UPDATES

January 28th, 2015 - Eggs and video upgrade

 

Eggs!

How ‘eggciting’, we now have three eagle eggs! As appears to be the norm for the DNR EagleCam nest, this pair has again laid their eggs earlier than we would have anticipated. In 2013, the pair laid during the first week of January. In 2014, the pair waited a little longer and started laying eggs on Valentine’s Day in mid-February. This year, the eggs were laid approximately as follows-

  • #1 – Laid on the 19th or 20th of January
  • #2 – Laid on the 22nd of January
  • #3 – Laid on the 25th of January

Minnesota temperatures have been hovering above average, which will increase the chances of successful hatching. If all goes well, we should see the first egg pip around February 24th. Throughout February and March eagles all over Minnesota will be laying eggs and tending nests. This is a great time to get outside and watch eagles hunt and forage for food while they prepare for their new mouths to feed. Consider taking a walk outside and see if you can spot some eagles in action. Areas of open water along big rivers (such as the Mississippi) are great places to take a short walk to view eagles and much more! Bring some binoculars! More on wildlife viewing.

For more information on our MN weather, visit the DNR’s Current Conditions webpage – the nest is located in Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Video feed upgrade

As many of you are aware, we have been experiencing some technical challenges with the camera this year. We have already moved the feed over to a newer computer that is used to receive the feed from the camera before passing it along to our viewers. This has helped significantly, but video quality is lower than we would like, and occasional drops in the video feed do occur.

Our next step is to hardwire the feed into a newly installed high-speed internet cable. This wasn’t an option when the cam was first installed in Dec. of 2012. To work around this issue, we had to use cellular air cards to get the camera feed onto the internet. We are hopeful that tapping into this high-speed line will allow us to provide more stable, and hopefully higher quality, video to our viewers. The current plan is to switch the feed over on the evening of February 2nd, so you may notice a window of time when the cam is down that afternoon / evening.

A friendly reminder

The beginning of the eagle nesting season just happens to be at the beginning of tax time! Please remember the Nongame Wildlife Program (us) when filing your taxes. Also, if your preparer doesn't ask you, please let them know how important wildlife is to you! Any amount donated is helpful, so even if you cannot afford much, we would like to see the number of donors increase. Right now, only 2.3% of Minnesotans who file taxes donate to us. We are very grateful to the generous donors we do have, so help us spread the word and share this message! Online donations are still welcome all year to Minnesotans and beyond: donate.

Thank you for subscribing to the eagle cam update and for your support of the Nongame Wildlife Program. It is time to start watching the camera!

 

 

January 20, 2015 Happy New Year!!

What?  That was weeks ago! Well, we say Happy New Year because our famous pair of bald eagles has laid their first egg!  We are very excited about this third season of camera documentation.  As you might recall, the first year we placed the camera in the nest, it failed to produce any hatchlings and last year the pair successfully raised (almost) three chicks to fledging. So, let the season begin! The female will lay up to four eggs over the next few days, then incubation begins and will last ~ 35 days or so. 
We are pretty sure we have seen one or maybe both of the chicks from last year visiting the nest over the summer.  Because there are no identifying markers (such as bands) on the birds, we will never know for sure "who" the visitors are.  We are relatively confident that the male is the same as the last two years and we do know that the female is the same - the band numbers match. 
Being that March is the typical egg-laying month for Minnesota Eagles, our pair here is proving once again, that they are NOT typical!  Earlier nesting in our climate means the parents must be much more diligent and consistent with their egg incubating duties.  Any extended absence, particularly when the temperature is below zero will put the chicks in jeopardy. This is part of the reason we don't reveal the exact location of the nest.  
The beginning of the eagle nesting season just happens to be at the beginning of tax time!  Please remember the Nongame Wildlife Program (us) when filing your taxes.  Also, if your preparer doesn't ask you, please let them know how important wildlife is to you!  Any amount donated is helpful, so even if you cannot afford much, we would like to see the number of donors increase.  Right now, only 2.3% of Minnesotans who file taxes donate to us.  We are very grateful to the generous donors we do have, so help us spread the word and share this message!  Online donations are still welcome all year: donate.
Thank you for subscribing to the eagle update and for your support of The Nongame Wildlife Program.  It is time to start watching the camera!

January 13, 2015


They’re back . . .

The pair of eagles visiting the DNR eaglecam nest this year seems to be the same birds that saw two eaglets fledge and fly off last year. We were able to get a good view of the female’s leg-band, and it appears to be a match. As you may recall, these eagles laid their eggs during the first week of January in 2013. In 2014 eggs were laid in mid-February (starting on Valentine’s’ Day). We are seeing some activity in the nest, stick moving and sitting, but are hopeful that the recent cold temperatures (-15 F – actual air temp) will delay egg laying until later in February. Help us keep watch at http://www.webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle.


Technical improvements

We have been having some problems with the stability of our signal feed from the camera, but our IT folks are working diligently to get these issues resolved before eggs are laid. The biggest changes include a new computer used to stream the feed, and a hard-wired internet connection via fiber optics (the camera currently uses a cellular air card). In addition to fixing the stability issues, we hope these improvements will allow us to provide a higher resolution view into the nest.


Keeping you updated

As eagle activity and technological improvements progress, we will start sending out more frequent GovDelivery updates, so keep an eye on your inbox. Also, be sure to check out our Nongame Wildlife Program Facebook page (You DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to view posts and photos).

The DNR eagle camera is paid for by the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program, which is almost completely funded by people like you who make a voluntary donation, usually at tax time. Look for the Loon on Line 20 of the Minnesota Income Tax form (if you do your own taxes), or tell your tax preparer that you want to contribute to the “Chickadee Checkoff.” Donations are tax deductible and matched dollar for dollar.

More information for tax preparers.
Donate anytime online at: www.mndnr.gov/nongame/donate

Thanks,
From all of us at the MNDNR EagleCam Team

 

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This eagle camera is brought to you by the Minnesota DNR's Nongame Wildlife Program, which helps over 700 species of Minnesota wildlife thrive. The program is largely supported by donations from people like you.

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