Thursday, May 04, 2006

May 4 Notes "and then there were two..."

Regular observers are aware by now that only the oldest two of three eaglets now occupy the nest. From notes submitted to this web page about six days ago, the largest chick likely killed the youngest. We've been watching closely to see a third chick, but haven't for almost a week. As we reported in our biologist's notes, siblicide is a natural occurrence for bald eagles and other birds of prey. What you are observing on the web camera is unedited, unsanitized, real-time nature - survival of the fittest. If you have been lucky enough to observe a feeding bout, you have a sense of the intense competition between the siblings.

Fish, birds, and other animals are being killed by the adults several times daily to feed the hungry chicks. At this age, the adult eagles are still feeding the chicks, but soon the chicks will start to learn how to feed on their own. Adult eagles require about one pound of food each day. The demands of both adults and growing chicks require several pounds of prey are procured daily. Predation is a natural part of the cycle of life. Life in the nest can be a tough experience and we may loose other chick(s) before this nesting cycle is completed.

I just finished watching a feeding this afternoon. The oldest "A" chick is noticebly larger and more aggressive. Naturally it elbowed its way to be fed first. The "B" chick is smaller and had to wait its turn, but both received a full meal. Both of the remaining chicks seem to be growing at a normal rate. You can determine if the chicks have been fed recently by looking to see if their crop is full. The crop is a food storage organ, which when full creates a bulge at the top of the chest (just under the beak). Adult eagles often consume dead animals (or carrion), which are often too large to carry away. The crop allows birds of prey to consume a large meal and fly elsewhere to digest at their favorite perch.

We received an interesting inquiry from Maggie, a second-grade observer from Bangor, Maine, about eagle cleanliness. After feedings, watch for the young eaglets to back up to the edge of the nest to defecate. This is the eagles' way of keeping a clean nest. The whitewash, or "mutes" as they are called, begin to cover the ground below the nest along with a collection of fish carcasses and bird feathers. The adult eagles still rearrange sticks in the nest and toss uneaten carcasses over the side. Some of the uneaten prey gets buried in the nest bowl. The chicks are getting to an age where they may play with an eider duck wing or fish tail. As the chicks get older the nest platform will be well-trampled by their activity. The adults will continue to freshen the nest periodically with a sprig of white pine.

What kinds of prey are these bald eagles bringing to the nest? We'd like to hear about your observations. For years, we gathered food remains at the base of eagle nests to better understand eagle diets in Maine. Over the years Charlie Todd identified 64 different species of vertebrates. Fish made up more than 75% of remains and were the predominant prey at inland nests. Coastal sites relied more heavily on birds and mammals. When we installed the web camera in mid-winter we found the remains of eider ducks and cormorants at the base of the nest.

Coastal eagles feed at a higher level on the food chain than interior birds. Fish-eating ducks (like mergansers) and cormorants have higher contaminant loads than fish. Thus, our coastal eagles have a greater likelihood of accumulating contaminants like PCBs and DDT. Even at this age, the young chicks in this nest already have detectible contaminants in their blood. They received some contaminants in the egg, but are receiving additional contaminants from their food. We will write more about contaminants and how they affect eagles in future biologists notes.

Mark McCollough, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

102 Comments:

Blogger dukeyboy said...

Sad but great update - I hoped what I had seen was erroneous. Looks good for # 2. As a Mainer, I had never seen an eagle, let alone anything like this.
Thanks from Brunswick

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again from Vancouver. It is May 4 at 1:24pm PDT. I see one eaglet on the far left screen picking away at what looks like to be a late lunch. This is the smaller eaglet. I can see the bigger eaglet sort of hitting the smaller one with its wings. It looks quite windy there today as the camera is moving a lot.

An update on the Hornby Island eagles. The last egg "imploded" this morning, and both parents ate some of the shell bits. Any particular reason why they would do something like this? Also, the female eagle continues to sit on the nest. Will they try again this year or is that it?

Thank you for your answer to my other question about whether you can tell the gender of the two remaining eaglets in the Maine nest. I am reassured by other posts that both are eating well, and that there is still hope for the smaller eaglet!

I also am interested in hearing you actually band these eagles. They don't do this here in BC. I wonder why. How do you band the eaglets without the parents abandoning the nest or attacking you?

4:28 PM  
Blogger cath said...

Hello from NJ - Just can't stop watching!

cath

4:35 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

May 4th, 5:55, the smaller eaglet has been walking around the nest with feathers in his mouth for about an hour--just like Mark told us they would. Thank, Mark, for all the info today.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, it is 3:11pm PDT, and the bigger eaglet is really whacking at the smaller one with its wing whenever it tries to move up from the nest. That same smaller eaglet looks covered in white feathers, perhaps from a previous meal of bird.

Also the screen has gone black & white, seems to have lost the colour.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the informative update! We humans sometimes forget the laws of nature and tend to put our human emotions onto animals which is why some of this is difficult for me to watch at times. I will keep your wise words uppermost in my mind as I watch life in an eagle's world unfold (and keep hoping that both eaglets survive).

TM
New York

7:40 PM  
Blogger silver said...

7:50 EST. Just observerd the smaller eaglet eating for about 15-20 minutes while the larger (which I have nick-named "Bully" was resting). Looks like one of the parents (I am assuming the mother) is trying to tidy up the nest.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Melinda said...

around the 8pm est i caught mom and dad at the nest. I didn't see very many large prey today seemed as though they kept meals little. (unless i missed a big one) i keep watching and watching and ohh nd ahhing.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is 5:15pm PDT, and it is dark on cam. Both adult eagles on nest. One has its head tucked on its back I think it is sleeping. I see two little heads bobbing up from nest. It must be feeding time as the other adult eagle keeps bending down and moving toward the eaglets.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is 7:15 PM CDT. I watched as Mom fed A and little B went to the other side of the nest. A ate and ate for a long time and little B just popped his head up ever once in a while. Pop came on the scene and I thought that he was going to urge B up to eat after A got full. I kept watching til I had to leave the computer to get some things done and I still haven't seen any signs of B getting fed. Someone, please tell me that the little fella got to eat.

Thank you so much, Mark, for the update. This is so interesting and informative!

Kaye in Texas

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family cannot stop watching. We have had sandwiches for dinner for two weeks now. This has really brought our family closer than we have been in years.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sad that we lost the little one.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the light fades at dusk the picture becomes black and white. I think the little ones walking around with feathers in their beaks are quite funny. Practicing to be big, like all "children" do! ~ Watching in Hancock County, Maine

9:16 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I've been watching this group from Orlando, FL. The website was published on our local news channel. It's been great to watch.

I, too, sensed the youngest eaglet died several days ago. My 11 year old daughter wanted to know what happens to the eaglet when it dies in its nest. Any ideas?

Linda

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday May 5 at 2:01am PDT, daybreak. Clearly see two eaglet heads that briefly popped up. No sign of either adult eagle. Still stuck on black and white screen, no colour since yesterday.

News from BC, Canada. They are setting up a new cam in Saanich which will be like this one just to give those that followed the Hornby Island eagle saga a chance to see live Canadian-born eaglets. I'll keep you posted, but meanwhile I am enjoying this and reassured to see two eaglets still in the nest.

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my stars. It is 2:33am PDT, and the larger eaglet chicks got up to the side of the nest nearest the branch, its back toward the water, and let go projectile poop or whatever it was out of its rear end.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have not seen any adult eagle since I last posted. It is May 5 at 3:05PDT.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adult eagle at nest. 3:23am PDT May 5. No idea when it arrived or when feeding started. Uncertain if it is male or female adult eagle. My guess is male because it looks small as does the beak.

Bigger eaglet first in line to gobble down food. Smaller eaglet waited off to right side. No idea what breakfast is today. Don't see feathers flying like last time. No idea how long bigger eaglet fed, and when it was done it moved off to side and disappeared down in the nest.

Smaller eaglet struggled to get up to adult eagle for feeding and fed for about eight minutes. Adult eagle would hold food off to side, making eaglet reach and grab for it.

Twice there was too large a piece of food, adult eagle tried to make it smaller for eaglet, didn't succeed so ate it and picked out another piece for eaglet.

No sign of bigger eaglet all the while smaller eaglet fed. After feeding over, eaglet walked back down into nest.

3:35am PDT, adult eagle stayed and continued feeding itself. Both eaglets popped up, adult eagle now sitting down in nest with eaglets. Seemed to do a bit of "housekeeping" and digging around in nest. Eaglets bouncing around.

A most marvelous window into eagle feeding and brooding. :-)

Adult eagle still sitting on nest. Eaglets quieted down. All looks well. 3:39am PDT, over and out.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Eagle Fan said...

"The Eagles of Maine". What a great book this would make with lots of pictures. And it would also be a wonderful fundraiser for future cams. Having watched the eaglets since hatching I would love to have a book showing their growth and life in the nest as I'm sure others would as well.
At 8 am this morning it appeared that two boats passed in the upper part of the video screen. Is there any sign there telling people to keep away??
As for eaglet #3 who is no longer with us, he died a violent death. The largest one just pecked and shook him to death. Every day I have to check and make sure the second one is still with us.
Love this addicting site and thanks to all who make it possible. Will there be a Loon cam this year as well?
Our pair of Eagles in Oakland are on the nest. The summer crowd hasn't arrived yet so think they will be undisturbed for another month or so. Thanks again!!!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Marian said...

I've been watching for a few weeks now and just can't pull myself away.

A few days ago I saw they had a rabbit in the nest. Eyes wide open, ears straight up and they were getting the food out of the side of it's neck.

It's sad to me the youngest died also. I'm wondering why the mother doesn't make sure the babies all get an equal portion of food but I guess nature isn't like that.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just observing the eagle cam and saw an adult eagle move the deceased chick up to the side of the nest on the edge. I understand nature but it was still sad. This was at 9:40 am.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:45 am est checking in.. i see today mom brought some sort of bird i was looking at both babies and it looks like they are both eating from mom right now she is feeding the littlest one (even though it looks that he/she isn't much littler). I know i fixed my speakers and herd mom yesterday holler but now i don't know if its me or if the sound is muted on the cam. but they are looking good in my opinion

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

It has been so awesome watching this eagle family. I feel as though they are a part of my family now!!!! I'm saddened by the loss of the smallest eaglet but understand it's survival of the fittest and am praying that the two remaining will make it to adulthood. I've had to pleasure of seeing two live eagles in the past....one being on the coast in my homestate of Georgia. The other during a recent vacation at Yellowstone National Park. Both experiences left me in awe and seeing this via webcam has done the same. Thanks for everyone responsible for sharing this with the public!!!!!

Susan

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

9:45 Friday EDT May 6th

It's SO exciting to see that the second eaglet is starting to hold his own. I just saw a feeding on the still cam where he stayed back only a little way, waiting for Bully to be fed! I think now that he's stronger, and getting almost as big, he's going to make it!! What a wonderful feeling.

P.S. I bet he can also PECK now!! :-) Maybe thath's why Bully has resorted to hitting him with his wings instead of pecking him!! I betcha he can peck back!! :-)

Or ... is that improbable, if he's submissive?

Jane E

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Logged on at around 9:30EST. When I first got to the site, could see both parents on the nest on the still shot, but by the time I got to the live cam, one had flown away. One had just made a food drop - looks like a gull (big, and white feathers). Before the adult started feeding, it moved something from the mid-front aread of the nest (closest to the water), to the left side... it was unquestionably the corpse of the dead 3rd eaglet!! The parent carried it by the beak to the left, and the picked at it a bit as if trying to pluck it's down. The parent then went back to the gull and fed the two remaining eaglets.

Eaglet A got fed first, and well, but then moved to the left and B got fed, quite well. Both eaglets gullets are buldging (as Mark explained), so both had plenty.

Unforunately, as I type, the parent has gone back to the corpse of the 3rd eaglet and appears to now be feeding it to the remaining two eaglets. Very sad, but I guess they don't waste anything. I guess we now know what happens to the corpse when an eaglet dies, or is killed. - MB in Cumberland County

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Friday May 5, 9:50am EDT) Breakfast is being served. Looks like a feathered friend. While preparing the feast, the parent picked up what looked like the dead third chick and moved it. Tried to get a screenshot but my memory froze up. Camera is getting a good closeup of the feeding. Excellent! Thanks again to everyone working on the Eaglecam. -- from Wash, DC

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they are eating the dead eaglet. The adult eagle picked at it for a bit, then turned to the bigger carcass which looked like a duck. After they were done with it, next was the dead eaglet which had been on the far left side of the nest. I managed to get two screen captures of that. Then you guys zoomed right in on the feeding on the eaglet, whoa, that was nauseating, lol, but that's nature for you, hey?

It is 6:57 PDT May 5. I have no idea what your time zone is so I apologize for using mine.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, I meant to say in the post I just made - I started watching today at 9:30AM EST, on May 5.

- MB in Cumberland County

p.s. It's now about 10am EST May 5 and they're done feeding - they were definitely feeding on the 3rd eaglet. It's completely gone. Right now camera is zoomed in on them - great shots of their buldging gullets. Camera has zoomed out and is panning to the right. The parent is now gone.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I seen all three babies. They were clearly in the nest moving around waiting to be feed.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:24am PDT May 5. Wow, that was one feeding frenzy. Was that a duck they were feeding on in addition to the dead third eaglet. I see both eaglets sitting up on top right screen, probably all pooped and sleepy from the feast. Adult eagle standing off to the left of the eaglets, sometimes looking down into the nest and st thc carcass at its feet. I think my appetite has been turned off...what a great diet aid this might be fot me! LOL

On a serious note, I wonder if that is what happened with the remains of the Hornby Island eggs. Some people are saying they saw a dead eaglet, but I have yet to see a video or screen capture. This is such a wonderful learning experience!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving this cam! Can someone tell me if it is always live, or are there sometimes replays? Thanks for all the great information and the terrific view of the lives of these magnificent birds!

mom25
Linda in Florida

10:46 AM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I understand that there is a link on the first page to make donations to the eaglecam and I plan on making my contribution. Hopefully, we will be able to watch this every year!

I was wondering if you could give us some perspective to what we are seeing. For example, estimates on the sizes of the adult male and female eagles, the overall size of the nest and the size of the "bowl" they live in. Also, how far off the ground is the nest?

Thank you again for this great opportunity.

Sheryl
East Waterboro, Maine

10:55 AM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

Sorry we were with this weeks biologist notes.
Charlie Todd has been busy flying all of the eagle nests in Maine to determine which nests are active and looking for new nesting areas. I've been busy working on Canada lynx and New England cottontail issues. Last year Charlie found 385 pairs of eagles in Maine. From some of the research we've done in Maine we believe that represents about 85% of the population.

Eagles will rarely lay a second clutch if their first eggs fail to hatch. We have only observed this happening a few times in Maine during the last 25 years. Other birds (grouse, turkeys, shorebirds) will often lay a second (or third) clutch if their first is destroyed. Its very unlikely that the Hornby eagles will lay a second clutch this late in the nesting season.

We will be banding eagles this year with a graduate student, Chris deSorbo, who is studying the contaminant levels in bald eagle chicks in Maine. As I described in the biologists notes, eagles can be good indicators of contaminants in our environment. Banding eagles involves placing an aluminum ring around the tarsus (leg) and securing it with a rivet. The band is loose around the leg and stays there for their entire life. The band has a unique number inscribed and notes about where to send the band if it is found. Bands help us to track the movements of eagles and gather important information about survival rates. We'll write more about banding and contaminants studies in future notes.

Your feeding observations are interesting. We're glad to hear the "B" chick is getting fed and has been observed with a full crop. Its unlikely, but possible, that the dead "C" chick is still in the nest. Occasionally, when we band chicks we will find a dead chick next to a live sibling.

Some of you are naturalists in the making. Your field notes are very helpful to Charlie and I, who don't have time to watch the eagles more than a few minutes each day.

Mark McCollough U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

11:45 AM  
Blogger Deb Sawyer said...

Sad to hear about the little guy dying, such is the survival of the strongest I guess. Love the cam, thank you for all the information provided

12:15 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Hi,
It's 12:21 PM in Pennsylvania. Been watching the nest off and on all day, finally caught breakfast around 7:30 AM. The smaller one kept eating for several minutes after the larger had laid down in the nest. This is so fascinating! My apartment is a mess! ;)

12:26 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

12:30EDT 5-5-06
Eaglet B still keeps distance and back to Eaglet A when it's feeding time. After A is done, then B makes itself available to receive a mean, and always has a full crop (whenever I've watched).

I watched the VA eaglets today and a question came to my mind. About what age do the head feathers turn white? I see a few white feathers on the 3 VA eaglets, but they are probably down, as they are on their back and wings. You see them more when these juveniles try their wings in the confines of their nest.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie or Mark,
Great work, love what your doing. There is a nest on my sesonal propert in Newport ME. Although active for many years (15+) and yelding twins a number of times, it's on it's 3rd season unoccupide. Is there any hope a nesting pair could return some day? D.B.Q. St. Albans, ME

12:49 PM  
Blogger autobody_gal said...

5-5 9:30 am california time. Well..looks like both babies. (which i have named Frank and Stein) are eating a wholesome breakfast (or lunch) Each taking its turn receiving food from the Mamma with no fighting...isnt that great! See...We CAN all get along. lol...Have a great day everyone!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fascinating! I've been watching for quite a while now, (since before the eggs hatched) and was saddened by the loss of eaglet #3, but understand that such is the way of life in the wild.
It looks to me like the parent is making the babies try feeding themselves with something s/he brought back to the nest and is tearing up into smaller pieces. The babies are picking up the pieces themselves, and #2 seems to be getting very proficient at it.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

2:30 PM Friday May 5th

Unless I'm mistaken the mature is shading the babies in the nest while they nap in the sun. She doesn't have her wings spread, but they seem to be lying in the shade her shadow provides, and every once in a while she looks down at them as though to check on them.

Do you think that's what's happening?

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Have been watching the cam steadily since the hatching. At that time chick A and chick B were close in size and chick C about 1/3 the size. The feeding was always chick A first than B and C, but C was being fed and both B and C picked on by A. Chick B also was more adventureous, going out on the rim of the nest and teetering almost to the point of falling out. The question is could the present chick B actually be chick C as the present chick B is so much smaller in size than chick A - keeping in mind the size of original A and B was not that much different? Or, is it possible that the sex of the birds could account for the now large difference in size between A and B? The web video was down during the time the third chick was lost so the opportunity to observe that occurrance was not available. As soon as the link came back it was apparent that a chick was gone.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've named them Chubb and Poop. Chubb oviously being the larger of the two and Poop for backing up in the nest and aiming his poop right towards the camera. Hilarious! He's the tidy one. I am awed by their majestic parents and their caring attention to these eaglets. Thank you for alowing us the priviledge to watch this family.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

(5/5/06)
Add me to the list of addicted fans of this Eagle WEB cam. I think we need to show our appreciation and desire for its continuation, by making a charitable contribution to BRI. It is valuable to the research and to the education of the general populance watching. I will donate, so please follow my lead (no matter the amount).

As noted by a couple other viewers on 4/27/06, we witnessed the dominant eaglet violently pecking a nest mate to its demise, and then toss it around like a rag. We witnessed what the biologist's know exists, a siblicide among eaglets.

Thanks to all who add their observations to this BLOG site, as it helps the biologists (and us naive spectators) learn more.

Scott

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Doralyn in Gorham said...

This morning (5-5-05) At about 9:50 a.m. the male eagle delivered a bird catch and flew off. The female went to it and poked around and dragged something out from under or to the back of it to the right and around the catch and then forward (toward the camera) and around the catch to the left of the catch and deposited it on the twigs. It looked very much like "our" lost third eaglet, soft grey and about the size it was when I last saw it on about Thurday last week (4-27). She carried it by the neck. She then pecked at the head and neck area, picked it up and shook it and dropped it and pecked some more. Then after about a minute, she returned to the catch, pulled out the feathers and began feeding the larger eaglet. I just read the comments posted since this morning, (it's now 2:15 p.m.) and no one else has mentioned this. Did anyone else see this? This is my first comment and I am making it because of Mark M.'s request for observations to help the study. I've been watching since early March.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

(5/5/06)
I am an addicted viewer from pre-hatched egg stage. We are being treated to a spectacular educational opportunity. Follow my lead, by making a charitable contribution (any amount) to BRI to say thank you, and to promote the continued access for you and the school children watching and learning.

As several viewers noted, on 4/27/06, the strongest eaglest violently pecked one of its nests mates to its demise. Then tossed it around like a rag.

Keep posting your observations, so we (and the biologists) can all learn more about the events and the type of feedings since no one (biologists included) can watch all the time.

Scott

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Friday May 5th, 4:40 PM

Someone else has probably said this already, but I'm sure she's sheltering them from the sun now. She has one wing spread out, and I can see a chick bobbing up and down in the shade of that wing.

What a parent. For something that soars so free, so high, and glides on the thermals the rest of the the time -- to be tied to that nest for over three months ... what devotion!! (if the weather is right, once in a while one sneaks a little soaring time, when it's his or her turn to be away from the nest!)

No wonder they have survived since the time of ... was it the dinosaurs or more recently than that? The ice age?

I shouldn't write so much. Don't mind if you don't post it.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Logged on at about 4:30 pm, May 5. One of the adults, I assume the mother, is sitting on the nest with her wings unfolded to her "elbows." Looks like she is trying to shade the little ones. It is relatively warm in Maine today -- some areas close to 80F and the sun is quite hot. JA in Augusta, ME

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 5 - 5:30PM EST

Laurie, as Scott stated, several of us saw when the third eaglet was "lost" on 4/27.. the camera was online then - working fine, and several of us were witness to the siblicide. The third eaglet, that was killed, hasn't been seen (alive) since.

Doralyn in Gorham, I think you might have missed some posts when you read the earlier posts from today. Several other observers, including myself, posted that we saw the adult move the 3rd eaglets corpse to the side, and then later feed it to the remaining two. So, not to worry - we can confirm what you saw. Was sad, and hard to believe that the body of the littest one would still be around after a week, yet... there it was.

Just a correction to my earlier posts I made today - earlier I posted that I saw the eaglets "gullets" were full, and I meant their "crops". Ooops! Oh well - hopefully everyone knew what I meant.

MB in Cumberland County, Maine

5:42 PM  
Blogger amyo said...

Yes, I too have become addicted to this! I find it quite fascinating! Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to witness this!

In response to Doralyn - I did see what I thought was a dead chick in the nest and the mother feeding chick A. I did not see chick B, however, and was horrified to think that chick A killed chick B and that is what I was witnessing. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I saw chick B pop his head out of the nest!

Let's keep hoping chick B continues the good fight, and gets bigger and stronger every day!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I saw the same thing that Doralyn mentioned. I actually gasped because I thought the small, dead eaglet would be long gone from the nest and couldn't believe what I was seeing. But it looked like a small eaglet to me as well. I didn't note the time and I didn't see the food delivery, but it was this morning and I saw the same sequence of events Doralyn described.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

I mentioned how long eagles have been around. Just looked it up in Mark V. Stalmaster: The Bald Eagle (1997) -- which Charlie Todd recommended to me. He says that "fossil remains of ancient sea eagles date back some 25 million years, long before the appearance of the first human beings."

Friday May 5th evening

7:22 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

Tonight I located an interesting site about the eagles:
http://www.eagles.org/vueaglewebcs/bio_develop.htm

Also read this:

"Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward. Not all feathers are replaced in a given molt. Until the bald eagle is mature, the replacement feathers are of different colors. As adults, the belly and back are dark, while the head is pure white. The distinct juvenile pattern, signaling that a bird is not ready to breed, may reduce aggression from territorial adults.

As bald eagles age, their eyes and beak gradually turn yellow. The white hood and tail feathers grow in sometime in their fourth year."

That information was found at:
http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle4.html

Now I have to leave and fill bottles for my hummingbirds.

Until Saturday - enjoy your viewing.

7:29 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

Just found another very interesting tidbit:
"One way to determine the sex of an eagle is to examine its beak. Females have deeper (distance from top to chin) beaks than males."

So those closeup cam shots will help when the pair isn't in the same shot.

I've really got to get a life, huh?

7:55pm 5-5-06 Lights out!

7:58 PM  
Anonymous From Vancouver, Canada said...

It is 6:52pm PDT. Completely dark on nest. Can see a sleeping adult eagle on right side. The reason I say sleeping is because the head is down on the body much like a duck or goose.

The Hornby Island eagles have likely left the nest. People have written to the forum saying they had not seen either eagle return to the nest. I am surprised as I thought that was their home for the rest of the season, eaglets or not. The tech. people are about to switch over to the Saanich eagles.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5-5 I have been watching since before the hatching. During work hours all of us at the office take a peek whenever possible. An interesting news story on a major channel in Los Angeles last night. They discussed the fact that millions (?) across the country were watching the eagle cam and I can only assume they meant yours. You can go to Google
and find many eagle cams but yours is the best. They also showed pictures of bald eagles in Alaska which are so numerous that you are fined if you feed them. The ground was covered with bald eagles much like our pigeons here.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for respond to our question about what happens to an eaglet when it dies in its nest. My husband thought it might become a meal. Oh well, that's life for eagles.

This has been so interesting!

Linda Lucero
May 6

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Sat, May 6th at 7 AM E.D.T.

A foggy morning on the Maine coast!!

I'm very surprised at how long the matures leave the nest, early in the morning. This morning I saw her leave at six fifteen AM and she came back aroud 6:59, apparently without food. (was watching the still cam until she appeared again so didn't see her actually "land")

When she returned the eaglets didn't hop up looking for food, and she doesn't seem to be feeding them. I'm sure the oldest one would have hopped up if she had brought food.

Now she's poking around in the bottom of the nest, and looking at them occasionally. Maybe she's hoping fo find something she can feed them. She also seems to look "out" for her mate -- hoping he will fly in with food, no doubt. The eaglets popped up once when she was poking around in the nest but immediately settled back down.

--> Can the eaglets SMELL food/prey?

I suppose she isn't gone very far from the nest, but it's surprising she is gone that long, especially in the cold of an early Maine foggy morning on the coast. She must know exactly how much cold weather they can tolerate and for how long.

But what about predators? Do you think that the eagles are able to take advantage of the fact that they are near a home ... in that there would be fewer really "wild" predators around? But there would be reacoons, surely.
Racoons don't pay much attention to human habitation, and they can raid eagle nests.

--> Do you have a predator guard on this nest?

Jane E.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous From Vancouver, Canada said...

It is Saturday May 6 @ 4:12am PDT. Looks foggy and cloudy today. Cannot see water. Windy too.

Looks like male adult eagle in nest because of its size even when sitting down.

Eagle is sitting with wings slightly out to the side as if to offer protection to the eaglets which makes me think it is raining thus the "wild hairdo" on eagle.

Both eaglets still alive, but they are not coming up for a clear view as to the smaller one's status. Will check in later. Ending 4:32am PDT.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Sat May 6th 7:54 AM

The still cam hadn't shown any activity until just now, when a mature evidently flew in with prey. Turning to the video, I am amazed to see both eaglets standing side by side for feeding, and the parent feeding the second eaglet as well as the first. With no pecking or aggression on the part of the bigger eaglet.

Now they are down in the nest so I can't see whether this continued.

Jane E.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 6 - 10:20am EST

I've been watching the nest a bit this morning and notice how many birds I can hear right now - I haven't remembered hearing this many in the past. I heard a crow very loudly (have heard crows on the past when listening), but also hear a chickadee calling (and mate responding), and just heard the call of a loon! I hear another bird as well, but can't make it out... perhaps a sparrow, or warbler.

There is no adult on the nest right now, and the eaglets seemed quite intrigued by the chickadee call, especially as it grew louder. I noticed that both eaglets seemed to be stretching their wings today (literally, not figuratively!)... and flapping. Certainly does seem like a lovely morning to soar - I'll bet they can't wait until they're old enough. But, definitely too soon to try right now - with nothing but downe still on their wings. Soon enough!

- MB in Cumberland County, Maine

10:29 AM  
Anonymous From Vancouver, Canada. said...

May 6 at 8:13am PDT. Darker eaglet just aimed at camera and let fly out its rear end. LOL.

Adult eagle seen perched on tree branch. See darker eaglet busily preening and standing up at edge of nest, perhaps calling to adult eagle. I have noticed it stretching its wings a lot, almost like it is trying to fly into the nest from its perch on the edge. It then walked down and disappeared from view, came back up, back to preening.

Other eaglet barely visible, I can see the top of its back, and it looks like it is sleeping. Popped its head up for a short bit and moved around. It is started to get as dark as the other eaglet.

One question I have is whether there is a "safe phase" when a smaller eaglet is no longer in danger of being pecked out of the nest or killed by its bigger sibling?

Whoop, second eaglet just got up and is now standing up looking around. Also doing the wing stretching, then it walked down into the nest. Adult eagle has not moved from its perch. Looks like the fog and cloud lifted and blue ocean water can be seen along with sunshine.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous From Vancouver, Canada said...

8:40am PDT. Noticed one eaglet up on edge of nest (right side) and the other inside nest. They seem to be fighting with each other. Back and forth, then at one point the bigger one sort of spread itself across the smaller one and pecked at it.

After a bit of that, this eaglet got up and stood at the edge of the nest while the smaller eaglet remained down in the nest, and tried to reach up with its neck to peck back at the other eaglet with no success.

Later, some wing batting between the two.

Bigger eaglet standing up picking at itself, at one point it fell over into smaller eaglet who immediately arose as if to defend itself.

Adult eagle continues to sit on branch. Their sizes are starting to become a bit more equal but there is still a bigger eaglet.

As one of them walked down into nest, the other pecked at its rear end.

Both eaglets now standing at edge of nest looking at adult eagle. I think it is time for another feeding, their crops look pretty flat from the side profile.

One eaglet just did a "handstand" quite amusing.

Quite a bit of wing flapping from both eaglets. They are also busy preening themselves, mostly their backs and sides.

I am not able to "time" each activity, but they all occur between the time I first enter the time at the beginning of the post and the end time when I sign off.

9:00am PDT sign off.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Around noon on Saturday May 6th while the parents were away the nest was visited again by what appears to be a one year old eaglet. (he doesn't have any white on his tail and is a dark brown)

The eaglets appear to be sleeping, and he doesn't appear to have any harmful intentions. He isn't looking in the nest for food or anything. I didn't see him arrive and don't know how long he has been there.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Sat. May 6th 4 PM

I saw a small bird, something that looked like a young bird, in the nest -- presumably as "prey" -- today, and it started me thinking. It's possible that the young bird some of you saw the eaglets eating a week or so after the sibling's death was something the adults brought to the nest. (I don't doubt maybe they ate the sibling, too, but the biologist said it would be unusual for the body to be in the nest a week later so i came up with this thought)

I THINK eagles will raid other birds' nests. Every bird around here screams when they see an eagle coming, especially the crows. I can tell when an eagle is coming before it gets here, because of all the crows screaming.

--> Biologists and retired biologists ... is it possible the eagles are bringing in young sea gulls or other nestlings from the nests of other species?

(the trouble with that idea is: I wouldn't think they'd be big enough to provide much of a meal for these guys now)

Jane E.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 6, 4:42PM EST

This afternoon I watched a couple feedings - eaglet A was fed first, while B remained submissive until A had more than his fill. I came on right after the adult returned with food, so I don't know for sure what it was they were eating - but I'm my best guess is fish of some sort, as there was no plucking of feathers involved. I'm guessing both feeding sessions involved the same fish. Both eaglets ended up with full crops, though eaglet A received MUCH more food than eaglet B. If he ate any more than he did, I swear his crop would burst! He looks almost ridiculous with a crop that full - what a piggy! It was so full that he seemed a bit top heavy, and had a hard time tipping his head down far enough, and bottom up high enough, to properly "relieve" himself, and ended up making quite a mess on himself and the nest (tsk! tsk!). However, I've seen him quite successfully "let loose" at least twice earlier today, and have seen eaglet B do so once today - it's actually quite commical! LOL! I'll bet kids would get a REAL laugh at it.

I guess, from our observations, eaglets are skilled at the same three things that most babies are... eating, pooping and sleeping!

MB in Cumberland County, Maine

p.s. I just noticed a bunch of posts that were added to the previous blog entry that I missed... I guess because this new blog entry was added before I read the last posts of the previous blog entry. At any rate, it was interesting to learn that all the noises we've heard (pounding, car door, voices) is because the nest site is near a house.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Melinda said...

5:37pm EST peeking in and seeing a imature eagle (or so it seems) sitting on the large branch toward the water. Little ones are napping at the moment.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Marian said...

It's 2:47 p.m PDT and the adult eagle just flew off. Both eaglets appear to be sleeping.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I am surprised at cannibalism (?)since food is plentiful and so long after the death. Could it be that to throw it out would alert ground animals that little ones are in the nest?

Barb

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday 5-06-06 8:18 pm EDT

Just checked in on them.....both adults are there. It's becoming very windy there, as here. Had sound tonight and got to hear the "young'uns" for the first time. It was harder to see the eaglets in the failing light because of their coloration, but the female, I presume, was giving them a bedtime snack about 8:14.

Can anyone tell me why it looks like light reflecting in her eye at this time of night? Thanks.

Watching in Morrill, ME

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday May 6

Around 11:00 p.m. (CST) both eagles on the nest. Appears to be stormy, with sudden flashes of lightning and thunder, windy. Both very active. Male (I think) moved out of camera view just a few moments . Then other eagle (female?) began making loud squawking noises which lasted about 30 seconds. Immediately afterwards, the male (?) returned into camera view and both began eating on what appeared to be a very large bird, probably white because it was visible like the eagles' heads in the dark. I could see a wing occasionally as she tore it apart. Hard to be sure, but I don't think the babies were fed. Both parents ate ravenously for a long time.

Do eagles hunt at night? And in a rainstorm? Or was this prey already in the nest? I'm not sure the male even left the nest, let alone had time to catch something.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Sunday May 7th

At 5:20 AM I looked in, and left the page on my desk top, checking the video occasionally to see whether the still cam was "stuck". As far as I can tell the adults did not return until 6:35 AM with the first food of the day. First there was a lot of screeching off camera, as though the eagle WITH the catch was calling to his mate to announce that he had food. (Come on in and feed these babies!) Only when they were evidently both there did they hop in with the prey. I missed the moment when they came in with it so I don't know what it is.

During that long period of time while they waited there was a little pecking and wing flapping between the eaglets. At tunes number two pecked back, and dodged and ducked like a boxer. He or she isn't totally submissive any more! :-)

Jane E

6:50 AM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

5-7-06 6:53am
Yesterday afternoon I thought it interesting to watch the mother give a beak cleaning to each chick. Whatever the meal was they gobbled so quickly, there remained bits on lower beaks of both. Mom noticed and picked them off.

This morning the smaller eaglet was first in line to eat and snatched the morsels quickly. The other eaglet worked her way up and in-between. The dominace began and she pecked the small head. The small eaglet turned his back and stayed that way for awhile.

I think the small has leasrned some tricks on how to get a meal, and which end to present to the sibling to peck at.

Mom's busy cleaning the mess her children made in the parlor. My hint to clean my own.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:55am Sunday, EDT ~ Just watched a feeding. Did not catch the beginning. Babies were sitting side-by-side facing the water and Mom. "Little" was eating heartily and, in fact, diving in and beating "Big" to the food repeatedly. Both would grab and "Little" would win! Only twice did I see "Big" display dominant behavior over "Little", at which time "Little" turned away, hunched down and stayed very quiet for about a minute. Then "Little" was back in there beating "Big" to the food again! Yay "Little"! A good part of the time "Little" was standing taller and over "Big". Momma seemed to be offering food to "Little" more often ~ actually by-passing "Big" to offer it to "Little". Perhaps "Big" had eaten a lot before I began watching. I saw Momma rescue "Little" from an overly large piece of breakfast. At times Momma seemed to dangle a long piece of meat in front of the two babies as if to challenge them to fight for it. Both babies' crops were so full when they finished that they looked as if they would topple over forward! Momma moved into the nest and the babies clumsily followed her. They actually cuddled against her breast ~ together! I enjoyed watching a feeding where "Little" wasn't being beat down by "Big" the whole time!! ~ Watching in Hancock County, Maine.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read in today's Maine Sunday Telegram that the eagle cam web site has received as many as 2 million hits a day. Wow! Now, we all know that many of us check in multiple times a day but........... if every person who checks on the eagles made just a $5.00 or $10.00 donation it would raise an incredible amount of money for this wonderful project. How about it? Anyone want to join me in this? ~ Watching in Hancock County, Maine

9:09 AM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

5-6-06 - Hancock Co - yes, I agree and wrote the check yesterday - sending a bit more though. It's a well maintained site and everyone works so hard to give us all a "birds eye view".

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Amius said...

I'm loving Eagle Cam! I know I should be revising but every time I get to go onto the computers at school I just can't take my eyes off them!!
Shame about the smaller Eagle but it was probably for the best. If it was out on it's own later on it may have suffered even more. It was obvious when I saw the smallest that it was going to find it harder in life.
Keep up the good work researchers! I really do learn a lot from reading your notes like what a 'crop' is!

Amius

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can commit to $20.00...come on folks...this is a good cause!

Deb Sawyer

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dukeyboy
Good feedings today -Its beginning to be difficult to tell chicks apart. Followed advice of anonymous at 6:09 AM - more than worth the money.
Watching in Brunswick 4PM 5/7

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been watching from north central Minnesota since just before the eaglets hatched. We live about 10 miles north of Sherburn County Wildlife Reserve. The eagles fly over on a regular basis and so very much enjoy them. Moving from West Texas, this has become an added attraction that I enjoy. I try and catch a 'peek' several times a day just to check on the little ones and how MUM is doing.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Monday May 8
5:52 AM

Have been looking in on the still cam for the last hour or so. It's dawn.

Every so often I take a look at the video to see what's going on in "real time". An adult has been sitting for at least an hour motionless on the branch overlooking the nest. At one point he or she stretched her wings and neck.... eagles STRETCH!!

The eaglets have been stirring around a bit. One of them stuck his head up and looked around, once. He stayed up for a while, and appeared to be eating or pecking at something that was already in the nest with them. He picked it up once and tossed it around; it was pretty big ... and flat ... perhap a wing?

The adult is behaving much like a new mother does when she tiptoes around the house hoping not to wake the baby!! She is remaining quiet, avoiding direct contact, which might get the eaglets excited and start them begging for food.

Presumably the mate is out hunting for breakfast.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a meal was brought back to the nest and both eaglets are feeding well. I noticed in the comments of May 4 that there is still a chance for further "siblicide." When is this no longer a risk to the eaglets?

6:30 a.m.
Linda

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm almost certain I just saw three heads in the next all in a row, with the mother sitting outside on the branch. Can this mean there are still three chicks??

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Jane E said...

Just saw a mature sitting on the branch cleaning his talons, after deliverng food to the nest. I SWEAR.
Pecking his talons, and swallowing whatever he pecked off them.

Gotta keep those talons clean and sharp!! :-)

But no sense in wasting any food, either!!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Redetta said...

After being gone for almost two weeks on vacation, I was astounded to see how the eglets have grown, and now down to two! Here in Arizona there is a nest on the Verde River, but I've never seen it. This web camera is exciting...allowing so many of us the opportunity to witness nature in this way. Thank you!

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Kerri said...

I can't take my eyes away..what a beautiful family. Thank you for this rare opportunity. Today I saw the babies eating along side of mom! I guess she doesn't need to feed them anymore. This is good because now they don't have to fight for food. Hopefully this means little one is safe from his homicidal big sibling!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My class and I are absolutely fascinated with this web cam. What a great way to bring nature into the classroom. It is amazing watching it. Thank you for making this happen.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 8 - 4:51PM EST

I logged on a minute or so before 4:30, and found no adults on the nest. At exactly 4:30, I heard mom eaglet nearby calling, and then she landed... empty handed. I could hear dad calling as well at that point, and mom let out extremely loud calls. This all happened in less than a minute, and then dad landed with food. Dad hopped to the front branch (closest to the ocean), and then flew away while mom fed the eaglets (it's amazing how apparent the difference in the parents' sizes are when you see mom and dad together).

I couldn't quite tell what the catch was at first, but now I'm rather certain it was fish of some sort (no feathers, no fur... and I'm pretty sure I spotted her pulling off a fin and feeding it to an eaglet, and then she had a rack of fish bones in her beak).

Both eaglets were fed simultaneously at first, and then "A" was primarily fed for a while - not because "A" did anything to intimidate B, or because B was cowering, as in the past... but "A" was simply super fast in grabbing food from mom's beak. B was very close by - even closer to mom than A, but just sat and waited patiently while A, with great speed, nabbed morsel after morsel... even grabbing some pieces that looked too big, not quite adequately "sized" by mom yet, but wanting to beat little sib to it. I'm not even sure how A was able to get the first bite down it's throat before it would grab another big piece. Finally B picked up the pace and got a little more competitive - made quite a few speedy dodges in to get food from mom before A got there. A didn't do anything to bully or intimidate B when B started being a bit more bold, so maybe A's "power" over B is starting to fade. Eventually they were being fed simultaniously again.

It's 5:03 and the feeding is over, eaglets are curled up asleep in the nest, and mom has flown off.

MB from Cumberland County, Maine

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Jane E. said...

Monday May 8th
5:08 PM

Since Dr. Owen asked us to put the date and time on our messages most of the "regulars" have been doing that. But the messages appear with some other time altogether at the bottom.

Does anyone have time to explain why that is?

This was written at 5:12 PM. Mon. May 8th.

5:15 PM  
Blogger kudzuarms said...

5:12PM May 8-06.
The Norfolk VA (triplet)eaglets seem to be doing well. Excepting for the coloration, it would be difficult to tell the mature parent from the juvenile. All 3 seem to be doing very well and getting along.

The 2 chicks in MA - at the Northeast Utilities site are also doing quite well, except I do not see much food lying around in the nest. The 2 eaglets get along nicely - big difference fromt the Maine (sea) eaglets.

This makes me wonder if the weather has anything to do with the dominace in the nest. Certainly, the ME eagles have an abundance of food compared to the VA and MA nests.

Does anyone know why this could happen?

The MA eaglets even cozy up to each other when the temps fall, and the one that is nearly 1/4 the size of the oldest eaglet will search the beak of the sibling.

Very interesting.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous linda said...

yesterday i saw 2 chicks in the nest and today i only saw 1. what happened to the 2nd one
linda

5:04 PM  
Blogger maflafajaf said...

both my husband and I are enjoying the experience of watching the eagles. What an opportunity this site has opened to those interested in wildlife. To actually be able to watch the chicks being fed and to hear them crying out is a wonderful experience... Thankyou for this.. Maflafajaf..

10:38 AM  
Blogger BettyD said...

I enjoy starting my morning before work viewing these eaglets. My office mates and I get a chance to experience being in nature from our urban office and it's very calming. Thanks for making this available for so many to enjoy!
Happy in California...

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that the smaller chick seems to be having a problem with one of its wings (left wing when it has its back to the camera? Could the wing be broken and, if so, what will happed to it?

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What times of day do the parents usually feed them?

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just happened to notice a what seems to be a problem with the smaller ones wing also. I hope we are mistaken.

2:22 PM  
Blogger kez said...

My children and I were watching the eagles today and were lucky enough to be in time to see one of the parents come in with a fish. We noticed that the smaller chick did not get anything at all from this meal until the parent flew away and then it moved over to pick at a few pieces that must have been left there.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Kempy said...

I've been facinated by this site since i heard about it on the Radio in Ireland. It was also in the National newspapers here. Keep up the good work. My site is about a Dublin Rugby League Club called the Eagles. I called them the Eagles 5 years ago. I guess i have a thing about Eagles: Must have got it from my late Father, he was big into birds of prey.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The smaller parent is on the nest right now 5:16 pm feeding the docile baby. The aggressive baby is standing off to the side. Feeding very tenderly small morsels in between bites for self. this must be the father. the aggressive baby is noticeably staring at the large chunk of flesh which looks like Chicken breast to me. (white meat). Now father is feeding the big dominant eaglet. such a thrill. The docile baby is picking at scraps left. father still feeding the big one. 5:18 pm

Lisa, Washington, DC

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are so animated when one of the parents is around. The father is happily gorging himself with meat obviously a bird or duck carcuss, the younguns are already full and have moved away and barely interested in getting any more. Perhaps they prefer fish. The siblings are mouthing to each other and the docile one made mouthing motions to the aggressive one as if to say Feed me what you just swallowed. or something.
okay its 5:38 pm and dad has now flown away

5:42 PM  
Blogger tom said...

IT THAT BIRD THE FALLEN EGLEETE?? IM REALLY CONFUSED NOW SOMEONE HELPPPPP LOL

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been watching the Maine Eagles for quite some time and I wish to thank all those who were responsible for allowing me to see this wonderful nature adventure. I was so disappointed to see the empty nest but life must go on and I hope that the Eaglets are well and healthy and soar high in the sky. Hopefully they will land on the nest from time to time and we will be able to view them again.
Thank you so much.

4:08 PM  
Blogger nubchai said...

Tom I'm confused too. When I last looked at the Maine nest it was empty. I think they may be looking at the Sannich BC eaglets. Not sure.

Sandy

7:29 PM  

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