Update March 22, 2007
The goal of this project is to provide a unique view into the lives of eagles, where we all see in real time the birds in both fair and difficult conditions. Eagles across the country face the same challenges as these birds do, including storms, physical injury, food shortages, and contaminant loads such as mercury. This is unedited real footage.
These challenges are real for these birds, but they have adapted to these conditions and have amazing abilities cope with what they face in the wild. Watching these birds weather major storms to keep their eggs warm, cope with injuries, and feed their needy chicks, shows just how hard it is for eagles and other birds to successfully reproduce.
What we can do as citizens and researchers, is learn from these birds and see through them what other eagles, birds, and wildlife are facing. What we are observing with this camera is unique. This particular pair is extremely successful. They have raised 20 chicks over 13 years. This is not common and we are very fortunate that they have laid eggs two years in a row. It is common for eagles to take a year off from nesting, or fail.
Many eagle pairs across the country and in Maine try and fail to successfully nest. Birds will start on the nest and abandon because of disturbance, they may lay eggs but not have the strength incubate through bad storms, or their nest trees may topple over.
Additionally, eagles in interior Maine exhibit some of the highest mercury levels in the country while coastal populations are exposed to contaminants such as PCBs. Contaminants such as mercury, PCBs, and others are associated with a variety of impacts on behavior, immune response, and reproduction.
Consider as you watch, that eagles across Maine are facing similar difficulties as they try to nest.
Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute