Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I see that the guys have some work to do with the cam. Let's leave it today and enjoy the holiday.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Update

I checked with the folks this AM and they told me they were headed out to work on our problems. I just got back in the office and see that the cam is still not up to par. I'm investigating further...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update

The cam is now live, but they are still working on the static problem. This all has to do with the microwave link.

On a brighter note, the live cam is now online full time. Once we get the static fixed we'll be happy.

Thursday 14 December

Tech update: Sorry for the continued glitches. The problem is in our production building control room. We're meeting with folks here at 2:00 to get to the bottom of this.

Also, it looks like we will be activating the live feed in short order, not in January as we said earlier.

hang in there. it's so warm here today, and the forecast is for continued 60 degree days--our eagles are probably out soaring in the warm air anyways.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday December 13

Feed is down in our Production building. They are working to fix, should be up soon.


New thread.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Update



Here's an update on the cams. Good news and less than good news.

First the good--the transition work is complete and the still cam is online.

now the less than good--the video feed was on yesterday. That was only a test. As I mentioned earlier, the video feed will start full time after the first of the year. Sorry. I got pretty excited too when the cam was up yesterday.

thanks for your continued comments of support. We really appreciate it.

Friday 8 December

A little snow last night.


On the live link, click here. This will give you the realplayer link. Once it's downloaded on your desktop, doubleclick on it and that will open the live feed link. If any of this info changes I'll get it out to you folks ASAP.

As I write this at 8:48 am, the feed is down.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Afternoon pic




Update--

The locked up still cam shot is being dealt with in Denver!

Also, the live feed is up. Access the realplayer file through the link here on this blog. The link will be put up on the eaglecam webpage soon.

Thursday December 7

New thread.

Hang in there. The cam will come back on. They are working on the transfer to Wheeling.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We're Up and Running



update: We still have some cleanup work to do on webpage text, and on our connections. The site is currently running through Denver. We will make the transition to Wheeling tomorrow.

None of us can believe that an eagle was in the nest when we finally went live.

Wednesday December 6

Cold morning thread. The guys are working on the cam problems today.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Up and running, almost

By now you've probably seen the new web page for the cam. Note-- to actually get to the cam it's one more click as we are hosting the cam offiste to preserve our bandwidth.

Picture still is not quite right, but the guys are working on it.

Thanks to our contracting and technical folks for making this happen so quick (by our standards here at least).

more soon.

Tuesday December 5

New thread.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday

New thread.

Saw an adult bald eagle flying low over the Shenandoah River near Berryville, VA this am.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Molting

Here's some info from Bent's on Bald Eagle plumage and molting:

Plumages.--When first hatched the downy young eaglet is completely covered with long, thick, silky down, longest on the head; it is "smoke gray" on the back, paler gray on the head and under parts, and nearly white on the throat. When the young bird is about three weeks old this light gray or whitish down is pushed out and replaced by short, woolly, thick down of a dark, sooty-gray color, "hair brown" to "drab." The plumage begins to appear on the body and wings, scattered brownish-black feathers showing on the scapulars, back, and sides of the breast, when about five or six weeks old; at this age the wing quills are breaking their sheaths. At the age of seven or eight weeks the eaglet is fairly well feathered, with only a little down showing between the feather tracks, and the flight feathers are fully half grown.

In fresh juvenal plumage the young eagle is uniformly dark colored "bone brown" to "clove brown" above and below; the flight feathers are nearly black, but there is usually a slight sprinkling of grayish white in the tail. This plumage is worn throughout the first year without much change, except by wear and fading, the under parts fading to "hair brown."

After the first annual molt, the next summer, the plumage becomes paler and much mixed with white in very variable amounts. Individual feathers on the back, scapulars, and breast are more or less extensively white, those of the breast and belly being largely white in some specimens. I am not sure whether this is a second or third year plumage, or both; if the latter, the third year is whiter than the second. The tail is more extensively mottled with white than in the first year, and the feathers of the crown and occiput are broadly tipped with pale buff. After the next annual molt the plumage of the body becomes darker, much like that of the adult, but lightly tipped with white below and mottled with white on the rump and upper tail coverts; the latter and the tail are now quite extensively white; the head is mixed with white above, about half white and half brown, or nearly clear, dirty white below. This is probably the third year plumage. At the next annual molt, early in the fourth year, the bird assumes a plumage that is practically adult, with a pure-white head and tail; but usually remaining signs of immaturity are seen, such as a few brown feathers in the head and some dusky mottling near the tip of the tail.

The length of time required to assume the fully adult plumage does not seem to have been positively determined, and it may take longer than I have estimated. Adults and immature birds have one complete annual molt, which is very gradual, and prolonged through spring, summer, and fall. The flight feathers are molted mainly during July, August, and September.

Wednesday November 29

Mid week thread.

Saw both eagles on the nest last night.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday November 22

Wednesday thread. Sorry about blogger yesterday, it was all bloggered up for me in the AM.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Nov. 16

Here's some news you folks have been waiting for:

We met yesterday on getting the cam going.

We are going to outsource the web access this year to allow the still cam a much better refresh rate than the 30 seconds that our network folks afforded us last year. I've mentioned to a few folks that we face significant hurdles regarding network security and bandwidth limitations, and we believe this approach gets us past these issues. We are working through the contracting now, and have targeted Dec. 6th as the start date. We will strive to hit that target.

We will also experiment with a wide shot camera along with the existing cam. We recently got a brand new microwave receiver which should help with cam reliability.

The live video will start on or around February 1, and will stay on through the end of July.

We are also looking now at technology for next season that will improve the cam, and add audio. Based on the behavior of these eagles, we figure we only have a couple of weeks window in August to make the improvements.

The cam has been on here for a few weeks now, and we have watched the eagles slowly preparing the nest with new sticks.

I know that this has been a long haitus, but hang in there and we'll be up soon.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday 13 November

New thread. Sorry for the slowdown in new threads. Back from CT, and had to deal with a breakdown saturday on the highway more than 100 miles from home. Loads of fun :>).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday November 8


New Thread.

Had a visit from Mission Wolf today, with their ambassador wolf, Maggie.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday 5 Nov

Still at NCTC this am for the film festival. Both eagles spent the night in the nest last night. The guard could see them in the moonlight.

fresh thread.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday October 28

Sun's coming out thread. The adults are actively working on the nest. We are working to get the still cam up and running, should be soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday October 23

Blustery day thread.

Thanks again to all who made it out toi the open house. We appreciate your presence and support, and love the gift, which we will display here proudly.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday 18 Oct part 2

The blog is now unblocked. Thanks to the NCTC ITR folks for dealing with the powers that be so quickly, and thanks for the support you folks have given this site.

Wednesday 18 Oct.

Still being blocked thread.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday 16 Oct

New thread. The Department of the Interior has, for the time being, deemed this blog "innappropriate." We are working to fix, else I can only access the blog from my home...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wednesday 4 Oct

Fresh thread. I'm off to Wyoming and then New Mexico for the next week. Will try to keep the threads going.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday 2 Oct.

New thread for a new week. Sorry about the delay, was away this weekend away from computers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Planning for the Winter

We recently held a meeting here at NCTC to discuss new plans for this year's eagle cam. We are fortunate to have a new staff member on board who previously worked for a company that sells webcams for use with wildlife, so our expertise in this area just took a huge step forward.

We should have a game plan for what we plan to do this winter, and when we have some decisions , I'll post them here. Some ideas includ: multiple cams, robotic cam that can be controlled remotely (moved), and audio so we can hear what's going on.

Can't say how this will settle out just yet, but we are excited for a new nesting season, assuming our pair comes back, which we ceretainly anticipate.

Steve

Friday September 22

Friday thread.


update: Forgot to mention, heard a bald eagle squacking yesterday here at NCTC, and saw a bald eagle soaring over the Potomac River at Harper's Ferry last evening (there's a nest a mile or two downriver from Harper's Ferry on the south bank.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday September 7

Thursday post. I know some folks have been trying to get in touch with me. Please indulge my lack of communication and or response.

We are in final crunch mode on a 350 person conference here at NCTC that starts tonight and goes through the weekend.

Folks from all over the country are coming in for an invitation-only dialogue on the issue of children becoming disconnected with nature. We have been living and breathing this event for the past two weeks.


The inspiration for the event is the recent book by Richard Louv--Last Child in the Woods--Saving our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder. Highly recommended.
thanks-Steve

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday August 20

New thread. Finally got into blogger, it's been boogered up all morning.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wednesday August 16

From a local eagle watcher this am:


"I’ve been watching the Eaglets since they were eggs and blog on your blog all the time.

I have a question. Yesterday driving home about 1:30-1:45 PM, I-495 North was at a standstill going over the Potomac from VA into MD. (Nothing new.) In any case, I saw 3 Eaglets just circling around, very slowly, over the river, just sort of gliding. I got a good look at them, and do believe they were eaglets. They had their wings out, end wing feathers looked like fingers, and their tails were spread out like a fan. They were all black, large birds. Quite awesome to watch, actually. (The one time in my daily commute I DIDN’T want the traffic to start going again!) Anyway, could they be our Eaglets? Well, I mean the NCTC Eaglets. Would they be that far from Shepherdstown? They were circling around the bridge and the Potomac, but they don’t have to go that far for food, the Potomac is near their nest, isn’t it?

Thanks in advance for your response. Even if it wasn’t the NCTC eaglets, it was awesome to watch them. They’re SOMEBODY’S eaglets, and since there were 3 I just thought they were ours."

I told her it could well be the Shepherdstown eaglets. They will continue to move out away from the Shepherdstown nest territory.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday July 27

Cam Update--The guys did extensive additional testing today and have determined that the problem is in fact up the tree. This is not good news. They are planning to try to get up the tree next week. We'll see how things progress. Not the way we wanted things to end for the season, but we are optimistic that we'll have an improved system next year based on everything we have learned this year. More as I learn it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wednesday July 26

New Thread.

update: I'm waiting for a call back now on status, but I have to teach a class for the next few hours. be back.

ps check out this incredible site-- McNeil River Alaska Grizzly Cam.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday July 25

New thread.

Still waiting for word. Our IT dept. is short staffed this week...

Update: 2:50 Still no luck, but our guys have been trying to diagnose the problem for most of the day. I'm afariad the problem could be up the tree, and if so, we may be up a creek...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday July 24

Update and plans as we go forward, and there are two scenarios:

Scenario One-- we are working on the fix for the current still cam issues. The problem is a battery in the system that may need to be replaced. If we can do the fix easily without buying a replacement, the cam should be back up soon.

The cam would be then shut down on August 1 for maintenance and off season adjustments. Steve thinks the fledged eaglets will be off on their own around that date, so it's a good time to take a break. As you all have noticed, the cam has been down a bunch in the last month or two, indicating the need that we do some real work on it. Also, our contract for the live cam ended last week, thus the live cam is now down as well until next season.

Scenario Two: We can't easily fix the cam without ordering replacements parts, and this results in us shutting things down this week.

Regardless of which scenario plays out, the plan would be to keep the cam down until sometime in November when the adults begin working at the nest again.

We are intrigued by ideas to add audio, and we would like to pursue that and other ideas.

I want to thank our technical team for really doing all of the work and having the inspiration to get this project going--John, Jonathan, Mike, Brad, and Keith should all be saluted for what they accomplished--this was their baby. Our biological staff also had a big part--thanks Karen and Steve. Thanks to Randy Robinson for researching a live cam solution and making it happen, also thanks to our Production folks who helped.

Finally, thanks for your your continued enthusiasm and support of this project, it went beyond our wildest expectations. We do look forward to working with you as we continue this project into the future.

I didn't want to just see the cam shut down with little notice, so I wanted to get with you in advance to tell you all what's up. I hope we can get it back up for the next week. We'll keep you posted on progress.

Steve C.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Messages Received

Thanks to all for your support and kind comments. We plan on starting the cams all over again next nesting season. While there is a small chance the adults would move on, that is unlikely--they will probably be with this nest for many years. As far as I know we will keep the still cam on. If it shuts down for a time I will let you know.

It is truly amazing that the three eaglets fledged and are all still around several weeks later. These birds have beaten tremendous odds. We have all observed and experienced a rare event in the natural history of bald eagles.

We'll keep the blog on and rolling, and we'll all be ready when the action starts again at the end of the year.

Tuesday 18 July

Another hot one out there.

So where are we?

We have been talking here about the end of the season activities that we are seeing right now. While the nest is still gettin g an occasional visit, I'm sure folks have noticed that most of the time the eagles are out and about. Within the next few weeks, the young eagles will move on, leaving the adults to stay.

Soon the live feed will be shut off due to the end of our contract with our partners in Wheeling. We will work again in the late fall to bring the live feed back on.

The actual nest cam we will leave on for now.

I'm also happy to continue to keep the blog rolling through the hext nesting season if folks prefer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monday part 2

Travels note:

Our resident eagle expert Steve Wunderley told me he saw a immature bald eagle soaring over his house this last weekend. Eagle eye Steve lives in Falling Waters (seven miles upriver), so he says the likelihood it was one of our eagles is high.

Monday 17 July

New thread for a very warm day.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday July 12


Wednesday Thread. Checking on the live cam.

Update 1:28 pm: Live cam is up.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday July 10

The cam problem is in Denver. We have let them know.

Fresh thread.

Update 3:55 PM: Looks like the problem is centered around the camera and or the batteries. Our folks are working on it. Hang in there.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Great Phots by Todd

Check out Todd's photo album, if you haven't already.

Sunday July 2

I don't know what's worse, a blue screen or a frozen screen. There will be folks working at NCTC tomorrow.

New thread.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Afternoon

Afternoon thread.

Sunny Wednesday 28 June



Time to dry out here after alot of rain. Here's another entry from Bent on eagle plumage:

"In fresh juvenal plumage the young eagle is uniformly dark colored "bone brown" to "clove brown" above and below; the flight feathers are nearly black, but there is usually a slight sprinkling of grayish white in the tail. This plumage is worn throughout the first year without much change, except by wear and fading, the under parts fading to "hair brown." After the first annual molt, the next summer, the plumage becomes paler and much mixed with white in very variable amounts. Individual feathers on the back, scapulars, and breast are more or less extensively white, those of the breast and belly being largely white in some specimens. I am not sure whether this is a second or third year plumage, or both; if the latter, the third year is whiter than the second. The tail is more extensively mottled with white than in the first year, and the feathers of the crown and occiput are broadly tipped with pale buff.

After the next annual molt the plumage of the body becomes darker, much like that of the adult, but lightly tipped with white below and mottled with white on the rump and upper tail coverts; the latter and the tail are now quite extensively white; the head is mixed with white above, about half white and half brown, or nearly clear, dirty white below. This is probably the third year plumage. At the next annual molt, early in the fourth year, the bird assumes a plumage that is practically adult, with a pure-white head and tail; but usually remaining signs of immaturity are seen, such as a few brown feathers in the head and some dusky mottling near the tip of the tail. The length of time required to assume the fully adult plumage does not seem to have been positively determined, and it may take longer than I have estimated.

Adults and immature birds have one complete annual molt, which is very gradual, and prolonged through spring, summer, and fall. The flight feathers are molted mainly during July, August, and September."

Monday, June 26, 2006

All There


Here's all three kids. Plus, note the oval shaped object in the lower part of the nest--a turtle shell (box turtle?) which probably arrived on Saturday.

Monday PM



There were two there a minute ago, no only one. Thanks to John for figuring out the problem.

Monday 26 June

New Thread. I am at NCTC and will work to unlock things.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Locked Up Sunday June 25

Just had a chance to look at the cam and I see that it's locked at 9:55. Sorry.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Two out of three

Tech Update Friday PM

OK.

We got the live feed up, and someone is in the nest right now as I write! The still cam is locked up in Denver, and we have made a call on that. Hang in there folks!

Friday June 23




I know it's still empty, but I swung by the nest on my way in and one of our young eagle friends was perched on a limb just behind and below the camera.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another Shot

Update 22 June

Snip...Just realized that this picture was messed up, that's how crazy it's been here the past few days...Snip

Wednesday June 21




Hi Folks, really hectic days here. Got with Todd, he took the picture posted a few days ago around 9:00am on June 11.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday 20 June

New thread.

Folks have mentioned to me that our own eagle expert Steve Wunderley was on Channel 25 out of Hagerstown this AM talking about the eagles. Go Steve.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Blue Screen Blues

Sorry about the blue screen. I suspect it may be the same problem as last time, where the microwave channels have been messed up.

There was an extended, planned power outage at NCTC yesterday, I believe, and that may have contributed to the problem.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday June 15

Wow, can't believe the action on the comments. I'm up in CT with family issues (mom coming home from hospital). I need to catch up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday June 14





From a post by Sharon at 6:41 this am:

6:41 a.m. He is at the lauching pad. Been moving his wings a little bit, trying to get up the courage. Just back over to 9 o'clock and did a little poop shoot and then back to the lauching pad. Lightened that load a little bit! Oh my God, he just spread his wings out, he has the look. Nope, folded them back in! Doing a lot of flapping all over the nest. Back at the launching pad, looking around. Just moved a little closer to the edge. He wants to really bad! He is so close to the edge, his head gets out of camera range sometimes. He keeps spreading his wings out like he is going to and then back in. It is 6:50 now. A little head bopping going on. Camera freezing up a little bit. Wings back out. Now back in but head still bobbing. My heart is racing. Head keeps going out of view. 6:56 a.m. Wings back out. 6:58 a.m. SPUNKY HAS FLEDGED!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Evening Picture

A Diversion



I know that we talk eagles here, but I just saw this astonishing photograph on the Patagonia Website and had to share it. Please indulge me.

The photo caption reads:

A school of salema cut a wide berth for a Galapagos sea lion. Cousins Rock, Galapagos Islands, Equador. Photo: David Doubilet

Seeing our eagles are fledging , maybe need to get a little wildlife variety going here...

Tuesday Part 2




We're still waiting for something to happen and the eaglet is sleeping. Guess we're on his/her time.

Tuesday 13 June

Fresh thread, more later.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday 12 June Midday


Monday June 12

Good Morning. Here's a fresh thread for you.

I'm working to get the live feed up soon.

Also, As I walked in this morning the closed circuit monitor had all three of the eaglets hopping around in the nest.

more soon.

Tuesday

Apologies for my neglect on this site.  I'm thinking that it might be time to conclude this blog, as I started it before the social me...