Author Topic: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)  (Read 17592 times)

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Offline NancyM

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Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« on: February 07, 2012, 07:50:32 PM »
Link to webcam (edited for 2013): http://outdoorchannel.com/eaglecam

Nest location: [url=http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam/nestlocation.html]http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam/nestlocation.html
The eagle nest is located approximately 75 miles from Washington, D.C. on the campus of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' National Conservation Training Center. The campus is in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, along the Potomac River.  

History of the nest through 2010 compiled by Paula (http://community.outdoorchannel.com/paula/blog/2011/02/08/history_of_the_nctc_eagles)

Liberty (male) and Belle (female).

2004- 1st Egg Feb 14 - 2 Eaglets hatched & fledged

2005- 1st Egg Feb 15 - 1 Eaglet hatched & fledged

2006- Eggs Laid Feb 9, 11 & 15 - 3 Eaglets hatched & fledged (first season for the cam)

2007- 2 eggs by Feb 9th (cam was down). 3rd egg Feb 12th. No hatches,  probably due to the late inclement weather

2008- 3 Eggs Laid Feb 4, 6 and 10 - 3 Eaglets hatched & fledged

2009- 3 Eggs Laid Jan 31, Feb 2 & Feb 6 - 1 Eaglet hatched & fledged

2010- 4 eggs laid (Feb 2, 6, 9, 13).  The weather was terrible, with several snowstorms. A snowstorm on Feb 7 buried the first two eggs, and they were lost.  The third egg was laid during a snowstorm. Only one egg hatched on March 21.

2011 - 2 eggs (Feb 5 and 9). One hatched (Mar 17) but eaglet did not survive.  a new male ran Liberty off and mated with Belle.

New male (Shep, Boy, Ben) and Belle
2012- 2 eggs.
First laid Feb 5, hatched March 14.
Second laid Feb 8, hatched March 16.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 12:08:25 PM by NancyM »

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 08:02:37 PM »
In 2011, Liberty and Belle had two eggs. The first was laid on Feb 5, the second on Feb 9. One hatched on March 17, the same day that an intruder besieged the nest. The intruder appeared to be a large young eagle, with some dark feathers on his head. At first he was thought to be a female, but it later became obvious that he was a male. He succeeded in running off Liberty, the resident male and prevented Belle from properly feeding the eaglet

Belle protects eaglet and unhatched egg; intruder appears submissive

shephardstown_3-18-2011 7.25.14 PM_03 by aurospio, on Flickr



As of Sunday morning, March 20, the little eaglet was alive and had been seen to poop several times.  The extraordinary thing about this was that no food had been brought to the nest, because the intruder  kept Liberty away. It appeared that Belle somehow fed the eaglet. She would give her head a little shake, then bend over and transfer ?. She did this on March 17, 18, 19, and 20. This behavior has not  been recorded before* but is now documented by several people who taped the cam stream (lasher, greencashew, and others).  Later on Sunday, Belle caught a fish in the nearby river and brought it to the nest. Sadly, the eaglet had died several minutes before she returned. (*I later found one article documenting the transfer of fluid from the adult nares to an eaglet, It was not clear what the nutritional value of this is.)

Initially, the new male appeared somewhat submissive if he landed on the nest when Belle was there. She would push him off the nest with her foot.  Later, she accepted him and accepted gifts of fish from him.  By early April, they were observed mating.

Liberty was not seen after March 21, 2011.  A statement from the NCTC biologists on March 21, 2011, included the following statement:  We have also confirmed multiple sightings of the male eagle who is part of the established breeding pair. The male does not appear to be injured, and appears to be in good health. The eaglet which hatched on March 17th has died and the remaining egg is not likely to hatch given that it is not being regularly incubated by the parents.

The new male (variously called Trudy, Spot, Smitty, Shep, and Ben) stayed around and mated with Belle.

March 25, 2011 - the new male at Sheperdstown

shepherdstown_3-25-2011 1.27.14 PM_09 by aurospio, on Flickr

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepardstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 08:02:48 PM »
2012 season

Belle laid an egg on Feb 5. This video is by crayj46 (lasher), who went to great lengths to record the event. Many thanks, crayj46!

I've seen the male beak Belle before, but I was a bit surprised at his aggressiveness while she was laying her egg.  I think she laid it within the first couple of minutes, then stood over it while the shell hardened.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuQxJLqT7c4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuQxJLqT7c4</a>


Belle and her egg


asleep in the moonlight

Offline Rajame

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 10:46:45 PM »
Hoping for good outcomes for this nest this year. Thank you Nancym.

:hug
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Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 08:34:52 PM »
February 7

Belle on her nest, just after 4 PM.

shepherdstown_2-7-2012 4.12.34 PM_04 by aurospio, on Flickr



February 8

Boy brought a fish to the nest for Belle (I didn't get a picture).   Later, he took over the incubating duty, and she let him sit there during a snow storm. She returned and turned the egg- only one egg (so far).

Boy on the nest (left, or top picture).....................................Belle on the nest (right, or bottom pic, depending on your monitor width)





Belle and her egg

shepherdstown_2-8-2012 5.30.54 PM_06 by aurospio, on Flickr

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 06:32:42 AM »
Second egg - Feb 8

Belle laid a second egg - some viewers observed her "wiggle" around 10:50 PM and saw the egg at 11:15 PM.

Offline sparkie

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 06:56:50 AM »
9th Feb . View of second egg .

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WONsm0zREg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WONsm0zREg</a>
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 07:06:15 AM by NancyM »

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 07:08:24 AM »
Nice of Boy to show you the egg, Sparkie!  thanks for the video.

Offline sparkie

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 10:23:03 AM »
Another look at belles eggs .

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE5tLaHNSEw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE5tLaHNSEw</a>

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Sheperdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 12:20:25 PM »
Another intruder incident on the nest yesterday (Feb 18). Unfortunately, I have only read the reports, I did not see it myself (everything is calm when I check the nest)

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2012, 07:52:32 AM »
Hatch in progress!  Day 35 for the first egg and a pip was seen earlier this morning.


10:52 AM

shepherdstown_3-14-2012 10.52.58 AM_01 by aurospio, on Flickr



shepherdstown_3-14-2012 10.53.16 AM_05 by aurospio, on Flickr

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2012, 11:06:10 AM »
1:53  PM  Dad inspects and turns the eggs.  Crack is much larger.


shepherdstown_3-14-2012 1.53.36 PM_02 by aurospio, on Flickr



shepherdstown_3-14-2012 1.53.38 PM_03 by aurospio, on Flickr


Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2012, 01:41:47 PM »
4:35  Bobblehead on Board! 

that was a relatively fast hatch.  Dad was in attendance, he finally moved off and over to the right (where the leftovers are).  Baby struggled to hold his head up and face the food.


shepherdstown_3-14-2012 4.37.14 PM_07 by aurospio, on Flickr

Offline sparkie

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 01:42:36 PM »
First Hatch for Belle and Shep.14th March .

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz8mzn2vVLQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz8mzn2vVLQ</a>

Offline NancyM

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Re: Bald Eagles in Shepherdstown, West Virgina (NCTC)
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 02:09:06 PM »
Poor first-time Dad - doesn't seem to know what to make of the squirmy baby.

He seems to look around for Belle, he just left for one minute but is again settling gingerly on egg and chick.