VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam: 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in partnership with the Norfolk Botanical Garden and WVEC, is providing a rare glimpse into the life of two bald eagles and their offspring!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

“All Three Have Hatched”

What a busy few days at the nest! It seems that as soon as I post an entry it's obsolete.

Eaglet # 2 hatched on March 13th and the third was seen this morning. This eaglet hatched either first thing today or possible overnight.

The female eagle is extremely alert right now. You'll notice that she's actively scanning the area, keenly aware of all that's happening around her. At this time eagles are very sensitive to disturbances around the nest area.

The male is hunting, and doing a good job of it. You'll notice fish arranged at the edge of the nest. Observers have counted up to five fish at one time. In addition to the fish the male has brought two gulls to the nest (the 1st chicks 1st meal!). While bald eagles are generally fish hunters, they are opportunistic and will take birds and small mammals.

Monday, March 12, 2007

“One Eaglet”

After a tease on Friday that had many of us checking on the nest frequently - the first egg hatched on Saturday, after 38 days of incubation. The chick is covered in soft grey down. The parents will continue to incubate the remaining eggs while also keeping the eaglet warm. The remaining eggs should hatch over the course of this week.

You'll notice fish and other prey left in the nest from time to time. The male typically does most of the hunting for the eaglets while the female guards the nest against predators.

Friday, March 09, 2007

“Maybe Today...”

Keep an eye on the EagleCam - an observer noted a distinct crack in one of the eggs today. We are right at hatching time, so we expect to have a new eaglet sometime today!

Last year the first egg hatched after 38 days of incubation. We are at 37 day since the 1st egg was laid back on January 31st. Bald eagles hatch asynchronously meaning that the eggs don't all hatch at the same time, rather the eggs will hatch in the order they were laid. The first to hatch gets a leg up on its siblings - getting all the attention (and food) from the parents until the other eggs hatch. By then the 1st eaglet will be larger then his siblings and continue to dominate the nest.

This pair was very successful and managed to not only hatch three eggs last year but fledged all three of the young!

Friday, March 02, 2007

“Bear with us”

The same wonderful technology that gives us the opportunity to view this nest can also bring us to a halt! The neccessary parts to fix the network issues are on order.

We haven't missed any of the eaglets yet! The parents continue to incubate and care for the eggs.

The embryos are fairly well developed by now but still need to continue to grow and mature before these eaglets will be ready to hatch. The cold snap was a challenge to the parents who had to ensure that the the eggs didn't become chilled.

If all goes well, we should expect eggs to start hatching late next week (or early the following week)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

“Technical Difficulties”

The Norfolk Botanical Garden has had some general equipment problems that have caused a temporary blackout of the EagleCam. The Garden is working hard to correct these issues and should have new equipment in place sometime tomorrow.

We should be back up before the eggs start to hatch! Thanks for your patience.