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 2017 NCTC Nesting Season - Shepherdstown, West Virginia
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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 01:30 PM EDT (Read 726 times)  
Debs

Welcome

Welcome to Belle and Smitty's 2017 Nesting Season.Wub


Screen Captures Tile by Doreen & Debs - Oct 4 2015

This thread is a tribute to the NCTC resident pair; Belle, Smitty and their kids specifically to document their life events over the next year with particular
focus on the nesting season. Please note the resident male is called Shep , Ben and even Spot on some other chat/observation forums ...
he is very special ... to be sporting more than one name!

Belle and Smitty have been spending more time in the nest getting it ready for "lil ones" and we will be right there beside them documenting their progress
with nest observations (NO), beautiful screen captures (scaps) and video footage!

A Peek at Belle and Smitty's Nest & Territory


The Nest


Nest Location - NCTC Grounds - Shepherdstown, West Virgina
Click on image to download


Important Dates - 2017 Nesting Season

•Adults Return: This pair does not migrate they remain in the nest area all year long as there is food aplenty.

•Intrusions: March 30 2016 - Owl Lands at Nest; Mom protects the kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1o2G3YP4ys

•Eggs Laid:
•Hatched:
•Branching
•Fledged
•Juveniles last seen:


Important Links
Note the cams are off line hopefully they will be back up and running soon (updated August 23 2016)

Link to the 2016 NCTC Nesting Season
forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=816353

Link to live bald eagle web pan tilt zoom cam view
http://outdoorchannel.com/eaglecam

Still Cam can be found here
http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam/stillimage.html

Eagle Cam Updates from the NCTC & Outdoor Channel are shared here
http://outdoorchannel.com/content.aspx?id=3933

Friends of the National Conservation Training Center

http://www.friendsofnctc.org/index.htm

Here are some Face Book sites that support and provide information on Belle, Smitty.

Bald Eagles 101

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1690426617860075/

Outdoor Channel Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LiveEagleCam ........... Live Eagle Cam

Some fans of this pair post on Facebook here
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eagle-Ca ... 56?fref=ts ............. Eagle Cam


Hatch Timelines

Experience shows that the first egg often hatches around Day 38 and the second egg hatches a bit earlier often Day 36 or 37 as a result of the "cooling period"
of the first egg thereby promoting a closer hatch of the eggs. Once all the eggs are laid then the birds generally incubate the eggs continuously.
In 2014 Belle cooled the egg one night for 6 hours straight and we speculated it was because she had a third egg to lay, which turned out to be the case.

Here is the Hatch Timelines for 2016 and 2014 for comparison purposes!



Hatch Timeline for 2014


Posting Guidelines

We welcome all observations and discussions about eagles here and we ask all members to treat each other with mutual respect.

For continuity please use this video symbol to introduce your video Video Camera

Please keep bold and color text to a minimum.

Please do not use animated or altered screen captures here.

Smilies are okay please limit them; smilies are not allowed during the body of the eagle observations.

Please limit the pictures in each post to no more than a total of 150,000 bytes (150KB) and to avoid horizontal scrolling pictures or scaps (screen captures) may not exceed
500 pixels wide - though it's fine to post a 500-pixel-wide thumbnail that clicks to a much larger picture. Three captures per post is recommended.

From time to time we may deleting posts that are not directly related to maintaining an accurate journal here.

We look forward to another great season ... growing along side Belle, Smitty and their kids Wub

Recognition and Thanks

This acknowledgement is posted on the Outdoor Channel - Eagle Cam
This project is a partnership between the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Outdoor Channel, and the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center. We also acknowledge the Town of Shepherdstown, WV, the Hancock Wildlife Foundation for their support; and the many dedicated eagle fans from around the country and the world who have been with us from the beginning of this endeavor. - See more at: http://outdoorchannel.com/content.aspx? ... DNREH.dpuf


Our small team here at HWF would like to extend our warmest thanks to the members and fans that contribute to our journal here ... its your observations, captures and videos that enhances the learning process, which makes our experience here that much more enjoyable ... so warmest thanks to you all!


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 01:57 PM EDT  
Debs

Belle and Smitty - The Resident Pair Wub

Belle & Smitty's Family History
Wub

The nest is located on the National Conservation Training Center property and near the Potomac River.

Nesting Seasons Highlights

2016 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called them Big and Lil One; New PTZ Cam; Owl Intrusion March 30; Mom protected the kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1o2G3YP4ys
2015 - Three Chicks - one died at 10 days old; may have been accidentally crushed; two chicks fledged
2014 - Two Chicks - both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2013 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Kate and Will
2012 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2011 - Smitty becomes Belle's new mate late in the season

Background Information on this beautiful bald eagle pair.

Belle and Smitty became a couple after the long time resident male, Liberty went missing in the spring of 2011; Smitty first appeared
as an Intruder around the same time Liberty disappeared. Belle initially rejected Smitty she treated him like an intruder, but this young
smitten male refused to give up and eventually over a period of months Belle warmed up to him and accepted him as her new mate.

2012 was Belle and Smitty's first nesting season together and it was a memorable season in so many ways ... so many "firsts"
Belle and Smitty were a brand new pair building their relationship, as well as, raising two chicks so there were many memorable moments
along the way. Smitty's youth was obvious as he was still sporting a few dark feathers on top of his head and a few blended into his tail
feathers as well. We could sense his awkwardness as he learned to cope with his new role(s). Watching Smitty mature as a loving parent
was definitely one of the highlights of the 2012 season especially watching him feed his lil ones for the very first time yet the rest of the
season was just as memorable.

All of us here were touched by the "magic of this beautiful pair" and we all look forward to watching Belle and Smitty and their kids for
many more seasons to come.

Note: Smitty the resident male is called Shep or Ben by some fans & viewers on other forums

Belle and Smitty Red Heart



Smitty devoted to his beautiful Belle; loving Daddy and expert Fisherman!



During the 2013 nesting season Smitty was still sporting his tiny patch of dark feathers on top of his head...bless his heart he is some sweet!

The New Pan Tilt Zoom High Definition Cam was installed Sept 25 2015


Screen captures compliments of Deewerms (Doreen) and Debs


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 01:58 PM EDT  
Debs

Belle and Liberty - The Lovees - First Resident Pair Wub

Belle and Liberty were the first resident bald eagle pair at this nest. This pair was very devoted to each other and everyone watching via live bald eagle cam
grew to love watching their sweet interaction as a pair. Belle and Liberty were attentive parents to their young and they spent ten years together fledging 11 chicks!

When Liberty disappeared in 2011 just a day or two before the hatch of the first chick was to occur ...it was indeed a sad turn of events at this nest.
Liberty's absence had devastating consequences for Belle and the newly hatched chick. A young male eagle arrived on the scene around the same time
as Liberty's disappearance ... his presence kept Belle on the nest leaving no opportunity for her to hunt and provide for her new chick.
Sadly the chick died of starvation and Liberty was not seen again. Sometime later the staffers at NCTC found the carcass of a dead eagle ... likely Liberty.

Belle & Liberty - 10 Wonderful Years Together

2002 - Belle and Liberty take up residence at the NCTC near the Potomac River
2003 – Belle and Liberty establish their territory & work on their nest
2004 – Belle laid her first egg on Valentines Day; Belle & Liberty raised & fledged two chicks
2005 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged one chick
2006 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged Triplets
2007 – Belle laid three eggs; none survived the spring storms
2008 - Belle and Liberty successfully raised and fledged Triplets
2009 – Belle laid three eggs only one hatched and successfully fledged
2010 - Belle laid four eggs during fierce winter storms; one egg survived nicknamed “Spring” & she successfully fledged
2011 – Belle laid two eggs; resident male Liberty disappears just prior to the hatch; likely deceased; intruder arrives and threatens the family;
one chick hatched but died from starvation as Belle was not able to leave the nest to hunt. Intruder is eventually accepted by Belle
as her new mate; the new male is nicknamed Smitty as he was so smitten with Belle.

There is an extensive journal of the tragic events that unfolded in 2011 located in the archives.

forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=165694

This is the link to the NCTC Nest Observation thread, which detailed the sad events and also includes the entire 2011 nesting season!
Even after all the time it is hard for many of us to think back to the spring of 2011 without those events tugging at our heart strings it was just that sad!

forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=111358

Some captures of Belle and Liberty Red Heart

2011 Season






2010 Season
The 2010 Nesting Season brought some powerful spring storms; Belle laid four eggs and one egg survived ... and despite the storms
this pair was blessed with one chick ... we called her Spring Wub





2009 Season


Screen Captures compliments of Deewerms, Irish Eyes and Debs


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 04:05 PM EDT  
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The Nest and Nest Territory

History of the Nest
The NCTC nest is located on the west side of the National Conservation Training Center campus, about 100 feet high in a large sycamore tree, and is about 6 feet across and 5 feet deep, and weights several hundred pounds. The nest is near the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, West Virginia so the area is rich in resources making it a perfect home for our NCTC eagle pair and their kids. The nest has been active during nesting seasons starting in 2005. The eagles have fledged a number of juvenile bald eagles over the years.

I would suspect that the nest is much larger now as these stats were posted some time ago.


View above the nest; shows the old cam and the tree stump that the chicks often branch too.
Click on image to download

Perch spot to the left of the nest
Click on image to download

Lots of perch spots that surround the nest; view of the barn below the nest!
Click on image to download


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 04:06 PM EDT  
Debs

Reserved


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 04:07 PM EDT  
Debs

Reserved


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Friday, September 30 2016 @ 05:32 PM EDT  
Debs

Sept 30 2016

Welcome

The new 2017 Nest Observation/Discussion thread is open for business!


Doreen and friends wave

Cam Update

I sent a message to Steve Chase for an update and he is currently off the grid so he will give us an update on the cam maintenance when he returns.
Talons crossed we have the cams back on line soon!


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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By: Debs (offline) on Friday, September 30 2016 @ 05:44 PM EDT  
Debs

A letter of thanks was extended to a small team that worked collectively together last season to report on the behavior of the NCTC eagle family so i thought i would share it here.
It was a pleasure to work with Doreen, Debi, Lois and Terri and everyone that helped on this science initiative.

Click on image to download

Thanks to Lois Johnson-Mead, Intern, NCTC for the beautifully crafted letter ... it was our pleasure working with you and we cannot wait to see what 2017 brings :-)


May you embrace all the "blessings and gifts" that surround you in your life ... let your spirit soar :-)


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