Friday, March 25, 2011

We have an egg!

Greetings and welcome to the 2011 nesting season! I have a few items to share here. First, I am happy to announce that we have received sponsorship by NextEra Energy Resources for Maine EagleCams. This is wonderful news welcome support!

Most importantly, I am very happy to report that after three years of no eggs being laid the eagles at the BRIeaglecam1 nest have laid an egg. Courting behaviors began as early as January and were periodic. On March 23rd a heavy snow fell for a short period in the afternoon and both birds were observed at the nest. They were touching bills. The following day the egg was laid. Eagles typically lay two eggs but may lay up to three. Eggs are laid about each 48 to 72 hrs.

A bit of history of this nest

BRI began monitoring this nest in 2006 and it has been a tumultuous journey. In 2006, the nest produced 2 chicks, in 2007 the chicks died during a storm event in April. During our monitoring from 2008, 2009 and 2010 we observed no nesting but a great deal of activity in the nest including what appeared to be territorial disputes at the nest. While there are many reasons why birds may not nest, a ‘third bird’ can be a disturbance that disrupts the nesting cycle. More info…

A bit of information about this pair

Although it is very difficult to tell the male bald eagles from the females-females are larger. In addition, although these birds are not banded to reveal their identity, close observations by members of BRI’s online community have documented a dark patch near the base of the resident female’s tail. This appears to be a unique characteristic that has remained distinct for two years and this characteristic might allow us to identify an individual bird. There has also been speculation that the resident eagles at this nest may have changed over the past five years.

This nesting event is sure to bring joy to many eager followers of this webcam. Please join in the conversation at BRI’s online community where this blog is cross-posted. Also, you can find us on facebook, twitter, youtube, and of course at our website We hope to maintain this blog each week or two weeks so be in touch with questions.

Many thanks and happy spring!

Patrick Keenan

Outreach Director

BioDiversity Research Institute