Minnesota DNR's eagle cam draws viewers worldwide

  • Article by: JIM ADAMS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 30, 2014 - 6:48 PM

The DNR’s eagle cam has allowed people to see births of eaglets.

hide

Feeding time for the newly hatched eaglets, as captured by the DNR's eagle cam, can get a little messy.

Nearly 151,600 people from around the world have tuned in for Season Two of a St. Paul reality show, and this week they viewed a long-awaited episode: two eaglets hatched in a tall tree aerie near downtown.

Internet users from all 50 states and 137 nations are viewing live footage from the second year of the eagle cam run by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The cam is much busier and cheerier than last year, when three eggs laid in January froze and eventually crumbled. This year, the parent eagles, believed to be the same pair, have been constantly ­sitting on their eggs and chicks to keep them warm, said Erica Hoaglund, a DNR ­nongame wildlife specialist.

A third chick is expected to peck its way into the 6-foot-wide nest any day, she said.

The first fuzzy, gray eaglet emerged Tuesday, followed by the second on Wednesday. The parents are teaching their chirping, hungry youngsters how to eat catfish and pigeons they bring to the nest.

“Right now, they are very dependent and sit with their open mouths and hope somebody puts something in,” Hoaglund said. The eagles rip prey into eaglet-sized bites.

Eagles mate for life and return to the same nest every year. The pair on the cam remodeled their aerie this winter, adding lots of dry grasses and cattail fluff. Hoaglund said they share hunting and sitting duties, although the mother does most of the nest sitting, perhaps because she is one-third larger than the male and provides more body heat to warm the eggs and chicks. The cam showed one parent with an annoyed expression sitting patiently as snow fell Thursday afternoon.

The eagle cam was turned on Feb. 19 during the week the eggs were laid, ­Hoaglund said. It will remain on until this summer but has no lights to illuminate the nest at night.

As of Wednesday, 151,598 unique visitors, most from the United States, had made about 493,000 visits to the website: webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle. The most frequent foreign cam visitors have been, in order, from Canada, Poland, the United Kingdom and Germany. The cam site has a link to a DNR Facebook page.

“Our Facebook page is exploding with questions and comments, and we get a fair number of calls and e-mails,” she said. “There’s a lot more interaction than last year when we had no chicks. … I am really impressed with how close people get to these birds. They are interested in every single little thing they do.”

“It is amazing, these fierce, majestic birds are so tender with their babies,” she said. “They check on them constantly. Our viewers say how much more fidgety the parents are since the eggs hatched.”

The bald eagle has made a strong comeback, especially in Minnesota, since the pesticide DDT was banned in 1972. The DNR has estimated there are more than 60 eagle nests in the Twin Cities area.

In 2012, a federal biannual eagle count along the Mississippi River from Dayton to Hastings found 36 active nests, an increase from prior years.

 

Jim Adams • 612-673-7658

  • related content

  • Watch the DNR's EagleCam

    Thursday March 27, 2014

    The eagle camera is brought to you by the DNR's Nongame Wildlife Program.

  • DNR eagle web cam up and running

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

    the feederEagles in the spotlightA webcam trained on a bald eagle nest in St. Paul is now beaming live video...

  • Two eaglets were born this week and another is expected to join its siblings in the 6-foot-wide nest any day now.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close