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 Turtle Bay, CA - 2014 - Bald Eagle Cam
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By: JudyB (offline) on Saturday, September 07 2013 @ 10:15 AM EDT (Read 109394 times)  
JudyB

Turtle Bay, CA - Bald Eagle Cam (formerly known as CalTrans)

Home of the Friends of the Redding Eagles

http://www.turtlebay.org/eaglecam

Please see the next post for details - but this was a nest in transition last year - with a cam that had some serious issues. Happily the great folks at Turtle Bay have done some upgrades, so the cam is now providing a good view of the nest. As of mid-September, we're waiting for Liberty(F) to return, and waiting to learn which of the males who have been courting her will become her new mate.


2013-2014 Season:

  • cam on line: testing - Sept 7
  • adults return: male seen in the area September 22; Liberty seen in the area October 6
  • male named: Liberty's new mate was named Spirit October 22 in a contest run by the Record Searchlight
  • eggs laid: February 12, 7:43 pm; February 15, 6:01 pm; February 19, about 7:49 am
  • large subadult lands on the nest: February 27, around 7 am - Spirit protected the eggs, and eventually chased off the larger eagle
  • sad news: beginning around 11:49 am on March 1 only 2 eggs were seen being tended
  • nighttime attack: March 1, about 10:20 pm - an intruder, perhaps a great horned owl (GHO), attacked Liberty while she was sleeping on the nest and incubating the eggs; she successfully fended off the attack
  • more sad news: when the adults changed places March 15, around 7:39 pm, only one egg could be seen clearly though there was something else light-colored beside it which might have been a partially covered egg; sadly it was confirmed Sunday morning, March 16, at 9:46 am, that only one egg remains
  • the sad news continues: Liberty removed the remains of the third egg from the nest bowl the morning of March 18 at 6:59 am; the remains were described as liquid, so perhaps the egg (and maybe one or both of the other eggs) weren't viable. The logistics of mating are quite complex, so it is possible that they didn't achieve the type of contact needed to transfer sperm, or at least not enough to fertilize all the eggs. That does seem to be a skill that improves with age, so I have my fingers crossed for next year. (~JudyB)



Our thanks to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park for providing the cam that allows us to watch these eagles from around the world.

(If the eaglecam goes off air during non-business hours, please let Toby know at this email - pr@turtlebay.org)

Forum member CA Wildlife put together an excellent chart with data about the eagles nesting at Turtle Bay - click here


Link to last year's thread for this nest

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By: JudyB (offline) on Saturday, September 07 2013 @ 10:15 AM EDT  
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History:

The camera was initially installed by CalTrans (the California Department of Transportation) to make sure that nearby highway construction didn't have a negative impact on the eagle nest. Back in the fall of 2007, Caltrans had tried to discourage the eagles from nesting so near a planned highway project by placing a large cone in their nest, but the eagles were not easily discouraged (read the story here)) - and public sentiment favored the eagles - so CalTrans decided to work with the eagles and the public, installing a camera to make sure they weren't disrupting the nesting behavior - and making it available to the public (thank you!). The construction project was completed, and the Turtle Bay Exploration Park took over the cam for the 2012 nesting season - thank you! However - the eagles had other ideas, and moved to a new location - near their old nest, but out of view of the cams - so we were not able to watch them in 2012, but the great local observer team took up the slack, and provided great coverage. Money was raised to move the cams to the new location for the 2013 nesting season, though there were some challenges getting the cam online; unfortunately shortly after it finally started streaming, the wide angle cam was apparently damaged when a limb fell down, so the only view of the nest in 2013 was a very zoomed in closeup that let us see the feet and tails of the eagles, but not much more. The folks from Turtle Bay have again done some work on the cams, and we should have a much better view in 2014.

The pair, named Liberty (F) and Patriot (M), successfully raised two eaglets in 2008, and three eaglets in 2009 and 2010. They laid two eggs in 2011, both of which hatched, and the eaglets fledged successfully. Because there was not a cam, we don't know how many eggs they laid in 2012, but we do know they fledged two charming eaglets.

2013 started as a year like any other, and Patriot and Liberty laid three eggs in the first half of February. One disappeared at the beginning of March (which is not that uncommon) but then an intruder was seen in the area, and Patriot was not seen after March 11th. There was a week when Liberty left the eggs uncovered for hours at a time (though fortunately the weather was warm), and then a week when she incubated around the clock, with only brief breaks, and another eagle was seen in the area, and even came into the nest. Surprisingly, given the amount of time they'd been uncovered and not turned, both eggs hatched, on March 18 and 22 - and sadly both chicks were killed by the other eagle as soon as Liberty left the nest for a brief stretch. The new eagle had not paid any attention to the eggs prior to the first hatch, and from what we could see, appeared to follow Liberty when she flew off for a break and to find food; perhaps she assumed (to the extent that eagles can think) that he would also ignore the chicks - or would brood them, as a bonded male normally does. The new eagle did actually incubate the second egg for about 30 minutes shortly before it hatched - but later when it hatched and Liberty left as she needed to do without a male providing food, the new eagle also killed and ate the second chick. It was a very hard thing to watch - and perhaps a harder thing to accept. We do know that these are wild creatures - and know that some of the behavior we see in our mature pairs takes time to develop.

The new eagle appeared to be young, with some brown tips left on his (we assume) white feathers, so it's possible that the instincts that are needed for raising a family weren't fully developed yet. The new eagle was initially referred to as "the intruder," and then called Newbie as it appeared that he might be accepted as a new mate by Liberty, Towards the end of March, Newbie appeared to have marks on his feet as if he'd been in a talon-grasping fight - leading us to speculate that he might have driven Patriot off, or killed him. Then amazingly, on April 5th - Patriot returned - and spent some quality time with Liberty (humanizing more than a little, but they were observed perched together and looking very comfortable with each other). Sadly, the reunion was short-lived - on May 10th two adult eagles were seen in an aerial battle over a parking lot, and one plummeted to his death. Eaglewoman was given an opportunity to view the remains, and found that the eagle who had died appeared to have a dilated pupil like Patriot had, and a white feather on his chest like Patriot had - and none of those who reviewed the pictures she took could see anything that would suggest it might not be Patriot. A necropsy was performed, and he apparently died from an internal hemorrhage during the battle, but not from the battle itself. There were also trace amounts of rodenticide in his liver, which may have contributed to the internal bleeding because it works by keeping blood from clotting. Patriot's remains were going to be sent to the National Eagle Repository near Denver, Colorado, but once the authorities discovered the rodenticide, his remains were cremated, removing even the remote possibility that his body might be given to a local organization for display. There are plans underway to honor this magnificent eagle, and to note the end of an era at the nest.

This is one of eaglewoman's pictures of Patriot and Liberty - she calls it "Love is in the eyes" love



As the 2013 season wound down, Liberty was in the area, as was the male known as Newbie and another male tentatively named #4. All have left, as eagles usually do in late summer and early fall - and we'll be waiting to see who returns in October.

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By: JudyB (offline) on Saturday, September 07 2013 @ 10:16 AM EDT  
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By: JudyB (offline) on Tuesday, September 17 2013 @ 09:57 AM EDT  
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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Sunday, September 22 2013 @ 08:22 PM EDT  
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Very Happy Let the games begin!!!

I was down on a bike ride this morning, taking photos of egrets and kingfishers and other critters. I rode past the nest on the Hwy 44 bike trail and looked back toward the Family Tree. Lo and behold, I saw a large, dark bird on the Family Tree!!! I looked through my binoculars and sure enough, it was an eagle!Cheers

My heart was pumping out of my chest as I sped around the trail and headed down to the Family Tree! I thought it might be LIberty and I just couldn't wait to see her! I got down there and saw that it was indeed an eagle, but it was not Miss Liberty.

The lighting was tough and I couldn't get a real good look at it, but I took some photos and I think it might be Newbie. See what you think? There is something about the shape of the beak, and the darkness around the eyes that reminds me of Newbie...

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Fly LIke An Eagle!
~Steve Miller~


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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Sunday, September 22 2013 @ 08:26 PM EDT  
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The eagle didn't stay long, so I got a few shots off and then it took off and headed toward the nest. I trekked and climbed through the berry bushes and overgrown grasses and somehow made my way down to the Swamp Spot. The eagle had landed on a branch above the nest, so I took a few more shots of it there...

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Fly LIke An Eagle!
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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Sunday, September 22 2013 @ 08:29 PM EDT  
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I got one last shot off and the eagle flew off and headed west out of sight. I wasn't prepared at all, I didn't have my tripod or my long lens camera with me. I just never expected to see an eagle this early in the season?!? But, we have some courting to do, so I guess they need a little time for that?love

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By: Jean (offline) on Sunday, September 22 2013 @ 11:37 PM EDT  
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8:29pm................wave...Hello Terri! I knew you would be out there scouting the area as soon as possible. You must have been very surprised indeed to see that adult there! I too don't think this is Liberty...........notice the dark feet (unless it is just the light/shadows playing tricks)............... And the eyes on this one seem too "dark" somehow. It looks like the season is starting for the return of our eagles, even up here in Canada. We are spotting a few around but not many yet. I think this will be a positive season and that nature will guide Liberty to choose a suitable mate and she will get on with her life.................and that is the way it should be.


aka mjb
Langley, BC


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