Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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 will
do this by not bringing food to the nest for the eaglets, but rather flying
nearby with food in their talons and calling to the eaglets. Soon, the
eaglets, out of hunger and in response to the parent's call will begin
flapping vigorously and take their first leap into the air. Most eaglets
fly a short distance and make a clumsy landing either in a nearby tree or
on the ground. Wherevery they land the parents will reward them with food
immediately, and continue to feed and encourage them to fly. If an eaglet
lands on the ground, it is important to get back in the air as soon as they
can so they can be safe from other predators on the ground. Our eaglets
have been demonstrating lots of wing flapping and jumping, so they are
nearing the time of fledging. However, the last two broods from these
parents have been fairly close to the 12 week mark. I don't expect them to
fledge for another couple of weeks, but it could happen. Keep your eye on
them, and if anyone sees the first fledge, please be sure to let us know
through the website email or the eagle cam blog."--Karen



Also, I've been looking at the web statistics for the cams and they are impressive. More than 1,000,000 visitors and over 17 million hits on the sites. Folks from 50 countries have looked in on our eagles including Peru, China, New Zealand and India.

Will be out of the office the next few days, but will be checking in.

70 comments:

MEMA Jo said...

We all know that with what you are telling us, what we are reading & what we are seeing that First Flights will be soon. We have followed these eaglets from eggs to now - We'll be so proud of them when they do this - but at the same time our hearts will be a little sad! Thank you NCTC for letting us enjoy this part of nature!

Just Vicky said...

Yes, it will be a day of MANY mixed emotions for sure for all of us "mothers." Its just like letting go of your kids into the world. Sure hope all 3 launch with success!

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Thanks for all the info Steve. Watching these babies are the hightlight of my day. It definitely will be bittersweet when they fledge. I just pray they all make it back. If not, must be part of God's plan. He is the one in charge.

marie said...

OK - I only see two eaglets. I am at work and can only get the still pictures so I refreshed a couple of times but can still only see two. Where is the other one?

marie said...

Ok - I can breathe again. Where was that little critter hiding. He scared me silly. I want to see the first flight but I don't want to see it. What a bunch of mixed feelings these little ones have caused. Just like watching my own children grow up and leave the nest.

Nancy said...

Marie, I got scared too when I had trouble seeing the third eaglet. He was real near the trunk of the tree, just underneath the camera, so you couldn't see much of him/her at all. Now that these guys are so much more active, I'm even more glued to them. Yesterday when I saw all the flapping and hopping, I nearly started flapping at my desk! I was like, "Oh my gosh, you gotta come see this!" And my co-workers looked at each other and said, "Must be the eagles." I'm getting a reputation!

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Nancy, I work from home so I can whoop and holler all I want to and nobody gives me funny looks. I too was scared when I just saw 2 but I saw the other one's butt at the trunk and was so relieved. They are resting now. Looks like rain might be moving in again!

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Oh my, Big Boy is on a kick this morning. I thought he was going to knock Mr. Inbetween out of the nest. I am going to have a heart attack sitting here watching them. But isn't it beautiful when they spread those wings and go from one side of the nest to the other.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Now the live cam is down again. Oh well.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Or not. It is back up now.

MEMA Jo said...

Thursday 12:46pm I have been getting such a laugh out of BigBoy's flapping exercises- but don't know how long his siblings will put up with it. I guess he really isn't jumping on them as they lay there trying to nap - but it sure looks like he comes close to it. Possbility of a storm this pm - looks as though it is getting windy. I have been playing Solitaire with the video down in the corner - I'm sure I've missed quite a few tricks with the distractions from the nest.

Veronica said...

I was on around 5 this morning and seen 3, but around 5 till 6 there was only 2 birds. I thought the one went for a flight and would be back by now. I seen that black thing by the tree too, but it's been like that since 5am, so I don't think it's a bird. I just check them a couple times a day and have only dial-up so I have to watch the stills.

Veronica said...

The black thing by the tree does seem to move. I hope that is the other bird.

sunny said...

There's a lot of hopping and flapping going on today, but all three birds are there. One was hiding for awhile but he finally came out!

Veronica said...

Thanks. I just seen all 3 out, thank goodness. They are all so active and healthy. I am so glad I know they are all okay because I have to leave for work now.

hisdearheart said...

Big Boy just attacked Spunky and the cam is messing up. Spunky hasn't moved since then. Is he ok? I wish that darn camera would quit messing up!

marie said...

I just came back from a meeting and saw Spunky lying there not moving. He has to be ok. I don't have the live cam at work. If anyone sees him move, please let me know.

hisdearheart said...

I *think I just saw Spunky move a wing. I can't be sure because of the camera. I'm still watching, though.

hisdearheart said...

I definitely saw Spunky move wings--he's ok! Whew!!

marie said...

Thank you so much for letting me know. Big Boy needs to chill and quiet picking on the little one.

hisdearheart said...

You're right about that! Now *I* need a nap after all that excitement! And since the "kids" have settled in, I think I will take that nap. I am so relieved!

MEMA Jo said...

2:41pm I have been watching all day but did miss the last 45mins. when you say BigBoy attacked Spunky. Unless there is food involved, where I have seen tugs-of-war and taking food from one another or if one accidentally steps on the other, I haven't seen any real agressive behavior between the siblings. It is usually Ms Inbetween & not BigBoy.It is extremely hard to tell them apart except for their size/coloring when they are beside eachother. My 12:46pm did comment on the nest becoming too small for all this jumping! I don't care for BigBoy's new perch right under the camera-He'll probably take off from there for 1st flight. I wish he would get back over to the other side where we have a better view! Since there is only 3 days difference in age between the two oldest, they just might do 1st flight together! I guess we have another week or two before we find out.

Kathy0717 said...

I love watching these babies! The girl in my office thinks I'm out of my mind watching them so much. I just read some of your posts out loud to her and she said "You're all nuts!" I know we aren't!

Kathy0717 said...

Do any of you know if they shut the camera down after the eaglets leave? Just wondering...

sunny said...

Kathy, I think I read somewhere that the camera would shut down sometime in June, after they've all fledged. Then what will we do with our time?

Kathy0717 said...

I don't know what I'll do, this has taken up a lot of my time and I've enjoyed it so much! This really will be like having your child move out for the first time..which hasn't happened for me yet, but will within the next couple of years... :(

Nancy said...

Kathy 0717,
I work at a university where we employ student assistants. One time last semester, one of our most reliable and capable students leaned into my office to get some help and when I slowly tore myself away from the computer, she said "Are you watching those birds AGAIN!?" Of course I said, no, I wasn't watching the birds again. :) Maybe our coworkers should start a support group!

Kathy0717 said...

I also work at a university. Our student worker jokes with my coworker about me and the eaglets. I've mentioned that during the summer when no one is around I'd really enjoy having the babies to watch.

MEMA Jo said...

7:51pm VERONICA: I had read your comment yesterday about wanting to see a live owl - I too love owls. If you haven't already looked at the Barn Owls on
beakspeak.com/birdcams
please do so. Some of the videos of the owls are great! I may post this again on tomorrow's blog to be sure you see it. Let me know what you think.

MEMA Jo said...

7:57pm Has everyone's live video been a beautiful blue with multicolored lines across the top for the past half hour or so?
Thank goodness it's almost bedtime for the eaglets and that the Eagle Cam is up & running.
Sure hope this clears up by morning. Don't want to miss any big events tomorrow.

Nilla said...

Just logged on to check on the kids once more tonight and your right the cam window is a beautiful shade of blue and stripe across the top..lol Well i for one will be watching the Falcon nest in Harrisburg Pa with 5 adorable babies, most of the time i have both live cams up in the corner..lol Only thing with Falcon cam its really close and very clear so any food brought in you can diffently see what it is and the chow down...LOLLL So anyone going to watch them beware.. Have A Great Night,Nilla

Nilla said...

Just logged on to check on the kids once more tonight and your right the cam window is a beautiful shade of blue and stripe across the top..lol Well i for one will be watching the Falcon nest in Harrisburg Pa with 5 adorable babies, most of the time i have both live cams up in the corner..lol Only thing with Falcon cam its really close and very clear so any food brought in you can diffently see what it is and the chow down...LOLLL So anyone going to watch them beware.. Have A Great Night,Nilla

sunny said...

I'm watching the eagle cam, and the clock is ticking, and the birds are moving around, but it should be getting pretty dark, and it's not! What's up with that??

MEMA Jo said...

Sunny...... Now I am really lost! You're right about the clock ticking the correct time, but as I watched,it was as though it was repeating the eaglets' actions. I do have the same multicolored ban across the top of this cam as is on the live blue screened video. I just know that by now they are bedded down and it is DARK! However, last night around this time they were enjoying a before bedtime snack with the adults.

sunny said...

I think the film is in some kind of a loop or something. There are about 3 different views that change back and forth. Awwwww.....

Veronica said...

jo-thanx for the site! Beautiful owl. I can't read the words though. It looks like the owl is in a cage or something. Can you tell - is it free?
It's after midnight and those lines are still at the top of the eagle cam. The babies look awake.

Veronica said...

I don't think the cam is working right. It looks the same to me as it did when I looked at it around 1am.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

5:59 a.m. Friday morning - Live feed still has the blue screen with stripe across the top. Hope it gets cleared up today. We are getting too close to the big day for things to mess up now. :)

Kathy0717 said...

I'm so sad to see the camera down again. I always enjoy seeing the babies eat breakfast.

sunny said...

Oh No! It's still broke!

MEMA Jo said...

8:30am Friday What a time for Steve to be out of the office! Hope he checks the cams & realizes our dilemma.
Veronica: The owl cams you watched are free birds - that is just the way they nest in barns.
I'm sure someone will alert us as soon as things get back to normal. I'll keep checking!

eagle-eyed sharon said...

8:36 a.m. It looks like the eagle cam is updating again. At least we have something now.

Nancy said...

All right, the eaglet stuff is invading my dreams ... while a lot of you were actually watching the web cam, last night, in what seemed a half sleep half awake state, I saw the first baby eaglet fledge. It just soared and swooped down off the nest - very beautifully and in control. But I immediately (in the dream) wondered if I was the only one to see it and if eveyone else missed it. Anyway, thought I'd share what perhaps will prove to be a positive omen for our babies first flights.

sunny said...

Sharon, those are still the same pics on the Eagle cam from last night. There are about 3 that rotate. They're from just before the sun went down.

sunny said...

I guess I'll have to go watch the falcons for awhile. And check out an owl or two!

Suzanne said...

Eagle cam is still down, same 3 pics. But the Falcon cam is up in Harrisburg, so you can watch the Hatchlings. Momma fed them breakfast about a half hour ago, watched them go to sleep and took off for a few. She hasn't been back and they are now awake and look cold. Little cuties. But you're all correct when you say the camera gets up close and personal during meal times. But I guess that's Mother Nature. But the Hatchlings are growing! When they fledge, a crowd usually stands below the building to catch any that may not make their first flight, so they're usually pretty safe when they fledge. If they fall, they're caught so they don't get hurt, and returned to the nest for their next try. They'res usually a crowd for the first couple days.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Okay, so maybe I was a little confused this morning. I need my eaglet fix today. HELP somebody!

sunny said...

Suzanne, that's really neat to know that the falcons have 'helpers' when they fledge. I just read a really sad story on the Blackwater blog about an eaglet that didn't make it. (but NOT one of the BW eaglets!) I'll have to check the Harrisburg newspaper when it's time, and see if they show any pictures of the crowd.

Suzanne said...

Sunny, it's kind of neat with the Falcons. They band the birds before the fledge, and that's on the net so you can watch it. They usually have a school group there for the banding, then the birds will usually fledge within a couple days. But during the banding they weigh the birds, figure out if they're male or remale, etc. A couple years ago they put responders(?) on a couple of the Hatchlings, so they could track where they flew. Watch the paper, or if you logon to watch the Hatchlings, scroll down on the right of the screen, they do Hatchling updates if something new happens...or when they're ready to fledge. They won't be ready to fledge until about mid-June I think. So after our Eaglets leave the nest (sad day for us all in a way), we'll still be able to watch some babies. I'm gonna miss those Eaglets!!

MEMA Jo said...

Jo-MD 11:00am Friday I just sent an email to NCTC hoping that someone there can get the ball rolling to have the video/cam up & running. I'll let you know when I get a reply.
Nancy - was it you or snother eagle mother who said you drive by the tree every day? If so, please take your binoculars with you & check out who is sitting on the edge of the nest or who is out on a branch!!!

Nancy said...

I think someone else drives by everyday, although I go by once in a while. You really do need binoculars to see anything (which I've never had). And to get a good look, you ought to park and get out, but I don't know where you can do that as that land looks to either be property of the NCTC or private property. If anyone knows where there is an "okay" place to view the tree through binoculars, let me know.

Veronica said...

I did not know you could see the nest from driving by there. I only live a mile away. I might just go try that. I'll take my binoculars and let you all know if I see anything.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Veronica, could you also take a video camera with a really good zoom and just feed it to us? LOL. Hey, any port in the storm. Do let us know if you get to see our babies. That would be pretty neat.

MEMA Jo said...

11:36am Friday JO-MD
VERONICA - GET GOING!!

MEMA Jo said...

11:38am Friday JO-MD
Just got this email from Steve !!!!
Jo,
There has been some sort of system failure on the cam. They have to go out to the tree to check it out. I'll put something up on the blog when I get to a computer, I'm in CT now...

Thanks,
Steve

Suzanne said...

Jo, thanks for sharing Steve's comment. Ask him if he or they will wear a web cam when they go out to the tree to fix the current broken cam. We're all going through withdrawal here.

sunny said...

If the main gate is open, you can drive in. Before you get very far, there is a Guard shack. The guard I talked to one day was very nice, and pointed out the tree to me. It's almost right in front of you at that point. There weren't any leaves when I saw it, so not sure how much you can see now. Take a good Zoom!

Joni said...

I hope when they go out to the tree to fix the webcam that they don't scare Big Boy and he takes his first flight before they fix the darn thing!! This is really starting to get to me....too many hours without sight...going through withdrawals...lol

eagle-eyed sharon said...

I am SOOOO with all you about the withdrawal thing. Watching falcons is okay but they are not the babies I have been watching for over 2 months. Not even near the same. They are cute and all but they don't even know how to not poop where they eat. They don't have that poop shooting ability our precious babies have!! LOL. :)

Kathy0717 said...

That poop shooting is the funniest thing I have ever seen! At least they have a clean nest.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Kathy, the first time I saw them do that, I sat here and laughed for about 10 minutes. I didn't have a clue why they were backing up to the edge of the nest and was afraid they were going to back on off. Then they fell on their face after that shot. It was hilarious.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

The falcons even poop shoot on each other. That is gross.

Veronica said...

I am back. I didn't see the nest any where! I sat out there forever looking around with my binoculars. I think some people from NCTC got off for lunch and were driving by me thinking what a nut. I just read the post about the guard shack and seeing the nest from there. If the cam isn't up tomorrow I will try that. I gotta leave for work now.

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Thanks for trying Veronica. I am glad I don't live close because when the camera down, I would have to just pitch a tent there or something! :)

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blogs--that's for keeping me updated. For Veronica - From Shepherdstown, once you pass the entrance to NCTC, you will come to the large farm house on the sharp curve. This is also a white house next to the large stone farmhouse. Look up between these two houses at the Birch(I think) tree, and you will see the next.

Janice said...

The only time I check the blog is when the video is down. I usually laugh at how you guys are so nutty! However, this is the 3rd day I have not seen the eaglets and I am going away for the weekend and I am now very concerned about not seeing them fly for the first time. I have watched since they started laying eggs and I am now about to join you all in desperation! I also watched the falcons but they are indeed gross! I would rather watch the blue screen in hopes of the eaglets getting back on line than watch those cute little fluffy piglets!

eagle-eyed sharon said...

Janice, welcome to our world!!! :)

sunny said...

Just who are you calling Nutty?? LOL!

Simon Langer said...

Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how it has a good feel. This is one to watch.

Regards,

bird binoculars

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