Friday, April 25, 2008

Loon Cam Live

Good morning all. I wanted to report that the loon cam is now live on our site. You can see the cam at:

I quick note about the sound of the eaglecam -- I have turned it off at this point.

Next week I will be receiving equipment from Kids in the Nest ( and we will working getting additional cam systems up. I huge thank you to them! As you can imagine this can take time, but I will keep you posted.

I hope that by 2009 we will have eight live cams! However, we will need your help in purchasing computer systems to run the cams. If you are able please send in donations to help us buy computers.

We have two osprey systems that we hope to have in place shortly. It does appear that the osprey cam from last year maybe dead because of a lightening strike, so we will have to replace that camera--fortunantly we can use one of the new cameras from Kids in the Nest.

I will keep you updated, but we are really excited about our new equipment and the amazing possibilities. When I have specific plans about where we will deploy the equipment, I will let you know.

Wing Goodale
BioDiversity Research Institute

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Nesting This Year

Greetings dedicated bloggers. Well I think we can be certain that the eagles will not nest this year. The birds at this nest site have been the most productive in the state over the last 14 years and they are now sliding back to the state average. As we have already discussed, there are many reasons why the birds may not be nesting this year, including getting old, last years nest failure, contaminant burden, mate switch, or simply taking a year off. What we have seen over the last three years shows how hard it is for birds to successfully raise young each year. They face so many challenges, from habitat loss, to changes in food web dynamics, to contaminants. Who knows, maybe the birds will surprise us once again and break records for late nesting, but all the sign indicate they are taking the year off.

We will keep the camera up and running and we are currently working on getting our loon cam and osprey can up and running. We will be setting up the loon cam this week and hopefully will have it live for you by the beginning of next week. I am trouble shooting the osprey cam which sustained a major lightening strike last year--hopefully we can get it up soon.

Also we have a number of other cam projects up our sleeve, and there is a good possibility that we may be able to get them off the ground (literally and figuratively) this year.

Thank you for all your support and amazing observations.

Wing Goodale
BioDiversity Research Institute

Friday, April 11, 2008

Female Spends the Night on Nest

Well the birds certainly keep us guessing. According to bloggers the female spent the night on the nest, sitting mostly in the incubation position. This morning she was gone from the nest, but this could be a good sign. Although, they probably don't have an egg at this point since the birds have now left the nest.

If the birds do have an egg they will not leave the nest unattended or more than a couple of minutes and will look down towards the egg and rotate it every so often.

Thank you for al your great observations

Wing Goodale 
BioDiveresity Research Institute

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Possible Scenarios

Good morning. I have been carefully reading your observations and have had communications with Charlie Todd at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife—Charlie has been working with eagles in Maine for decades. I would like to thank Charlie for taking the time to provide us with his extremely helpful insights. Below is a paraphrase of Charlie’s comments.

Charlie feels that a mate switch is plausible, but cannot be determined by behavioral changes because there have been instances of birds nesting successfully after mate switches and without the birds being banded there is no way for us to know for sure.

Charlie indicates that there is still a chance that they may breed, although the other pairs in the area have been on eggs since March 24th. However he notes that there is a greater percentage of birds that are inactive at this time than he would expect.

Charlie suggests that we zoom the camera out (which I will do today) to see the tree as a whole to see if we can see the birds roosting in the tree near the nest—he says it is common for non-breeding birds to can hang around the nest.

He does suggest that there is a slim chance that the birds have a new nest and that it is possible for birds to be bringing in sticks, sitting prone, and copulating at the nest site even while they are tending to another nest site. The key at this point is if we see BOTH of the birds at this nest site for longer than ten minutes. Could all of you wonderful observers please write in comments with the amount of time the birds are spending on the nest and if BOTH the birds are at the nest. When Charlie next conducts an aerial survey in the area, he will keep an eye out for a new nest.

Finally, he notes that it is comment for birds to have inactive breeding seasons, especially after a nest failure. This can be caused by old age, build up of contaminants, weather, and other factors. This pair has had the best nesting success in the state between 1995-2007, 92%. The state norm is 63%, so it is possible that these birds are sliding back to the state average.

Please keep up your excellent observations and please let me know when you see both birds on the nest and the amount of time they are at the nest.

Wing Goodale
BioDiversity Research Institute