Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 23 notes: TRIPLETS (3 eaglets hatch!)


Several astute observers of our live-streaming video recently reported glimpses of a third eaglet. We agree!! Finally this morning, I clearly saw a third fuzzy little head rise above the nest rim. Wing Goodale at BRI captured this great shot from the eagle cam archive tape showing a feeding of the triplets later that day.

As Bucky and Mark have both noted earlier in our Biologists' Journal, significant hurdles remain for the survival of all three. Adequate foods for rapid eaglet growth, no disturbances that displace adults from the nest, no adverse weather spells, and low dietary exposure to contaminants are all important to survival of our triplets. Last year, only one nest in Maine successfully reared 3 eaglets to fledging.

For viewers that rely on the still-image updates, extra patience may reveal all 3 young eaglets. There is a slight depression in the nest bowl (the soft lining at nest center) that hides smaller, prone nestlings. Be on the alert at feeding time, because eaglets sit upright and crane their necks upward to be the first in line for feeding. The adults will likely stand to grapple delivered food or may change places with one another: either way, eaglets may suddenly be more visible!

Barb called me to attention at 8:20 this morning as the image update revealed a standing adult with its head turned sharply and beak wide open: something is up! Either this is a greeting to a mate (maybe arriving with a meal) or an alarm call to an intrusion. The next refreshed image 30 seconds later revealed one eaglet straining for the first food morsels shred by an adult bent low over the nest. After 2 more image updates, the head of a second eaglet emerged. After an interval of 6 minutes (12 image updates since the first signs of breakfast), the third eaglet wanted a turn! This order of dominance will likely last for another week or two. By that time, larger eaglets should be visible except when being brooded or shaded by a parent.

Management comments: The availability of foods is a major influence on nesting outcomes. Nest locations close to the food supply are optimal so nesting along shorelines is always preferable. Notes by Edie Miles, a technician observing a Penobscot County nest during our research years ago, reveal a key advantage of nesting close to the food supply: "I had not seen the other adult for several hours when the female arose from her brooding posture over the eaglet. In one fluid motion, she stood and launched into flight over the river .... returning 30 seconds later with a fish! Not only was she guarding the eaglet in the male's absence, the female was also watching for a fish to rise."

When an adult is facing away from the eagle cam at this site, it is scanning adjacent coastal waters and tidal flats. We hope those keen eagle eyes find enough meals for the eagle cam triplets. -- Charlie Todd, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

80 Comments:

Anonymous Ann Dunnewald said...

Tue. 11:25 Mtn Daylight Time
I was worried after last night. But now I see all three are hungry and up in the nest!! Thank you for your notices.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous pam said...

Thanks for the update !! Its been so much fun to watch this nest.
Greetings, Pam

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Karen F. said...

Yesterday I saw one of the adult eagles holding an eaglet in it's beak. The little one was hanging, limply, by the back of it's neck. Is this normal?

Thanks.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I watched the next off and on for about ten minutes. Eaglets were unattended but on a return visit, mother had arrived with food. It is fascinating to watch the order in which the 'lets' are fed. Oh heck, they are just prescious!
A friend, MA

6:52 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I'm a little worried about the youngest eaglet today. I watched the parents bring some small fish to the nest ( smelts?) and the smallest eaglet was pushed to the back and only got one bite of dinner. I hope he had eaten well during the day!!! The parents tried to reach the smallest eaglet with the food, but it was snatched up by the two older, stronger eaglets. I guess that's nature. Thanks so much for the opportunity to watch this.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

The audio was working when I checked in with the eaglets this afternoon. I could clearly hear the eaglets begging to be fed. This is really amazing!!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched the end of a feeding this morning (Thurs. 4/27) at around 9:45, and the smallest eaglet was definitely getting his (or her?) fair share of food. The eaglets were spread out a little more than they were yesterday afternoon during the fish feed, so the little one didn't get crowded out - and seemed to be a little more agressive, making sure she didn't miss out. I love watching - and enjoy sharing it with friends and family who are "away"! Thanks so much for this opportunity! - MB

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The three eaglets are up and about this afternoon (2:52p 4/27) and its obvious the size differences between all three, I didn't figure it would be that noticable, but it definately is. The biggest one was just taking some "flaps", pretty funny. Mom/Dad is just barely visible sitting on a branch beside the nest.
-Jake

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved watching the little eaglets until I watched what appears to be the oldest and the strongest killing the other eaglets. I hope that I'm wrong about what I saw. Watching nature at it's best is exciting but watching nature at it's worst is devestating. Thank you for allowing us into their world...good or bad. DEM

4:53 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Definately a problem with the eaglets today. Looks like the largest has killed or will kill the other two. It's hard to watch, but I haven't seen the parents feed them today. Has anyone else seen this?

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen all 3 eaglets over the past 3-4 days. Today, about 6:40am, white the mother was on the nest, a wing appeared in view and she spread her wings and changed direction and was quite vocal. She remained defensive for quite a spell. The dad brought in a crab (you can see the legs squirming) and everyone was feed quite well. Even the smallest one.

These shots make my day! Thank you all so very much. My great-grandson (age 8) has gone to the library to learn more about their plight.

Nancy

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching and saw one of the eaglets shaking what looked like one of the eaglets...it appeared to be dead. One of the adults has returned to the nest and can now see 2 eaglets moving about. Camera is off to the right today, so not getting a good look at nest as before.
I do want to thank you for this wonderful site! To see mother nature at its best is amazing! I can't express my gratitude for this wonderful knowledge that you have made available to everyone!! Thank you very much!!!

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/27/2006 - 5:45 EST

We observed the eaglets while neither parent was in the nest. One of the eaglets was being very aggresive toward the other. Is this "playfighting" similiar to what you see in cats/dogs/etc? Or is it common for one of the larger/stronger ones to try to harm the smaller/weaker sibling to increase his/her chance of survival?

Kathy and Jean

5:52 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

It is simply incredible to watch the eagles and eaglets. The first thing I do in the morning is check in on them. It's such a wonderful way to start my day. Thanks for the opportunity. Becky

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed watching this so much and reading your information. What a wonderful surprise tonight to hear about the 3rd baby. I wish I could watch all day!!
Thank you all for everything you have done.
Glenda VA.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

today I observed the oldest baby attack both of its siblings. I hope that all 3 survive to maturity. I have been following this webcam since March and am amazed at how fast the babies have grown. I would recommend that parents watch with their children so that they can turn it off if necessary. Survival of the fittest can be brutal; however it is a great educational tool in the right hands.
Pat, Burlington Ontario Canada

11:54 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

6:00 am, Watched a feeding this morning, only the largest eaglet was eating--Doesn't look good for the other two. Apr. 28

6:44 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

7:00 am My mistake, 2 eaglets and eel for breakfast. It's amazing the 2nd eaglet survived the serious trashing yesterday.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

I've never heard of eagles moving their chicks around the nest by holding them in their beak, but I suppose its possible. Biologists rarely have an opportunity to observe bald eagle behavior this closely during the early chick-rearing phase. You could be observing behavior never before seen or documented by others!

As we've written previously, if there is adequate food and the weather cooperates, then there is a good probability that all three chicks will continue to flourish. If there is a shortage of food, then the youngest chick(s) may not survive. This is nature's way with birds of prey. The chicks are different ages and sizes. If food is in short supply, then only the oldest (largest) chick will survive. Its better for eagles to produce one chick than none at all. Thus far, your observations suggest this pair of adults is doing a good job of provisioning the nest with groceries! All three chicks look healthy and are growing.
Mark McCollough, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/28/06 9:06

Thanks, Mark, for answering some of the questions here. What about the questions regarding the larger eaglet bullying/thrashing the younger two (especially the smallest)? Is that normal for eaglets? And as someone asked, is that "play", like cats and dogs do, or was the larger one trying to kill the smaller two? I witnessed that incident as well yesterday, and it seemed like they hadn't been fed in a while, so I wondered if it was so agressive because it was hungry. I admit, it was disturbing... although I realize it might be "normal" behavior. Btw, it's exciting to think we may be making new discoveries about young eagles! : ) - MB

9:15 AM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

Friday 4-28. I believe that tiny head is gone and only 2 remain. Both fed well. I heard a squeeking door, then a vehicle leave the area (8:20am). At 8:41 one or 2 dogs barking. 8:50am camera zoomed in during a good feeding. 9:02 camera zoomed back out. The 2 eaglets were both well fed. Next time someone comes in the truck can they yell a "howdy" to us - we truly appreciate all your hard work and effort.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have been watching the cam since sometime in February and just found this blog! What a great experience this has been to watch these eagles and now eaglets.
Thanks for sharing this site with us.
I hope all 3 babies are OK. It disturbed me reading about the little one. I have been pulling for him since I first saw him.
Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity to watch mother nature at her best.

Lisa, TX

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we down to one now? Thanks for info and for this wonderful site?

A watcher in Morrill

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Jane Edwards said...

I watched the eagles get up this morning, about six thirty. There was evidently food in the nest with them. Would you believe the big chick stuck is head up and yawned?? I didn't know eagles yawned!!

There are definately two chicks left. The second chick has learned to be totally submissive to the older one. As soon as the adult moved over to do the feeding, the older aggressive chick moved right over there and got all the food. The second chick kept back and kept his head down and was ignored by the adult throughout the feeding of the first chick. Once or twice the second chick stuck his head up and when he did the first one picked at him strong and hard.

Every so often he tentatively stuck it up, and as the first chick was evidently satiated, he paid less attention, so the second chick figured it was "safe" to move forward. Little by cautious little he moved forward, and eventually stuck his head up. He also moved to a higher place on the edge of the nest, evidently trying hard to be seen by the adult. The first chick stayed back out of the way. THEN and only then the adult began to feed the second chick. Boy, did he wolf down the first couple bites.

The pecking that someone described here must have been to literally establish "the pecking order". The second chick is submissive to the first chick. When they are able to feed themselves, when the adults just drop food in the nest and leave, it will be interesting to see if he continues to be submissive and cautious.

I saw no sign of the third chick.

I don't agree with the biologist that the third chick will survive if there is plenty of food. I think there's more going on here. The third chick was at too much of a disadvantage when the oldest one began establishing his dominance. Maybe the result varies depending on how far apart the eggs hatch, or how big the oldest bird is, or even how perceptive the adults are about feeding that third little bird. The adult I observed paid ABSOLUTELY no attention to the second chick until the first chick was satisfied. But maybe she "knew" that finishing feeding the big chick was the only chance she had to feed the second one successfully.

Perhaps we have three eggs and three chicks in more nests than we realize.

Jane Edwards
Winslow

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 29 ~ Though saddened to find that one of the babies has apparently not survived, I was thrilled this morning to see two active little ones stumbling around the nest. It is amazing that such an awkward little creature grows into such a magnificent bird. The parent watching over them this morning seems quite aloof and not really paying much attention, even when they cry and get close. I am curious as to whether that is a stage in the development. Momma seemed so dedicated and attentive just a week ago, and now seems less so. Thanks so much for bringing this amazing experience to us! ~ A fan in Hancock County, Maine

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday 9:10-9:15 am. I just saw one of the adult move what looked like the third baby(dead) eaglet from right to left of the nest (screen). I am sorry to hear that the larger of the babies has been fighting, yet as the saying goes, the strongest survive. Thank you for all the hard work.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/29/06

I watched a feeding around 9:30ish this morning, or I should say, a feeding in progress, and both remaining eaglets seemed to be getting equal amounts of food - and were being fed simultaneiously... the parent alternating between the two. However, I have no idea how long they'd been feeding, and how the first part of the session went (i.e. if the larger bird hogged all the food at the start or not).

On other note, yesterday afternoon at around 3:45pm I heard a loud vehicle door slam, some pounding or chopping noises (about three or four) a very LOUD engine (perhaps a boat engine?) roaring - got progressively closer and closer, and men talking, and one yelling rather loud. It didn't seem like behavior I'd expect from biologists, so I was a little concerned some folks had located the nest. The parent eagles were quite vocal about the intruders.

10:05 AM  
Blogger mainefem said...

Momma is most probably *exhausted* from the entire ordeal....

::wink::

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/29/06

Seems like only a few days ago, the adults placed the food directly in the eaglets' mouths. This morning (about 9:10 or so),I noticed the adult eagle held the food a little further from the chicks, forcing them to reach further for it.

I add my thanks for this wonderful site. I have passed it on to others, who are equally thrilled by it. JA Augusta, ME

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I'm hoping I read wrong,but did you say one of the babies is gone??

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad to hear about the third eaglet. I have been watching another bald eagle cam in CO, and they have three chicks who are flourishing. It's nice to see.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Jeewhiz said...

Sunday the 30th at about 4:20 PM I saw a big eaglet without any white on the tail sitting on the branch near the nest.

One of the babies was "screeching" a little but I didn't hear an adult eagle anywhere.

If this was one of last year's eaglets, will it attack the new eaglets? Or just try to take any food in the nest? I know they do THAT (try to take food) as I've seen them try to do it at the nest near my house.



Jane Edwards

4:26 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

04-30-06/5:50pm
I watched 2 mins of the biggest eaglet pecking on its sibling. The mother turned to watch, but ignored it - so I presume they're on their own as to who survives. I'm pulling for both to make it.
I watch 4 other eagle cams - so I have a slew of notebooks to keep records in. This one is my favorite!! My sister sent me this site and now SHE calls me an Eagle Junkie! Humph! And I'm proud of it - never ever thought I'd have this opportunity. Thank you so much.
63 y/o and enjoying the sights
Atlanta, GA

6:05 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Sometimes nature is hard to watch, but even though the smallest eaglet is gone, the middle eaglet knows just how to survive and I have a feeling he'll be fine. He's getting plenty to eat and before we know it, he'll be as big as his big sister. I have so enjoyed watching the eagles and sharing this with my family. My 2 year old grandaughter goes to my computer when she comes in and says " Gammy, momma eagle!!". We love watching, good and bad. Thanks.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Jane Edwards said...

I was real happy to hear that Saturday someone saw the eaglets fed simultaneously and without incident. Perhaps the biggest problem is early in the morning when both are very hungry.

This morning (Monday May 1st) I again watched what I think was the first feeding. At first eaglet number two kept its head down and stayed back. Then he stood up and the big one lunged at him -- and fell forward flat on his "face" into the bottom of the nest!! (serves him right!!)

I wonder whether the fact that they see the parent's pecking at the food, and tearing it apart, and then it's fed to them has anything to do with this pecking behaviour? Maybe it's all they know. It's all they've seen of adult behaviour, so far and there's a big reward associated with the pecking behaviour.

Or am I trying to overlay human motivations and learning behaviour onto them? I can't wait to read what the biologists say about all this!!

Jane Edwards

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Marylou; ME said...

It is 11:15 AM on May 1, 2006. I have been trying hard to see if there is one or two little ones. I clearly just saw two heads. The stronger of the two seems to be leaving the other one alone! Let's hope all will go well.
Marylou

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She seems to be trying to teach them how to eat on their own, not just from her beak. Whatever meal they are sharing is/was quite large! Can anyone tell what it is?

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I just found that I too can leave blogs about what I see from the cam. I too noticed the thrid baby missing. If I'm not mistaken, it is uncommon to have two babies survive much less three. If these two continue growing and thriving as they have been they should both do very well...Im so glad to have found this link. I love watching what we normally cant see. Great Job!

2:06 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I've become almost obsessive-compulsive watching the eagles! Being in Australia means that your day time is my night time so I am getting dark cirlces under my eyes from lack of sleep.

It is fascinating to watch Mother Eagle at work.

Thank you for a wonderful lesson in nature.

Liz
Victor Harbor, South Australia

2:46 PM  
Blogger autobody_gal said...

I, too, have noticed the third eaglet has been missing. How sad. If I'm not mistaken it is rare to have both eagles survive (depending on food supply) much less three. Great job on allowing the public to view such an outstanding event. Thanks BRI!

2:50 PM  
Blogger autobody_gal said...

Kudzuarms, you mentioned you watch other "eagle cams" would you care to share the web sites??

2:53 PM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

You have all made interesting observations. As we explained in several of our "biologists notes" there are times that the younger eaglets do not survive. In some instances a chick will die if not enough food is available. In other instances, a chick can die if it is killed by its sibling.

Perhaps this is what occurred in this eagle nest. The last egg may have hatched substantially later than the others placing the third chick at a distinct disadvantage, even if there was plenty of food available. Biologist rarely get to view eagles during early nesting. Its too risky to approach nests closely during this time period. Too much disturbance could cause abandonment of the nest.

Charlie Todd is just completing our annual survey of bald eagle nests. At this time of year, we fly all the eagle nests to determine which nests are active and to search for new nests. The overflight lasts just a few seconds.

This particular pair of eagles has shown limited tolerance to human activity and have consistently produced young every year as long as they have nested at this site. As the spring progresses we may hear some nearby human activity. It will be interesting to observe how the eagles respond to this occasional human activity. Many eagles on the coast of Maine are exposed to boat traffic, particularly lobster boats. Eagles seem to grow accustomed to this routine activity.

Keep up your astute observations!

Mark McCollough, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At around 11:30 a.m. I saw mama arrive at the nest with what appeard to be a seagull. How amazing to watch the whole feeding process from start to finish. I am soooo hooked and so grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of an eagle's world. Thanks so much!

TM
New York

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About mid-day today (Monday) I watched momma feed the babies from a herring gull. Once they had finished, the larger baby repeatedly tore at the gull, each time coming up with a beakful of feathers. Very funny! The larger baby is definitely fed first and the smaller stays quietly to the side, as if waiting until the other is satisfied and it is safe to approach. The smaller one did step up before the larger settled down today and the smaller one was not attacked. Thank goodness! Thanks again for giving us this amazing window into the natural world. ~ Watching in Hancock County, Maine

10:33 PM  
Blogger Peppermint said...

It is amazing to be able to watch and be a part of this. Sad to see only 2 babies but they seem to be gaining more head control and standing less wobbly today.. Hope all goes well. Breakfast time for the little ones.
Peppermint

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 2, 2006
I've been watching for about a week and a half and have been very fasinated - thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to visit their nest. I'm from East Texas and I noticed yesterday afternoon and again today that the weather there seems to be pretty nasty right now? What is the temp. and is it raining or just heavy mist? Kaye's curious in Texas.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

It HAS been pouring, and it was something else to see that drenched eagle sitting there protecting those chicks!!

Right now it's just "overcast" but rain off and on is forecast for the next four days. The temperature here at one thirty Tuesday afternoon is 44 degrees. I'm inland an hour from the coast, and a bit south-west of the nest site. It could be a little milder there.

This is the kind of weather that could have really endangered the eaglets if it had happened last week when they had just their first down. Now they are getting their second down which is a bit thicker and warmer. So they have a little bit more protection.

I guess they have to come out in the rain to eat.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also been watching for a week or so. It is raining here today and is going to be raining for a few days. It is in the low 40's.
Thanks to everyone for allowing us to view this amazing site. I have learned so much about eagles I didn't know and I live here in Maine with the wonderful creatures! Keep up the good work.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I haven't seen #3 for a couple of days. Do we still have 3? I'm concerned something has happened.
Thanks for this informative sight!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Jane Edwards said...

The parent eagle seems to be just moving the food around in the bottom of the nest and letting the eaglets feed themselves. Perhaps this is what is happening -- I only saw the head of one eaglet briefly, so far.

Once this happens, if the prey is large enough for both eaglets to eat from different areas at the same time, perhaps the second eaglet will be able to eat at the same time his sibling does without any pecking or interference.

I hope so. If anyone sees what's going on, please tell the rest of us!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was delighted this morning (Wednesday) to watch momma feed the smallest one until it no longer begged for food. It seems the babies have established the routine and (literally!) the pecking order. It was great to watch the little one wolfing down breakfast! ~Watching in Hancock County, Maine

8:56 AM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

What is that machine that is being run? The momma eagle is sitting on the nest and is quite upset.
Wed. morn 9:35 5-3-06

9:41 AM  
Blogger autobody_gal said...

do you ever catch yourself talking into your monitor at the two babys saying "Play Nice!!!" or is it just me? lol hope everyone is having a great day!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wednesday 5/3/06 11:20 am

Mom is away from nest. surroundings very noisy. Sounds like heavy equipment or chain saw. Two eaglets very curious. Both look strong to me, seem to have established their own space in nest. This from the eyes of an amatuer. Lucy

11:27 AM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

I was worried this morning 5-3-06. There was so much noise, truck about 9, then a machine like a sawmill (couldn't have been) everytime I checked back. I couldn't stand the noise and mom eagle was considerably annoyed.

It's 1:40pm now, and I finally saw 2 little heads so now I can stop running back to check on this site. My house needs dusting!

OH! Autobody_gal. Used Google advance and on first line put (without ") and say "live cam" next line "eagle" and then next line "nest" - you'll find several sites.

Enjoy

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Suddenly the cam went into zoom mode. These pictures are incredible!

2:10 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

GREAT closeup shots of the feeding just now folks! Thanks to our Biologists. It was duck again (or gull) and both babies are having their fill. So impressive. Glad I stopped back by.

5-3-06 2:13pm

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed watching the eaglets.
I am worried though because today May 3rd, I haven't seen the third
eaglet. Is it still alive?
Thanks for this.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane e and "anonymous" for the weather information. I'm glad Mom was doing her job by keeping them sheltered. Just before Noon I saw both adults at the nest for the first time. I was so thrilled!Then when I came back from lunch the camera was on zoom and it was just incredible! Both babies and Mom looked great. Some of you keep talking about hearing sounds...I have speakers turned on, but have never heard anything. Is there some setting that I need to know about?

Again, thank you so much for the info. and for this wonderful site!

Kaye
5/3/06 1:56 P.M Texas time

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Jane from WInslow ME said...

As for the sound, I don't think there's anything you have to change. Mine comes and goes, is perfect once in a while and non existent most of the time.

Same for the still camera. A lot of the time it's "stuck". Then you have to look at the video to see what's up.

I watched a feeding just now (around five PM Weds May 3 and the second eagle stayed down, and across the nest, evidently trying to "lay low" and not make any motion that would attract his sibling's attention. The big eaglet again got all the food.

So far the smaller one didn't get a bite. Both matures flew off and were screaming like crazy. Something must be going on around or below the nest.

Second eaglet stuck his head up once to look around and "whack" got knocked over. Big eaglet came over to his side of the nest, and second one is laying low again.

Jane from Winslow ME

5:43 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

It's great from all of your comments to see that so many people are interested in wildlife. Keep up the good work!

Cheers, Paul

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5/3/06 7:43 pm (Durham, NC)
I saw both chicks briefly, and they seem to be OK. Both parents are at the nest. One is making a lot of noise, calling frequently, also fussing about with something in the nest (leaves?).
Ooo! Now the mate has come into the nest too--very exciting! That's quite a full house.
Thank you for this wonderful resource and your hard work. I wish I could watch the cam all day!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever see a nesting family of bald eagles! Thank you, BioDiversity Reseach Institute and sponsors! As an addicted fan to the National Zoo's PandaCam, I have found the cure. Trading one addiction for another! I believe I read that the third eaglet died. From watching the eaglecam, I can definitely pick out the Alpha Eaglet. Saw him run off the younger one earlier today during a feeding. Beak wide open and wings flailing. That's just nature I suppose. What a special treat.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

May 3rd, 7:51 pm, both eagles were just at the nest---Easy to tell the male from the female when they are side by side. The male is feeding the eaglets but I can hear the female close by. Looks like the smallest eaglet got a couple bites to eat. Not much food on the nest tonight--just feathers left from the gulls. The warm weather this afternoon has given the eagles a break from the nest.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happened to check in between 8:08 and 8:15 pm on 5-03, later than I usually do, and so enjoyed the interaction between the adults. She was making a softer different noise than I have heard before. Hadn't realized before that he came to the nest to be with her for the night......This is such a WONDERFUL learning experience, thanks so much to everyone involved in letting us share it

Carolyn (In Maine)

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm writing from Vancouver, Canada, where there's an eagle cam on Hornby Island near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, the two eggs that were hatched there in March did not hatch. One egg disappeared and one is left, but it is almost day 42 and it is quite possible there will be no eaglets this year.

Since I was doing a lesson plan on the life cycle of eagles I looked for cams that had eagles with successful hatches and I think this is a wonderful cam! So I moved my class over here last week, and e have been following the habits of the eagles and eaglets, both good and bad. I noticed there has been no updates on the blog since April 23 and I'm reading the comments here but I need verification from someone who actually is researching these eagles. Am I correct in reading there were three eggs hatched, but right now there are only two eaglets left because the bigger eaglet committed fraticide (killed it). Our class has noticed this same eaglet attacking the other one and are worried it will meet the same fate as the first eaglet. It is quite disturbing for us to see, but we have read this is actually normal, even expected, and the bigger eaglet will try to kill all its siblings and the parents will do nothing to stop it. It sounds horrible to us, but apparently this is perfectly normal in nature and the wild. I do have one question that we've been trying to figure out. We can tell which is the male and female adult eagle, but how can you tell whether an eaglet is male or female at this stage and when do you know for sure its gender?

8:55 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

Watched oldest eaglet eating and receiving large pieces. One piece too large to get down and mother kept trying to take it back - she finally won and got it. It seems some pieces, maybe thin and long, are difficult for the baby to swallow but she watches as the baby appears to be struggling and resizes the portion.

Good mommy.

5.4.06 GA time 6:45

6:53 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

May 4th, 6:50 am--Both eaglets fed a big breakfast. I think the smaller one actually ate more than his sister. Interesting behavior with the parents last night--the male and female were both on the nest at nightfall and it looked like they were preening each other. Could they be getting ready to raise a second brood? I haven't seen them do this before.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

They won't raise a second brood unless this one fails.

They will be very busy caring for these eaglets. They will feed them at the nest even after the eaglets fly (in mid to late July)

Even after the eagles fly, they will probably continue to come back to the nest to roost and for a while the parents will continue to feed them there.

The parents will also take them to the nearest foraging area and demonstrate how to fish. It is hard to learn to sight on the fish with your eyes, figure out the fishes direction and rate of speed, descend on him with your feet (no longer being able to see him), grab him, carry him to the nearest perch, and try to eat him without dropping him. I find this part of the process hilarious (except for the human interruptions by boaters, etc)

I am not a biologist, just happen to live in a Maine "essential habitat". My kitchen window overlooks the section of the Sebasticook River in WInslow which is nearest the nest.

The parents remain very devoted and very attentive, and one of them is always within "hollering" distance. If an eaglet cries out for them, one of them shows up.

Eagles have a fairly long life span, and a prolonged "child hood" (you can TELL I'm not a biologist!)

Jane
Winslow

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

Excuse me. I forgot. These particular eaglets will have to learn how to catch sea gulls and ducks, more often than fish. I don't know whether that will be easier or harder!!

I did once see a young eaglet try to pick up a duck from the river, but it was too heavy for him to fly with. He finally let go of the duck and it struggled off and hid in the bushes on shore.

Either way, for a young eaglet, learning to catch prey and "support" yourself is a challenge! They have ravenous appetites and will be as big as the parents or bigger when they fly.

Jane

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Bucky Owen said...

5/4:1300 Hi Everyone: First, when you send in comments please include the date as well as your observation time. Sue and I watched an extended feeding session yesterday (5/4 0630)during which the largest eaglet was fed until it would take no more at which point it retired to one side of the nest. Its nest mate stayed out of sight until the adult was free and then received a full meal. Jane Edwards 4/28 hit the nail on the head when discussing factors affecting survival of chicks. Age, size, aggressiveness, food availability and adult behavior are all important. Dominance and aggressive behavior are part of survival and as Charlie Todd mentioned, fledging one strong chick is important. Unfortunately, the third nestling was very small and couldn't compete with the other two. Eaglet number two shows submissive behavior and will probably make it but will fledge days after number one. Rember,eagles are very long lived, and to maintain a stable population, only need to replace themselves once in their lifetime. Since Maine has a rapidly expanding population many more young are being fledged than are simply necessary to keep the population stable. Last year we received the carcass of an eagle Charlie and I banded 25 years earlier; this was the second oldest eagle know to be in the wild.

Renesting in eagles is rare and generally occur if the eggs are lost early in incubation; never after hatching.

The female eagle is 2-3 pounds heavier than the male and from my observations, the female is tending the nest most of the time. It is impossible to tell the sex of the youngsters even at the time they leave the nest. When we band them, we list sex as unknown.

Maintaining a strong pair bond is important if they are to work cooperatively in raising a family. Mutual preening, feeding and vocalizations are important in this regard. We watched extended vocalizations between the pair when the male returns to the nest.

Many of you have remarked about the noises around the nest. This pair is nesting very close to a house and has become used to this disturbance. They chose the nest site after the house was built. As our eagle population expands we are seeing increased tollerance to human activities which bodes well for the future. This was not the case in the 1970's and 80's when nesting birds were easily disturbed and often abandoned their nesting attempt..

Keep up the great observations; many of us are seeing this bevavior for the first time.

1:42 PM  
Blogger jvixen said...

I have been away for a few days and was surprised to see only the two babes when I returned. Both seem to be thriving at this point. I am unable to get sound and have only intermitent video but I keep persisting in looking. Like many of you I am astonished at being able to see this whole process and will continue to watch.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Hi all!
I'm kinda new to this...about a week...
Today I see that the babies are actually laying along the side of the nest...is this normal or are they sick?

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Please update the notes. The last notes on the main page are from April 23rd. Thank you very much. Barbara.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Jane E. said...

Thurs. May 4, at 4:52

For those who don't know, Bucky Owen is a very respected figure in Maine, a retired professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Maine, and former Commissioner of the Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Definately an authority!!

I hope you will tell us more as we go along, Mr. Owen, because I know the active biologists are busy "in the field" doing a survey and census of the active eagle nests in Maine. We probably have more questions than they can answer at this busy time in their work lives.

The biologists fly over the known bald eagle nests at least three times during the nesting season, to ascertain which nests are active this year, etc. They also look for new nests, so that they can "list" them and monitor them in the future. This is because the eagles are an endangered species and closely monitored.

It's quite a job with all the nests we have now. Maine is a large state and that's a LOT of flying!

Jane

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful experience this is! Thanks so much, BRI, for making it possible. I can't believe how much the chicks have grown since I started watching last week.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Jane E. said...

Friday May 5th at 2:49

Please celebrate with me. I just got news that Vermont has it's first eagle chick in 65 years! They've been trying to help eagles get established in northern Vermont, but this chick was born not far from my birth place in southern Vermont on the Connecticut River!! (North of Brattleboro, South of Bellows Falls) Vermont was the only state without nesting bald eagles!!

Coincidentally, the friend who send me the clipping about this will be getting a letter I mailed today that is full of pictures from the eagle cam! :-)

Life is Grand!!!

Jane

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Tracy in Minooka Illinois said...

It is 4:33 pm here in Chicago Illinois , one parent has just come to the nest with what appears to be a fish ???? After the parent tore off peices for the oldest one it did indulge a little and only then was the youngest allowed to eat except when the parent took the food back from its mouth ........... I love to watch this cam but boy does watching come with many emotions

5:43 PM  
Blogger dave said...

this is better than the montel williams show or tyra banks or tv for that matter......when i am observing it becomes medatative for me...i never thought bird watching could be so facinating...these babies are a wonder to watch.....they have always been one of my favorite birds....i love to watch the parents feed them...
thank you so much for giving me the opertunity to view this facination...
good god.....

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw one of them fall out of the nest today. Does any one know if it's OK? I haven't seen it since it fell.

5:12 PM  

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