Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2006

Wed. May 31

In DC all day and just had time now to check in. Big storms this early AM, and the weather is supposed to moderate.

Sorry for the continued issues with the live cam. I'll be at NCTC tomorrow, so I'll pursue a better fix. Next thursday night is an evening lecture series program at NCTC. If you come out for the show, this time on Green Infrastructure, featuring my colleague Mark Benedict at the Conservation Fund, you'll be able to get a great view of the nest. More info at then click on events and Conservation and Community.

Tuesday May 30

A hot one today. Live video feed should be up shortly.

more later.

UPDATE 1:13 PM: Live feed is back up

Sunday May 28

Summer's here and the live cam is staying up. Hope everyone gets out and does something this holiday weekend.

Friday May 26

Lots of speculation on the comments about first flights. I'll ask Karen here for her thoughts.

more soon.

More May 25

Looking like rain here...

more later.

May 25

Here's the picture from the article in today's Washington Post showing George and Martha.

Tuesday May 23

It is an amazing day here weatherwise--truly a bluebird day in West Virginia. A deep blue sky, 53 degrees and a 35 degree dewpoint! Was in the 30s this am!

Our eagles are very active.

A few questions from Sunny:

"A couple of questions: Are the adults still beak-feeding the eaglets? And since the adults aren't on the nest very much any more, is one always in sight of the nest, or are they 'out and about' all day? Thanks for educating us!"

The eaglets tend to be helping themselves nowadays. About 9:15 this AM one of the adults brought in a fresh fish, and they all started in on it. The other adult even came in for a minute or two to get a few bites. Regarding the adults, there does always seem to be one within a few seconds of the nest. Often they are perched in the sycamore nest tree or in an adjacent tree.

Friday May 19

Hi Folks,

Here's the latest on the webcam problems:

From: Karen Lindsey
Sent: 05/19/2006 12:49 PM
To: Steve Chase
Subject: Eagle Cam

Hi Steve,

It appears that there is some problem with the camera at the tree end. We
went to the bottom of the tree today and could not get a video signal on
the portable monitor. John and Mike are thinking on it, and if they come
up with any ideas, we'll give it a try.


Folks, we will do everything we can to get this thing going again. Please bear with us.

Wednesday May 17

Here's a late Post from our Land Manager:

"Our eaglets are 9 weeks old this week. As you can see, they have replaced
most of their downy feathers with the darker juvenile body and flight
feathers. This transition between the down and the juvenile feathers must
be complete before the eaglets can be successful in their first flight.
Bald eagle research suggests that this transition takes place between 10
and 12 weeks, depending on the eaglets themselves, their general health,
and their diet up until this time. The NCTC eaglets have had very loyal
and attentive parents who have brought ample food for all three eaglets to
survive and develop. A good sign that fledging is nearing is the increased
activity by the eaglets--flapping their wings, jumping up and down, moving
about the nest, sitting on the edge of the nest, etc. However, they won't
attempt flight until their feathers are ready. At that point the parents
will begin a behavior of enticing the eaglets out of the nest. They …

Tuesday May 16

I'm trying to get the status on the live cam. Still not working...

Update 5:00 PM--Still not working, my apologies...I'm in DC the next few days, but will still try to track down the problems.

Monday PM

Things have dried out a bit here. Lots of speculation as to when the oldest eaglet may finally fly. I too have seen him lift off a little in the nest, but I still think we have a few weeks to go for a full flight. It will be the oldest's 8 week birthday on thursday.

Wet Monday May 15

Live video is on, and the rain looks like it's moving on, although the forecast is for showers through Tuesday. Seems like our eaglets are getting used to the rain.

Tried to get a picture posted but blogger is all clogged up. I'll try again later.

Saturday May 13

Drying out after more rain last night.

Friday May 12

I have been out of the office again today, so I just took a quick look at the site and caught one of the adults bringing in more twigs with leaves. I know that folks have asked if we could explain that. My only guess would be that it is just normal maintenance of the nest and that leaves are easier to get now than dried grass.

On other questions--we do track how many hits we get on the eagle cam site and the live video site. I don't track the blog stats, but that's really secondary. I'll get the cam data and let you folks know how many people are watching. I think that number is a large one.

We'll also get a status report from our land manager next week.

Weather is pretty good right now, but more storms may be headed in tonight.

Heavy Weather Thursday

Wow. The cold front came through about six this evening, with wild winds and heavy, heavy rain. One of the adults got down in the nest and helped the trio ride out the storm. As said in the comments, they did look like a bunch of drowned rats. I too was worried that one was missing for a time, but by 8:30 or so you could again see all three.

Thursday May 11

Three wet, but tough, little eagles.

Tuesday May 9

Another cool wet day. Be down in DC today so here's an early breakfast shot.

May 8 #2

A late breakfast just got delivered. The Live cam is back on.

May 8

Wet day today. Here's a shot of eight week old eaglets up at Lake Umbagog NWR in New Hampshire, photo by Bill Hanson .

May 5

We've gotten some questions on first flights. Here's a description, again from Bent:

"At last the day comes for the eaglets to leave the nest. Sometimes they do so voluntarily; but in some cases it seems necessary to use persuasion. In Dr. Herrick's (1924c) "first season with the Eagles the young seemed disinclined to leave their eyrie and were finally starved out and lured away." After two days of scanty feeding and two days of fasting, "as the old Eagle with the fish was circling just above the nest the Eaglet was jumping with legs rigid and flapping frantically; suddenly it leaped into the air, and for a second seemed to hang, as if poised over the eyrie; at that moment the circling Eagle began to scream, and swooping down at the hovering and now screaming youngster passed him within six feet; a minute later the Eaglet, still holding to the air, drifted fifteen feet or more beyond the margin of the nest; with vigorous wing-beats it began to move east…

How Big are They Now?

One of our blog readers, Jo from Maryland, sent me this photograph from the Blackwater NWR eagle site. She asked are our eaglets this big now?

It is tough to gauge their size on the cam. Our eaglets are a bit smaller than the one pictured, we're guessing this Blackwater NWR bird is a week or two older than our oldest eaglet.

May 4

Lunchtime shot. I could see the biggest eaglet standing on the side of the nest as I drove in this morning. These critters are growing fast.

Wednesday May 3

Some great bald eagle life history info from Arthur Cleveland Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds:

On the growing eaglets:

"With the increase in size and strength comes an increase in activity, with more time devoted to play and exercise in preparation for flight. Activities begin by walking or jumping about the nest, which soon becomes trodden quite flat, picking up and playing with sticks, learning to grasp objects in the talons, and stretching and flapping their growing wings. With tail raised and head lowered the eaglet backs up to the edge of the nest and shoots its liquid excreta clear of the nest to form a "whitewashed" circle on the ground below.

"Later on the flight exercises begin in earnest, of which Dr. Herrick (1924c) writes:"

"After a while a simple routine is established--raising the wings until they seem to touch over the back, taking a few strokes and jumping; the flapping gradually comes to take their feet above the floor of …

Late Entry May 2

Thanks to all for bearing with us with our technical difficulties the past few days. Also, it was a really busy day at NCTC with no time to do much on the blog except to check on it for a few minutes. We'll get an update from our land manager soon, I promise.

Big Day--May 1

It's been a big day for the eagles. Not seeing the cam for the weekend makes the differences from last week, both appearance and behavior, even easier to see.

One of the adults brought in this afternoon what looks like a pigeon. The adult gave a lesson in plucking feathers, and then our youngest eaglet stepped up, put talons on the pigeon, and started trying to pluck.

In addition, two of the eaglets were helping themselves to the meal, without being fed. Combine this with the largest eaglet perched fully upright on the edge of the nest, and I think the kids are now adolescents. Hope they behave.

Cam Back Up

Update 1:05 EDT--Video feed is back up.

Monday May 1

We came in expecting to just reset things, but the technical issues are out in our Denver office, not here in WV.

So hang in there, once those folks get to work we'll get things reset and hopefully the problems will be solved and the pictures will be rolling.