Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yesterdays Behavior

Good morning. As many of you witnessed yesterday afternoon, the birds left the nest for three hours. I’m not sure of the reason, but the behavior is one that should make us pause and consider the possibility that this years nesting attempt may fail. Nest failures are quite common for eagles and all birds for that matter.

This year the birds have weathered two intense storms within the first couple of weeks of incubation. They have been diligent, but the cold may have taken a toll. We simply don’t know.

I am sanguine that the embryos in the eggs are developing and that all is well. However, we should be prepared for the fact that the eggs may not hatch. Last year we were fortunate the birds successfully raised chicks. Eagles face many challenges as they defend territories, prepare nests, incubate eggs, and tend to their chicks.

Already, we have had a unique glimpse into the intimate lives of these birds. As we watch nature unfold in real time, we are seeing just how difficult eagles and other bird to raise chicks every year. This pair has been extraordinarily successful and they hopefully will be again.

On a technical note: we are working on the live stream today and it may not be accessible at all times. The ad that you are seeing is part of the work we are doing with a collaborator and will only be on the stream for a short period of time. It is apart of testing that we are doing today.

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will try and be optimistic that these loyal birds will have some success. I think we all understand that nature cannot be always predidtable. I have not developed a heart that accepts the defeats without great saddness. I will still hold onto a hope that their efforts will be rewarded.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx so much for the information, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best for these great eagles......they definately have been through some rough ones lately!! Wendy in Maine March 29 10:41 a.m.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Thanks Wing for taking the time and giving us your thoughts. It is greatly appreciated :o)

I am still very worried about the male eagles leg. He came into the nest awhile ago and it still does not look good. I think that this may also be a factor. I don't think that he is able to get the prey he once could and the female eagle is having to go out and hunt on her own. I have only seen him bring food to the nest a few times.

I will remain optimistic but I am very worried this year.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracey in Houston...
Thank you Wing for the insight and quite possibly sadden disapointment of the nest failure, HOWEVER, I beleive they have sacrificed and edured the hardships of nesting, not to mention their dedication of parenting.
I just can't imagine what took place with mom and dad during the "nest absence" yesterday.
These eagles will prevail!
3-29 10:02 AM

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great information. It would be unfortunate if there is a failure because that would affect the fund raising. People would be more apt to donate money when they see the young being raised. I've already donated and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have a success here. If not, I know there is always next year and even if the eagles are not successful I know there are many other nests out there that will be. They're just not on web cam.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is with a heavy heart that I read the information from Wing...yes, the feelings are there, and no, I am not thinking like a scientist...
I, too, noticed their being gone for a very long time yesterday.Thank you for the update and your thoughts on these two magnificent animals.
It's funny to hear this news today as my class and I have just started to plan a "birthday" party for the chicks once they are hatched!We are all still praying for success.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mar 29, 2007 11:55AM (EDT)

I was wondering where that ad was originating from; I thought I'd left a browser open.

After checking the 2006 nesting, it reminded me the weather was much better in Feb/Mar. I didn't go back farther than 2006.

Yes, nature could take its toll here; but we have to continue to use a 'wait and see' attitude, while still remaining optimistic.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wednesday March 28

This is a funny movie Will made late yesterday afternoon. Dad was in the nest and didn't want to get out. But Mom wanted to take over. She found a way to make him leave!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon, that was an excellent report. I hope Mrs E thought so, too!!

You have learned a lot. And I can tell that you did research about eagles. You did more than just watch them on the eagle cam.

Good work.

What Grade are you in?

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 29th
12:23 AM

Do these eagles have an alternate nest site?

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I forgot that Kudzuarms also posted a video of the episode. Sorry K.

Actually hers was posted before the one I posed of WIll's, but I didn't see it so I posted his, too.


kudzuarms said...
Mar 27, 2007 7:45pm

Cute video of Mom figuring how to get Dad out of the nest bowl, so she can start incubating the eggs.

Dad just didn't want to leave; he was so happy and comfortable.

He was the same way back in 2006 - wanting to incubate the eggs and even after hatching, he enjoyed protecting them with his body and wings.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Anonymous just asked: Do these eagles have an alternate nest site?

These eagles have been at this nest site for many, many years.

Here is Charlie Todd's Feb. 15 blog entry from last year on this subject:

This is the 11th consecutive year of eagle residency at this site. Construction of this nest began in October, 2005. In just 10 seasons of use, the nest has grown to a two-level structure: each measures 3-4 feet in width and depth. The lower level appears to be residual debris from the original nest that partly fell after damage to supporting limbs. Our eagle 'cam is zoomed in on the "top floor" portion of the nest to optimize views of upcoming breeding activity.

Management comments: Bald eagles are notorious for being highly selective of nest locations. Some Maine nests have been used for more than 35 years and thus were likely home to 2 - 3 generations of breeding eagles. The annual addition of nest materials can lead to enormous structures over time. A Sagadahoc County nest measured 20 feet tall and 7 feet across when first discovered in 1963; it was estimated that eagles resided there for 60 years or more. Even when nests must be relocated to a new tree, the alternate nest is often built nearby. Their loyalty to traditional nesting habitats is the basis for effective land conservation initiatives, environmental regulations, and stewardship efforts of landowners. All habitat protection strategies have proved important to eagle recovery in Maine. -- Charlie Todd, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

1:27 PM  
Blogger MITS said...

What is that black object in the nest to the right of the eagle???

1:54 PM  
Blogger MITS said...

What is the black object in the nest next to the eagle?

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to remain optimistic 3:02 Eastern time, Mama left again. After Wing's comments, I am wondering if, indeed, the trials are too great for this pair this year.

If there is a bright side if our eagles have to give up, At Least We Have Each Other.

Watching and waiting and reading your comments to keep up with the progress. Take care...
Lisa in Maine

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:25 Eastern Time March 29

She's back. Here's hoping...

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoping someone at BRI has time to answer a question: If it should be that the embryos have not survived, at what point would the eagle pair cease sitting on the nest? Will they sense something is wrong before the "due date"? Or will they continue to sit on the nest until after the the last egg should have hatched? Just curious.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like another wild ride in the nest again today, maybe next year they will opt for a condo!

4:42 PM  
Blogger gigi 1 said...

I'm getting an IBM add. Where did that come from, are they sponsoring? Today I checked in and it appeared that both birds were on the nest, are my old granny eyes deceiving me? 3/29

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like this tree is so high it's in the jet stream

5:00 PM  
Blogger Krumm said...

I wish the eagles well! We are watching a pair here in East Texas. Although they do not face the cold, I am sure Texas weather is still a challenge. :) It is already reaching into the high 80s here. It's March! We will keep the Maine eagles in our prayers and let you know the outcome of the Texas pair. Happy eagle watching.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:45pm EDT Thur


Video 2 continues to bring up the error message "Windows Media Player cannot play the playlist because it is not valid."

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching the site today these birds deserve to have a successful hatch. That wind is something else. I find myself holding on . We had it windy today but it has died down. I hope that happens soon. Not too many writing today. Don't give up. There is always hope.

Bev in Alberta, Canada

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I was feeling silly sitting here for hours re checking the nest...How incredible nature is!I was so glad to see a white head tucked into the nest when it was already dark.
After contributing we can recycle...seriously, we all have to make a dent and help the magnificent creatures.
My whole Emergency Room is watching. Thanks for the update Wing.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Gillian M. said...

Hi, all -

I had to buy a new computer recently and ever since I did I haven't been able to get the still images to appear at all on the main page, let alone get them to update every 15 seconds. All I see is a gray box with a tiny little x in the top corner. Do I need to change a setting on my computer to get that to work? Because the live webcam isn't working I can't check the eagles at all from home. :(

Thanks for any tech help anyone can give, and a wholehearted thanks to BRI for allowing us a glimpse into these birds' lives and for sharing their knowledge and research with us. You guys rock!

Gillian in Ottawa

8:56 PM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Thursday, March 29 ... 10:00pm

Though I am glad to see Mom still on the nest, I am still very worried. I hardly saw the male eagle at all today at the nest and Mom must be wearing down with all of this wind, no incubating breaks, and no food.
My optimism is beginning to fade regarding the eggs and now I am just more concerned with the health and well-being of Dad Eagle.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

To the user with a new computer: download Java from

Wing Goodale, BRI

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also noticed an odd object in the nest on Thursday. With the wind howling, however, the image was not very clear. Have we figured out what it was? Hope today's weather is better suited to our two beautiful eagles.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 30th, Friday
6:17 AM

This is especially for Mrs E's class.

Since Mr Goodale warned us that it's possible our eggs won't hatch, here's a movie WIll made of the Norfolk, VA, eaglets, to cheer us up.

They are old enough to have their second "feathers"; I forget exactly how old that is. More than a week, I think. Maybe you can research that question!

The first feathers are yellowish "down", almost like a little chicken's, and give no protection from the weather.

This will give you an idea of what it's like to see eagle parents caring for their young.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 30th
6:58 AM

Thank you Lori for looking for info about alternate nest sites.

As rar as I know, "alternate nests" are within the same "territory" of a pair of eagles. As quoted in the biologists remarks you posted:

"Even when nests must be relocated to a new tree, the alternate nest is often built nearby. "

For instance, I live within a state designated Bald Eagle "essential habitat". "Our" eagles have three nests in their territory. The "territory" is a larger area that they use for nesting and foraging, and that they protect from other eagles who might want to nest there or fish there, etc.

Each of the three nest trees here has a state-designated essential habitat area around it. The three "essential habitat" areas overlap one another -- they are so close together.

One year racoons raided the eagle's usual and apparently "favorite" nest. So they nested again and raised an eaglet, in one of the other nests.

I wonder whether the BRI eagles could start over at an altnernate nest, if these eggs fail to hatch?

They CAN build a new nest "from scratch", I guess, but it would help if a second nest was already built and all they had to do was freshen it up!!

7:11 AM  
Blogger nRT said...

I am hoping for the best for the Eagles but we did have a tough few weeks. It is still an honor to be able to watch this devoted pair take care of eachother.
If all fails...we've had the privilege of Wing and the gang keeping us informed and we will still have the loons to look forward to.
But I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
thanks to all for allowing us to be apart of this magnificent experience.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:34am mom left nest

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:37 someone is back

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:43am-7:48am mom gets very vocal for dad- almost non stop, then hops to a upper limb and goes nuts again---7:50 dad returns to nest

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the problem of no still picture (updated every 15 secs) with just a box with a red X. Figured out that I needed Java. Googled Java and downloaded it and now I have the picture!

9:05 AM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Friday, March 30 ... 9:30am

Thanks so much for that great nesting information. I remember reading about your local eagles last year too. We have an eagle couple in my small Southern Maine town that have been quite successful every year raising young. As a matter of fact, our eaglets got banded last year. They really are such magnificent and majestic birds and I never tire of watching them.

I agree...I am also looking forward to the loons again this year but hopefully with a happy ending. The heartbreak of last years outcome was sure hard to take.

Has anyone seen Dad this morning???
The crows are sure raising a ruckus this morning but at least the wind has died down at the moment.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does dad's left wing stay up because he can't tuck his left leg??

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:33 AM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Fri, March 30 ... 10:43am

Chatter between the 2 and now I know that it is indeed Dad on the nest from his voice. Mom is finally getting a much needed break.

Dad get up and flies off then immediately comes back. His leg does not look quite so bad today but he's still not bending his knee.
My favorite part is when they do the thing that I like to call the "brood patch boogie"... That's when they settle on the eggs and do their little wiggle to get the eggs in just the right spot :o)

Does anyone remember from last years incubation period how much prey Dad Eagle brought back Mom on the nest? I seem to remember that he brought in food quite often but I'm not 100% sure. I think I will go back and re-read last years blog entries.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracey in Houston said...
Thank you Wing for the info to get the still images and updates on my computer. I too have been only able to see the gray box since last year.
Looks like a calmer day.
Still praying for success.
03/30 10:18 AM

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome work and I have faith things will be well! Thanks for the updates and this wonderful chance at viewing theses birds. Fail or not people donate to this awesome resource!

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday March 30th

Will's movie, showing improvements in Dad's leg, from his landing this morning. And where improvement is still needed.

Friday Mar 30th at 7:50.

Below the line are my comments, not Will's. I don't have Will's permission to quote his comments here, just to post his movies! :-)

*************************************************** Will has done a lot of research on the leg of an eagle, the leg muscle and the tendon, and the way movement of the knee, and the foot are controlled. He is watching carefully for certain changes in the way Dad uses his leg.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Lori - ME said...

Friday, March 30 ... 11:57am

Lots of eagle chatter and dad gets up and leaves...
Mom is back and on the nest.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday March 30th
11;58 AM

After watching the morning's first next exchange, live, and in Will's movie:

I think Dad is using his foot a lot better but still can't seem to bend his knee. He still has a hard time "walking around" in the nest, since he can't bend his knee. He has to hold his leg out straight, and try to lift it over the loose materials like moss and grasses in the nest bowl.

However being able to open and close the foot will be a big help for perching, and for catching food. I also think he'll be safer around the eggs now that he can "ball up" his talon.

I'd be interested in what others think as they observe Dad landing, and coming in to the nest.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There appears to be what looks like part of a white picket fence in the nest this morning. Dressing up the place before the blessed event? Wow. The fortitude and creativeness of these beautiful creatures never ceases to amaze me.

-- Liz (W,DC)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this site!

Am curious though to know what body of water is showing in the pictures and video. Is this southern Maine of Northern Maine. My,how the winds see to be howling much of the time!

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"RETIREMENT"--After 38yrs as a letter carrier in CT,"WONDERFUL".
--The knowledge and video on this site---"PRICELESS". PLEASE DONATE!!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just donated to the cam,felt a little guilty just watching and not helping.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wing, are you having problems with the video cams today? #1 only stays on for a few seconds and then freezes. #2 won't dome up at all.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that I have read in last year's blogs that the eagle cam is located in coastal Hancock County and that the water you see is tidal ~ ocean ~ water. The easiest way to locate Hancock County is to look for Acadia National Park on a map, the most well-known spot in Hancock County. Also last year we were told that the eagle nest is relatively close to a house, hence the noises that can sometimes be heard in the background that don't seem quite as "natural" as we might expect.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has any body seen the Male eagle? When they left the nest yesterday I saw the female return. Now on the 30th at 3:58 she left the nest again and the male didn't come in like he usually does. Keep us posted. Thanks for all the wonderful work and energy involved in keeping this going for us. Very educational. P.P

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:04pm eastern: was watching dad on nest,and left for a min. returned to empty nest---4:08 mom returns to take over

4:11 PM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

We are still working on the video 2 and I hope to have it sorted out by Monday. Video 1 can become overwhelmed by too many users that is why it cuts out.

I will keep you updated as we work it out.

Wing Goodale, BRI

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dad just up and left about 4:18 and no one has returned, now 4:32

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:05pm dad returns after almost an hour of the nest being empty

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a teacher here in Maine and I have the eagles set up on my computer all during the day. My third and fourth grade students often "check in" on the eagles and alert me if there's a nest exchange or if the parents get up and fly away-- or if any unusual events happen. The cams have been an important part of our school day. We have learned so much about the eagles and just having the image on the screen has prompted some wonderful (and student-directed!) discussions about nature, scientists, pollution and technology. This certainly is a valuable site, and we are looking forward to watching the chicks (but we have also talked about the possibility of failure--keeping our fingers crossed!). Thank you so much for this site and all of the information that has been shared by the biologists and all the others who are watching as well.

And Lori-- what you call the "brood patch boogie" is referred to as "The Tail Wiggle" by my students-- which has led to some impromptu "eagle dances" in our classroom. :)

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i finally saw an exchange today. I still remain optimistic, even if they were off the nest for a bit today.

I like your new site.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy that this site has been made available to all of us. I am just returning to the site after making a donation. I hope everyone interested in this site will make a donation, large or small, to help out the work being done by this great organization. I have been watching the eagles since they laid the eggs and must say, it is hard to get away from the computer as it has proven to be quite the education. I, too, am worried about the welfare of the eggs and the eagles. Thank you, thank all that have made this journey with the eagles possible. It has given me an even greater insight into nature. I could not possibly have known the trials the eagles go through with the elements, etc. if it hadn't have been for seeing it first hand with the live cam. I plan to donate on a regular basis in hopes of keeping this cam up and running. Once again....THANKS!!

7:40 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Dave said...
"RETIREMENT"--After 38yrs as a letter carrier in CT,"WONDERFUL".
--The knowledge and video on this site---"PRICELESS". PLEASE DONATE!!"

Congratulations Dave!!! I am from CT also and retired last June.
As for your prompt on donating? I've done my 'thing'...a few times... and about to go for the next round ;o)
Seriously, BRI deserves every penny of donation they receive!

And, by the way, I think Dad seems to be doing terrific! Hopefully we will have successful hatching but if we don't, at least our wonderful Dad will be well enough to be here next year!

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering what the water source is that is showing up in the photos and videos for the eagle cam. If I didn't know better, I would think it was on the coast, due to all the high winds showing up.

Just wondering, and am most impressed with your website!!!!!


8:38 PM  
Blogger Gillian M. said...

Thanks for the computer help, Wing!

And I love the new look of the eaglecam main page!

Good luck with camera 2, and have a good weekend!

Gillian in Ottawa

9:00 PM  
Blogger NH Judi said...

WOW! Nifty new web page. Very nice and easy to navigate. I like all the links to much sought after info. Thank You.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:11 pm, AZ Mar 30

Some wind storm going on. The camera was bouncing around and eagles feathers lifting and falling. I do hope all is well, but time will soon tell.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to this but have really enjoyed watching. This might be a not so bright question but how do you know which Eagle is the male and which is the female? Just a few minutes ago one of them was very vocal and then got up and flew off and less than one minute later either the same one came back or the other one did. I hope things are going as planned and all will be well. They really go through alot to protect their babies.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday April 1st
7:02 AM EDT

Dave, we noticed that absence from the nest yesterday, too. And here has been one other one. They have all occurred in the late afternoon, I think. We are making a time line of these events on Judy's forum, and putting down the temperature at the time they happen, as well.

Yesterday afternoon, and now this morning, it seemed to some of us as if the female was trying to scan the water and hunt while incubating. She left the nest for a few minutes and came back, without calling to Dad, and he didn't take her place. I'll post that separately.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 1, 2007 Saturday
6:05 AM

Before the first nest exchange, the female left the nest for about four minutes without calling to her mate at all. It was 28 degrees at the time.

She left at 6:05 AM and came back at 6:09 AM.

It seemed like she might have seen something out there she wanted to check out ... maybe food?

When she came back to the nest she did a lot of calling out just as she landed. I don't know whether she saw a crow coming in, or what.

It didn't sound like a call to Dad, or a "conversational" call. It was very LOUD and aggressive sounding.

No returned call from Dad, no response from him at the time. They had chattered a little bit earlier so we know he was around earlier, but he didn't seem to be around at this time. He didn't take the nest when she flew off and he didn't respond to the call she made when she came back.

7:12 AM  
Blogger NH Judi said...

Oh dear! Is the eagle cam completely down? Ever since last night I have been unable to get the live feed and now the still feed is completely gray. Does anyone know what might be wrong?

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday 3-31-07 It's not April yet!!!
At 5:46 am EDT there was a next exchange. The birds were out and in within 20 seconds with minimal chatter. The outgoing eagle got up and paused then flew and the incoming bird came right down into the nest and settled down quickly and efficiently. My guess is it was Mom.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about how nice the new web site is.It looks the same to me. Am I missing something? Also,I am not getting the still shot either. I absolutly LOVE watching these wonderful birds.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Bald Eaglecam said...

There is a wet snow covering the lens. When it warms up I will use the wiper to clean off the snow.

Wing, BRI

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's weird saying prayers for our feathered friends like I find myself doing... Watching these 2 magnificent birds and being educated by Wing has been so incredible. I've got my calendar marked for the eaglets arrival so I'll keep praying. It's kind of like when the two chicks eliminated the third last year... nature is neither kind nor cruel, it just is. It's something I need to remember- but as a human mom it's sort of hard.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again the Eagle left the nest on April 4th at 11:20 AM. Before leaving she was screeching at someone. Oh no, not again.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to the webcam? Cannot see anything but dark blue screen all day today on any computer I use. Is it coming back? I sure hope so. Coming close to hatching. Thanks.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw the report that the nest failed. I am so sad about it. I donated and will keep donating so we can watch them again next year! They will have more babies!!!

1:10 PM  

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