VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam: 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008

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, January 31, 2008

“Other Visitors”

So far this year we've had a number of visitors to the new Eagle nest. The Great Horned Owl has been at the nest at least two nights.

A Grey Squirrel investigated the nest and left before becoming a meal. Looks like it carried away some dried leaves to line its own den with.

Crows have investigated the nest on multiple occasions. Crows are naturally curious and investigate their environment regularly. Crows are potential predators of the nestlings of many species, but Eagles are generally able to drive them away

Most surprising was the picture below....This picture was part of series taken when the male returned to the nest with food for the female (a small gull). Such food gifts are common during courtshhip and mating, and help to strenghten the bond between the two . Upon closer examination we were surprised to see that a Red-tailed Hawk had followed the Eagle to investigate it's kill. The Hawk was quickly driven can see it tumbling backward out of the nest. The Hawk was unharmed...and potentially a little wiser about where it looks for a meal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“Look Whoo Came to Visit”

Surprise ...Surprise

As the Eagles really aren't using the nest at night yet, there hasn't been much to see. Imagine our surprise when we saw this in the early hours of Tuesday morning

This Great Horned Owl spent about 15 minutes exploring the nest site and actually sat in the nest for a short time. The Eagles were not at the nest during this visit. Great Horned Owls nested last year in the Norfolk Botanical garden and are common urban/suburban birds.

The presence of the owl has us watching closely as Great Horned owls have been known to take over Bald Eagle Nests.

Before post time another visit by the Great Horned Owl was witnessed on Wednesdy night. This foray was much longer - almost 1 1/2 hours, during which the owl settled into the nest.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

“New Year... New Nest!”

The Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagles are back!

Following the end of the 2007 nesting season a sizable portion of the nest collapsed. This isn't unusual as eagle nests are quite massive. This fall the adults began to refurbish the old nest. To our surprise observers at the Norfolk Botanical Garden noted that the eagles were also working on a new nest site.

Although the new nest was within view of the old camera location, the picture was far from perfect. We played a waiting game to be certain that the birds would actually utilize the new nest. Once we were all reasonably sure that this was indeed the place the camera was moved to provide good coverage. The new nest is approximately 70 yards to the NW of the original site.

The eagles have been busy working on the nest and have mated at least twice in the past week. Both eagles have been spending an increased amount of time at the nest site. And the female had her first meal in the new nest on January 21st. She brought a small gull to the nest and commenced to feeding, she was in no mood to share with her mate.

New this year is the ability to view the camera at night. With the addition of an infrared lightsource the EagleCam has nightvision! This light is undetectable to the eagles, but will allow us to see what an eagle family does once the sun goes down.

Keep checking back, this blog will be regularly updated with new information about the Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagles!