I was off the grid last week. I have recieved reports on the installation, and it all looks good. We still have some video streaming challenges, but they will be worked out.
Huge thanks to NCTC staffers Rob Ball, Clayton McBride, Susan DeStephanis, and William McWilliams for their hard work on this project. And thanks to our partners at The Friends of the NCTC, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, the Town of Shepherdstown, and all of you for your support, financial and otherwise. Finally we thank the Outdoor Channel.
New thread, the new nesting season is not too far away.
Our crane guy was out this morning to do a pre-work site survey. We are targeting the week of September 21 to go up in the nest. to install the new cam.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the new cam project, especially the folks at Hancock Wildlife Foundation, The Friends of the NCTC, the Town of Shepherdstown, the Eaglet Momsters and others (you know who you are).
The egg laid today is likely to hatch after about 35 days, aroundMarch 19. One or 2 more eggs are likely to arrive over the next 4 to 5 days, with accordingly later hatching dates. Although the female will likely do most of the incubation, both sexes have developed a brood patch and will continuously incubate the eggs, turning them every so often for even warming and to maintain a healthy relationship between the embryonic membranes and shell. The eggs must remain covered to avoid cooling.
Here's a note I got from Dr. Jim Siegel on my staff about the nest visitor yesterday. Jim has studiedsanderlings, scrub jays, great blue herons, brown creepers, hermit thrushes, and a few others pretty intimately, including their territorial, reproductive and feeding behavior. Observing eagles is a hobby for him, so here are his thoughts:
"Birds are instinctual creatures. If the male is bringing in fish without young in the nest (Feb 4) , he is provisioning the female - feeding her as if she cannot leave the eggs or young and making sure she is fit and healthy to reproduce. The fish may have attracted the sub-adult (Feb 5)
I am not convinced the sub-adult is a fledgling from 3 years ago just hanging out and visiting its parents. Fledglings of long-lived predatory birds have to disperse widely from home or they will be constantly competing with their parents who may live for decades in the same place. Every young born cannot stay home and wait for their parents to die;…