Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nat Geo: Live Eagle Webcam

Nat Geo - You're looking at a live webcam featuring a bald eagle nest in Washington, D.C. The nest is home to a bald eagle pair and their chicks, which hatched in March 2013. You'll see the adults bringing fish from the Anacostia River to feed their young. The two chicks are covered with black juvenile feathers—they won't sport their characteristic white heads until they are four or five years old.

About the Eagles

The nest featured here is about five feet wide and made mostly of sticks. It sits about 80 feet up in a tree on the grounds of the Metropolitan Police Academy. Installing the webcam, provided by National Geographic, was Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier's idea. She has long been interested in the eagle pair that chose the academy grounds for its home. "It is fitting and exciting that our national bird has made a home on the Metropolitan Police Department's Academy grounds," said Lanier. "We look forward to viewing the eagles in their habitat."

The eagles are thought to be the same pair that has nested in the area for several years, says Craig Koppie, raptor biologist at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Chesapeake Bay field office in Annapolis, Maryland. Koppie is an advisor on the Earth Conservation Corps eagle restoration project, which also oversees a second bald eagle nest in Washington.

Bald eagle nests usually contain one to three dull-white eggs, and the parents take turns incubating them. Eggs hatch in about five weeks, and hatchlings are covered with soft, fluffy, light-gray feathers. “Generally the female stays on the nest while the father’s job is to bring in the food,” Koppie says. Food for this pair of eagles is generally fish—catfish, shad, or perch—plucked from the Anacostia.

Read More & Watch the Webcam!