Webcam of D.C. bald eagles goes live with sound

usatoday.com
If youdo some bird-watching in the New Year while also staying snug and warm, the District of Columbia's only eagle cam relaunched Saturday with audio.


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Back in 2014, a real pair of the USA's national emblem mated and decided to call a tulip poplar tree in the National Arboretum in Washington their home. The duo, dubbed Mr. President and The First Lady, were the first eagles to nest in the nation's capital since 1947.
They reared two chicks earlier this year in the eye of the DC Eagle Cam and left the nest during the summer.

While they were away, the American Eagle Foundation, based in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., made some renovations to the high-definition, two-camera setup that streams the birds' nest 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With the help of experienced arborist tree climbers, the foundation installed sensitive audio equipment that can pick up distant sirens, tiny songbirds and a slight breeze rustling through branches.
The system is solar powered and the foundation receives some money from the U.S. Department of Energy to help pay for its operation. DC Eagle Cam had more than 60 million views online from 100 countries in the five months that the pair's 2016 eaglets, Freedom and Liberty, were being incubated, hatched and grew up.
During the summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also gave the foundation permission to fix a festering problem: Part of the nest was starting to collapse because one portion didn't have a branch underneath to support its weight. Arborists were able to add some oak and locust limbs underneath.
Now eaglets Freedom and Liberty have left the nest for good. But Mr. President and The First Lady are expected to mate again in 2017, lay one to three eggs and raise their third set of chicks in the tulip poplar, said Al Cecere of Knoxville, Tenn., president of the American Eagle Foundation.
Cecere spoke to the News Sentinel from Philadelphia where he was rehearsing with Challenger, a bald eagle who fell out of his nest as an eaglet in 1989 in Louisiana and was hand raised by humans to survive. Challenger will circle the sky New Year's Day above the Philadelphia Eagles' stadium during the Star Spangled Banner and return to Cecere's side when the song ends; they then will head to the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, for another performance Monday.
Eagle fans have seen amazing things on the foundation's webcams in the District of Columbia, northeast Florida and near Dollywood in the Smoky Mountains where the foundation's Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is located, Cecere said. Two eaglets from parents Romeo and Juliet in northeast Florida emerged right before Christmas on Dec. 18 and 20.
Harriett and M15, stars of Southwest Florida Eagle Cam not affiliated with the foundation, welcomed the first of two anticipated eagle chicks into the world at 7:33 a.m. ET Saturday. The second has not yet begun to break through its shell.
"Eagles fly back to the nest to eat their food, which can be fish or rabbits," he said. "Sometimes, they are sitting on their eggs in all kinds of weather. Sometimes you see them copulating."
Eagle coupling is not the most jarring sight an eagle webcam offers. It may get more violent than baby boomers' much beloved nature TV show, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
"This is a wild eagle nest and anything can happen," the DC Eagle Cam website warns. "While we hope that all eaglets hatched in this nest will grow up healthy and successfully each season, things like sibling rivalry, predators, and natural disaster can affect this eagle family and may be difficult to watch."
A decade ago, the National Wildlife Federation had to break some disconcerting news to fans of the its eagle cam in Maine after viewers fretted that one of the baby eagles had vanished, according to the blog LiveScience.
Baby eagles sometimes peck their weakest sibling mercilessly to drive him away from the nest. Sometimes eagle siblings kill each other rather than bond.
But Eagle Cam fans also see awe-inspiring moments. Cecere loves seeing the baby eagles peck their way through their egg shells to meet the world.
New Year's Eve was quiet for the arboretum eagle family. The nest was mostly empty while the eagles apparently enjoyed a hunt, and The First Lady spent several minutes rearranging twigs in her recently renovated nest.

Webcam of D.C. bald eagles goes live with sound Webcam of D.C. bald eagles goes live with sound Reviewed by Usa Tv on January 01, 2017 Rating: 5

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