appear that the eaglets may catch a late meal even after dark.

And finally, we've seen how the family handles a storm. On Monday night, Maryland had a big storm move through -- this was the same storm pattern that had brought deadly tornadoes to the Midwest. While the storm was still a couple hours off, the eaglets were relaxed and lying alone near the trunk of the tree. But as the strong winds and rain picked up, the mother eagle came down into the nest, and the eaglets stayed close to her until the storm weakened.

All in all, our Eagle Cam has shown us some wonderful moments in the eagles' lives. We feel fortunate to have a glimpse into their daily activities, and we thank our cam watchers for capturing many of these moments for us to share. We'll update the Eagle Gallery on Monday.

Until next time,
Lisa - webmaster

Posted by Webmaster at April 7, 2006 06:17 PM