So, now that the eagles’ nest in Decorah, Iowa is not up and running this year, where can we get our “eagle cam” fix?
That’s a question that many are asking since the pair of bald eagles that have provided so many hours of entertainment the past two springs are nesting in another tree that is not equipped with a camera.
Bob Anderson, executive director of the Raptor Research Project in Decorah, Iowa said that he hopes to install a camera in the new tree after the nesting season, but unless the eagle pair suddenly returns to the old nest there will be no eagle cam from Decorah this spring.
The project does have live streaming of other bird nests, and to get them, go to www.raptorresearch.org and click on bird cams. There are more than two dozen cameras monitoring peregrine falcon, turkey vulture, and barn owl nests, plus an eagle cam in Colorado.
Two of the peregrine falcon nests are at in Wisconsin at Alma and Genoa.
Disappointment in nature also raised its head in Minnesota, as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a live eagle cam on a Twin Cities nest where the female eagle laid eggs in early January. Viewers were looking forward to the hatching, but the eggs never hatched and the DNR expects no eaglets this year.
Fortunately, there are other eagle cams aimed at nesting eagles. One of the most watched nests is located on the grounds of the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Steve Chase, chief of the Education Outreach Division for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at NCTC, said that the pair of eagles produced two eggs in early February and have been expected to hatch “any day now.”
“The female eagle built the nest about eight years ago with another male but they weren’t successful in producing young for the first three years,” Chase said. “They finally had three eaglets in the fourth year.”
The pair had problems however. One season, the cold weather left one of the birds on the nest with snow up to its neck. The eggs did not survive.
Drama continued as the male was driven off by an “interloper” male and the female wouldn’t leave the nest. The one eaglet produced that year died.
The new male now is paired with the female and they produced two eggs this year.
“This cam is used all over the country by schools. Some have the cam up for an hour every single day just so that kids can watch,” Chase said. “We want to engage young people in the outdoors, and one way is through technology to bring the birds to them.”
To see this nest go to: http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam
Chase also suggests that people can go to http://www.beakspeak.com/index.php/birdcams and see a list of bird cams from many locations around the country.
There are also sites in Wisconsin that are worth checking out.
Pat Fisher, of the Feather Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in New London, has cameras on several nests, including a great horned owl known as “Miss Harvey,” that is incubating eggs.
Fisher also has an eagle nest that is monitored with a camera, but a great-horned owl took over the nest. The camera is accessible by going to http://www.thefeather.org and scrolling down and clicking on the writing next to the photos of the owl and eagle.
Fisher’s cameras were installed by Gary Bunnell of Shiocton.
“With technology now you can share something people haven’t seen on the internet around the world,” said Bunnell, who is looking for an osprey nest upon which to install a camera.
Bunnell also has river cams at Shiocton, Fremont and Shawano to monitor sturgeon and walleye runs, and how their patterns change during the day. In the fall he has wild deer cameras in Outagamie and Forest Counties. The video can be seen at http://www.wolfrivercam.com.
In Blair, the Blair-Taylor Elementary School partners with the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minn., with an eagle cam.
A male and female are tending to the nest, although the female has an injured foot. Eagle watchers were treated to the sight of an egg on March 9. Live video is available at Eagles4kids.com.
Greg Septon manages WE Energies peregrine falcon nest sites near Lake Michigan. Some of the cameras provide images that are taken each hour but two cameras will have live streaming video during the nesting season.
Last year, 83 young were produced at 27 nest sites.
“In the last week I was able to zoom in and positively identify six adult peregrines at their nest boxes,” Septon said. “When I think back and the days, weeks and months I’ve spent trying to identify peregrines using conventional means such as spotting scopes and binoculars, what can be accomplished today is truly incredible.”
CHECK OUT FALCONS
Here are some links to Peregrine falcon web cams:
We Energies nest sites: http://www.we-energies.com/environmental/peregrine_falcons.htm
US Bank — Milwaukee nest site: http://www.usbankcenter
Malteurop — West Milwaukee nest site: http://falconviewer.com
Racine County Courthouse nest site: http://falconcam.goracine.org/view/viewer_index.shtml?id262
WPS Green Bay — Pulliam & Rothschild — Weston nest sites: http://www.wisconsinpublic
Madison Gas & Electric nest site: http://www.mge.com/about/falcon/index.htm
UW-Milwaukee nest site: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/biologicalsciences/falcon/
UW-Oshkosh nest site: http://portal.housing.uwosh.edu/falcon
Contact Tim Eisele, a free-lance outdoors writer, at email@example.com