This is a press release courtesy of Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests and the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management Office of Communications
There is a life and death struggle going on right now in the snowy Cascades of your Deschutes National Forest. Eagles are battling the cold to protect their precious eggs. Will they succeed? Will they survive?
Live streaming video of bald eagles in the wild is now available via a website from the Forest Service at http://www.fs.fed.us/outdoors/naturewatch/eaglecam.html.
In the fall of 2003 two video cameras were placed near the nest by Phil Allen and Tim Brown (Installation Contractors) under the direction of Don Virgovic, the National Naturewatch Program Leader for the Forest Service, and Joan Kittrell, Crescent Ranger District Wildlife Biologist. After several years of technical difficulties the camera and the birds are finally cooperating.
The purpose of this cooperative project is to bring live video of wild eagles and wild salmon onto the World Wide Web and to the Oregon Zoo's Great Northwest Exhibit where the same species are kept in captivity.
Through the wonders of modern technology, we can share the behavior of bald eagles and salmon who make their home in America's National Forests - your National Forests – with you in real time . It is our hope that these videos raise your level of awareness, appreciation, and understanding of wildlife, fish, and plants and their connection to ecosystems, landscapes and people, and entice you to visit your National Forests. Get outside! Take your kids outside! Try "NatureWatch!"
The bald eagle site was first identified as an occupied territory in 1974. The eagles occupying this territory successfully raised young in 21 years since 1974 including a run of 12 twelve consecutive years from 1990 to 2001.
In the late-winter or early spring 2003-2004 the bald eagle pair built a new nest and used that nest in 2004 and 2005. In the early spring of 2006 they returned to the nest watched by video cameras and successfully raised one chick.
Unfortunately, we had technical difficulties with the cameras and live streaming video was not available until August 2006. In spite of the problems, we were able to witness dramatic video of the adults bringing prey items to the nestling, adult/nestling interactions, and the nestling exercising his wings prior to fledging. By the end of September the adults or nestling rarely returned to the nest.
In the early spring of 2007 it was determined that there was an early nest failure. We assume they attempted to occupy the alternative nest based on the presence of newly placed sticks in the nest. This year with the cameras functioning we hope to watch egg laying, incubation, hatching, and the adults rearing the young to fledging.