Live Bald Eagle Nest Camera
Feed from Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge near Vian, Oklahoma
Feed from Sooner Lake north of Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date: 05/23/2013 12:42 pm CDT
Comment: They are looking a lot like Heckel and Jeckel today
Date: 05/23/2013 12:35 pm CDT
Comment: Saw photos of victims of tornado..all ages ..so sad..prayers
Date: 05/23/2013 12:26 pm CDT
Comment: Yeah, I think the east coast is rainy for the entire weekend! At least New England is not looking favorable. Just hope no more tornado threats.
Date: 05/23/2013 12:20 pm CDT
Comment: Looks like more heavy rain coming to nest. I bookmarked this radar and have checked it out so much this week. Enough!! http://www.news9.com/category/261258/esp-radar-beta#
Date: 05/23/2013 12:10 pm CDT
Comment: Fay ...plenty of rain up here..as always when there is a tornado south weather pattern responds..cool and wet
Date: 05/23/2013 12:07 pm CDT
Comment: LMBO! Yep, a tree would be nice. For us. Nature knows best - usually. They can handle much worse than this and we all know it!
Date: 05/23/2013 12:05 pm CDT
Comment: LOL, they don't seem concerned! We are though, ROFL! They do look rather pathetic, huh? How is YOUR weather Louise?
Date: 05/23/2013 12:05 pm CDT
Comment: Oh what a pitiful sight. So wet and bedraggled and the nest looks like it has been flooded.. I understand that their feathers are protective covering,but heck, at least being in a tree would give some kind wouldn't it?? poor babies.
Date: 05/23/2013 12:03 pm CDT
Comment: GM Fay. ..a few branches and leaves...would help...but all is well..glad to hear from you and everyone!
Date: 05/23/2013 11:54 am CDT
Comment: They don't need shelter - feathers protect them quite well. But I do think WE want shelter for them, LOL! GA all!
Date: 05/23/2013 11:46 am CDT
Comment: S, Thanks for letting me know that P has done that before. I thought I was seeing things! It looked so funny.
Date: 05/23/2013 11:36 am CDT
Comment: M/D looks drenched like rascals...not much shelter ...
Date: 05/23/2013 11:34 am CDT
Comment: Bedraggled again! Poor babies. At least not high winds...
Date: 05/23/2013 11:17 am CDT
Comment: Barb the P has done that before, pulling on the antenna. What is this thing won't come off. LOL
Date: 05/23/2013 11:15 am CDT
Comment: Gone for a bit and rain sure came back along with Mom to sit with them,, LOL
Date: 05/23/2013 11:15 am CDT
Comment: OMG, they are getting wet now. I wish we could rewind like on a DVR... it looked like P was pulling on the antenna, probably just my imagination. The 3 of them look so cute looking around and stretching their necks.
Date: 05/23/2013 11:09 am CDT
Comment: Poor birds!!!
Date: 05/23/2013 11:00 am CDT
Comment: GM BG Mom left about 45 minutes ago. Looks like the rain may have stopped. you could see it coming. No squirrel at Seq. yet since the big wind. Back out to mow.
Name: Eagle #1
Date: 05/23/2013 10:59 am CDT
Comment: I'll flap ...go straight..correct long. and lat..winds in sinc...flight plan...I'm outa here real soon!
Date: 05/23/2013 10:56 am CDT
Comment: Where are mom and dad? not fair, you must be in a tree getting some shelter from this rain. Hang in there little ones, it will get better.
Date: 05/23/2013 10:28 am CDT
Comment: they are really wingersizing this morning - working up a good appetite
Date: 05/23/2013 10:12 am CDT
Comment: Good morning again, great what plenty of birds 2 deer, squirrels etc. Those rascals are making a mess of the SL nest, need a vacuum cleaner. Looks like light rain blowing in. Fay must be "working " this morning.
Name: Ginger inTexas
Date: 05/23/2013 10:02 am CDT
Comment: Big hops accross the nest.
Date: 05/23/2013 9:52 am CDT
Comment: SL Weather 62 F occasional rain high of 76F sun..maybe a TStorm
Date: 05/23/2013 9:40 am CDT
Comment: oops , nothing like cold shower to get you up in the morning , poor babies
Date: 05/23/2013 9:31 am CDT
Comment: GM All...Rain moving in,more soggy times for the eagles.
Name: Stan in Arkansas
Date: 05/23/2013 9:25 am CDT
Comment: Finally some relief from the weather. The Seq nest looks quite a mess.
Date: 05/23/2013 9:24 am CDT
Comment: One resting...one perched on one leg!!!
Date: 05/23/2013 8:50 am CDT
Comment: Quiet peaceful morning kids still sleeping, looks like a little sun peeking thru. Any word form Fay .Hope she's safe BBL
Date: 05/23/2013 8:47 am CDT
Comment: little rain is coming in. just saving energy till it gets here lake is looking good
Date: 05/23/2013 8:28 am CDT
Comment: The Seq nest is a mess. So happy to see the nest survived the storms!
Date: 05/23/2013 7:50 am CDT
Comment: guess they had a bite and now hit the snooze alarm..
Date: 05/23/2013 6:58 am CDT
Comment: It looks like a fishhead ,fishhead roly poly fishhead.LOL
Date: 05/23/2013 6:44 am CDT
Comment: GM! Missed who brouht it in, but Gobble Gut is having a small breakfast while Whimpy Boy watches. She's getting mad because she can't eat it and keeps looking up to P.
Date: 05/23/2013 6:18 am CDT
Comment: good cool morning from a chilly 48 degrees in Iowa. Mom on xbar and E1 on branch and E2 snooozing yet. Dad off hunting we hope. HAGM
Date: 05/23/2013 5:26 am CDT
Comment: Ps still next to each other on right side of cross bar ... heads down ... all sleeping and quiet. One P and one eaglet just lifted their head. Peaceful morning!
Date: 05/23/2013 2:53 am CDT
Comment: Ps next to each other on right..kids sleeping...calm night...good morning!
Date: 05/23/2013 2:53 am CDT
Comment: Ps next to each other on right..kids sleeping...calm night...good morning!
Date: 05/22/2013 10:08 pm CDT
Comment: Deb welcome and thank you from all of us for the videos. What an end to a good day family all together. Yes meme such a calm night at SL. Can still "see" parent(s) on xbar. SED's
Date: 05/22/2013 10:04 pm CDT
Comment: Good Night Eagles, Eaglets and Eagle Watchers. Finally...a calm night.
Name: Deb Stecyk
Date: 05/22/2013 9:52 pm CDT
Comment: May 22 201 3- Stillwater Eagles - 804 pm-Family Time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsPSfo3QBGU
Date: 05/22/2013 9:44 pm CDT
Comment: Bright night and everybody's home at SL. Thanks DebS and priscillash for links to your videos, good to see all the wing flapping :)
Date: 05/22/2013 9:16 pm CDT
Comment: beautiful and so peaceful..Thank God!
Date: 05/22/2013 8:47 pm CDT
Comment: Just looked in and M and D are with the rascals, the lake is so calm. Beautiful sunset at Seq. Sleep safe eagles and eagle watchers
Date: 05/22/2013 8:19 pm CDT
Comment: Beautiful sight! All 4 at nest. Big, gorgeous moon tonight. Sleep well eagle peeps and eagle family. SEDs
Date: 05/22/2013 7:57 pm CDT
Comment: Season final of Crimanal Minds tonight . sleep safe Fay and keep head down. will check back later family at nest. SED.
Date: 05/22/2013 7:56 pm CDT
Comment: Just popped in for a sec. Never saw lake so calm ... lovely.
Date: 05/22/2013 7:54 pm CDT
Comment: Fay is everything ok with you?? Staysafe. All four at SL , such a peaceful scene. HAGE all. SED
Date: 05/22/2013 5:47 pm CDT
Comment: Fay, hope that horrid weather doesn't get near you. Stay Safe!! I've been out taking Suzie dog and Tiger cat to vet for annual check and vaccinations so thankful for comments and videos.
Date: 05/22/2013 5:42 pm CDT
Comment: I meant to say., I say you be safe,, had you in mind I guess, please watch the weather.
We ask that you limit your comments to nest camera topics. Thank you!
Although the nest at Sequoyah NWR began as a Bald Eagle nest, a pair of Bald Eagles incubating two eggs abandoned the nest in January. Subsequently, a Great Horned Owl began incubating a single remaining but no longer viable eagle egg, and later began a clutch of her own. Meanwhile, the Sooner Lake eagles have returned to the pole nest. Read our updates below, and stay tuned to see what develops!
Scroll down this page a little farther to read our informative blog about current nests as well as see photos and videos.
Having trouble seeing the video? Check the bottom of this page for suggestions.
This camera project would not have been possible without the major support of: OG&E, OneNet, Atlas Broadband, OU College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Biological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ConocoPhillips. Additional support provided by individual donors.
21 May 2013: The chicks are regularly exercising their wings in preparation for their first attempts at flight. Here are a couple of interesting views. The first shows a chick jumping up while flapping its wings, and provides a good view of its tail, which is mostly dark in juvenile eagles. The second shows a close up view of part of its wing, including the secondaries, inner primaries, as well as many of the wing coverts.
17 May 2013: Should we eat it or just stare at it?
16 May: All four eagles at the nest:
While the chicks have been learning to feed on their own from prey brought back to the nest, they are still willing to have an adult do the work on this fish brought in at 2 pm.
15 May 2013: Here are a few recent photos from the eagle nest.
An American Coot with its head already removed:
A "cow pie" in the nest:
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nest within the exterior of the eagle nest. Oklahoma's state bird nesting alongside our national symbol!
13 May 2013: While one chick rests, the other surveys the surroundings that it may return to as an adult in several years.
The oldest chick is learning how to manipulate prey in the nest as well as feed on its own. In the two photos below, it takes the initiative and moves the coot around in the nest before feeding. For information about coots, see page: http://www.suttoncenter.org/pages/what_is_a_cootand_other_eagle_foods
Up close by the camera!
9 May 2013: The close up cameras on the Sooner Lake nest are older models, and do not have a zoom function. Today we switched to the second close up camera because it is slightly farther away from the nest and provides a little larger viewing area within the nest.
Our climber made a few observations at the nest yesterday that you may find interesting. The nest contained part of an armadillo shell. While it is unlikely that an eagle actually captured a live armadillo, eagles will scavenge food, and as Oklahoma drivers know, there are many dead armadillos along the roadsides at this time of year. He also reports that there was a "cow pie" in the nest. This is a bit harder to explain!
You probably noticed as well that he removed the pesky stick that everyone loved to hate. You know, the one that was sticking up right in front of the camera all this time. He said it was surprisingly small, just a twig that was thinner than a pencil, although it looked larger because it was so close to the camera.
We have also created a new page (located in the left side menu of our eagle tracking pages) that provides some additional detail about the tracking transmitters and how they are attached. Here is a direct link: http://www.suttoncenter.org/pages/transmitters_and_bands
8 May 2013: As you have probably noticed by now, the two chicks at the Sooner Lake nest are now sporting new satellite transmitters. These backpack-style tracking devices were fitted yesterday afternoon, and will enable us, as well as you, to follow their movements over the next 3-5 years, provided the chicks survive that long and the transmitters keep working. We first fitted juvenile eagles with transmitters in 2010, on two birds at a nest in Sand Springs and we are still following those two birds today. We are currently following 10 young eagles, and these two Sooner Lake chicks will bring that total to 12. You can read more about the process of catching the young eagles at just the right age to attach the transmitters on page http://www.suttoncenter.org/pages/eagle_tracking_information. The photos below show the Sooner Lake chicks with their new transmitters, as well as a numbered federal leg band that will identify each eagle if it is ever captured again or found deceased. Be sure to follow the progress of all of our tracked eagles on page http://www.suttoncenter.org/pages/eagle_tracking.
Stretching and exercising its wings:
6 May 2013: Breakfast is served at 10:05.
3 May 2013: This subadult eagle spent at least 30 minutes in the Sequoyah nest today, even rearranging some of the nest lining materials. This bird is older than the one that stopped by on April 27 (see photo below).
1 May 2013: A fish breakfast is served!
29 April 2013: Feather growth in the chicks is occurring rapidly!
A young eagle was seen visiting the Sequoyah nest over the weekend.
25 April 2013: The chicks continue to gain weight and size, as well as growing feathers to replace their down.
24 April 2013: Additional sticks are occasionally brought to the nest and arranged around the perimeter.
22 April 2013: During a morning feeding today, the brown feathers can be seen to have developed rapidly on the oldest chick (compare to the photo below from the 19th), and are just starting to appear on the youngest.
19 April 2013: As another fish is delivered to the nest, the first dark brown feathers can be seen emerging through the coat of light gray down on the older chick.
18 April 2013: A freshly caught fish is delivered to the nest.
17 April 2013: This shows one of several brief moments each day when both adults are present on the nest with the chicks.
14 April 2013: Evening light bathes the chicks.
11 April 2013: The arrival of an adult with food rouses the chicks from an afternoon nap.
10 April 2013: Today is a cold, wet day at the Sooner Lake nest.
9 April 2013: An adult eagle rearranges nest lining material. Below, both adults perch on the nest with the two chicks.
In a move that all of the camera viewers at the time were probably applauding, the adult eagle attempted to move the stick that partially blocks our view of the nest. Unfortunately, it was pretty well locked into place and sprang back after it was pushed out of the way.
Another attempt to move the stick an hour later also failed.
5 April 2013: New visitors to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge nest! A pair of Ospreys spent some time in the nest this afternoon. Also known as "fish hawks" because of their exclusive diet of fish, Ospreys are a reasonably common migrant in Oklahoma each spring and fall. Mated pairs are not known to migrate together, and it is very possible that this pair could be exploring possible nest sites. There are very few nest records in Oklahoma. One from the Salt Plains in Alfalfa County dates to the late 1950s, and another documented nest was near Kerr Reservoir in Sequoyah County in 1983, not far at all from the nest shown on the camera. We'll see what, if anything, developes here. Thanks for watching!
Carp for breakfast at Sooner Lake!
Very little remained of that fish by 3:30 pm as the chicks napped in the sun.
4 April 2013: The chicks receive a meal of American Coot on another gray morning, with the promise of clearing skies ahead.
The sun came out before noon.
3 April 2013: The chicks continue to be brooded during several days of cold rain.
2 April 2013: A bedraggled looking eagle broods the two chicks during what promises to be a wet and cold couple of days at the nest.
Both wet adults huddle on the nest at about 3:30 pm.
1 April 2013: The chicks are growing larger, and appear to be doing well.
29 March 2013: A sunny morning in the nest after breakfast:
An adult portions out morsels of an American Coot to the chicks a little before 11:00 am.
28 March 2013: The nest is down to two chicks. As feared, the youngest chick appears to have not survived very long after hatching. Another of its siblings has also perished. We did not see and cannot say definitively how or why they died, although it is most likely due to either competition for warmth or aggressive competition among the siblings. During a feeding bout prior to 9:00 am this morning, the size difference between the oldest chick and its nestmate was readily apparent, and when the adult eagle briefly stopped feeding the chicks while it took a moment to work on dismantling a fish, the oldest chick could be seen using the pause to hammer on its smaller sibling. While the chicks are being brooded and while they are actively receiving food during a feeding session, this aggressive behavior is inhibited, but it can surface when the chicks are uncovered and not being continually fed. For a more in depth discussion of this behavior, visit the link at the upper left side of this page for the 2012 Nesting Season Information and read the March 2, 2012 entry. Two eggs is an average clutch size for Bald Eagles, and three or four egg clutches mean the chicks face longer odds for survival.
About 2:00 pm this afternoon a feeding session took place that lasted about 40 minutes. The photos below help tell the story.
The oldest chick was eager to be fed, while its younger sibling laid partially covered with grass behind it.
The younger sibling rallied in an effort to be fed, but was unsuccessful.
The oldest chick pecked at the younger chick.
After the oldest chick was satiated, the younger chick did receive a good meal.
The warm afternoon allowed the chicks to remain uncovered for a while after their meal.
25 March: The fourth chick has hatched (see it lying down to the right of the three older chicks in the photo below). We are not sure exactly when it hatched, because it has been hard to see past the first three chicks. It appeared motionless during the brief interval that the female was off the nest and this photo was taken. With its late hatch and small size (relative to the other three chicks), it will need to compete with its larger siblings for both food and warmth. While we hope for the best, it is at a disadvantage, especially in the cold weather Oklahoma is experiencing right now (lows in the 20s F at night). There is a super abundance of food in the nest right now, including several fish and several American Coots, which will help, although the youngest chick would still need to be able to claim a share of the food from the adult until it is much older and able to feed itself.
21 March 2013: A third egg has hatched! Also note the large fish brought in by the male.
19 March 2013: Two eggs have hatched! We'll have to wait several days to see if the other two eggs will also hatch. Check the link for Bald Eagle Nesting Information (located to the left of the camera feeds) for more infomation on hatching and chick development.
Eggshells from a recently hatched egg are visible on the right side of the nest, and a fish that the male has delivered to the nest is visible in the left foreground.
Two chicks and two eggs are present in the nest this morning.
An adult eagle feeds fish to one of the recently hatched chicks.
12 March 2013: The owls were reported visiting the Sequoyah nest briefly last night. The photo below shows the eagle pair at the Sooner Lake nest switching incubation duties.
11 March 2013: Four eggs continue to be incubated at Sooner Lake. We first became aware of the eggs on the 28th of February when the cameras came back online, and the clutch was complete at that time. We do not know when the eggs were laid and therefore cannot accurately predict when they will hatch, although it is possible they could begin hatching within the next 1-2 weeks if they were laid sometime in mid February.
6 March 2013: Four eggs continue to be incubated at Sooner Lake. The owls continue making occasional visits to the Sequoyah NWR nest, sometimes being observed at dawn or dusk.
4 March 2013: We are in the process of replacing some bad parts and batteries at the Sooner Lake site. The cameras may be on and off a few times today and tomorrow as we work on the system.
All seems to be well at the Sooner Lake nest today.
3 March 2013: If another day of sun doesn't restore the Sooner Lake cameras to operation, a site visit may be required to reset the equipment.
The pair of Great Horned Owls visited the Sequoyah NWR nest early this morning (see video, below), and it is possible that they will try to renest.
28 February 2013: Good news from Sooner Lake! After the nest tree fell down (see the December 21 report, below), the eagles were visiting a couple of alternative nest sites, and ultimately went back to their original pole nest. We were able to replace some broken equipment yesterday, and are very fortunate that the aging cameras mounted on the pole above the nest are still working so we are able to have the close-up views into the nest. For longtime viewers of our nest camera project, having the eagles nesting here again is just like old times. To top it off, this nest has a very unusual 4-egg clutch!
Note: The batteries at Sooner Lake are run down, and it may take a couple of days of good sun to get them recharged, so the cameras may be on and off depending on local weather conditions.
Clutches of four eggs are very unusual for Bald Eagles!
26 February 2013: The Great Horned Owl persisted in incubating her remaining egg during the snowstorm of about a week ago and continued doing so during several days of nicer weather after the storm. Then another storm system moved through bringing cold rain during the past day or so, and the Sequoyah NWR nest camera was off again for a while. The camera came on about midday today revealing an empty nest. The camera was not operational when the owl and the egg disappeared, so we do not know the extact cause. It is disappointing for the second attempt in this nest to fail this season. We are continuing to work behind the scenes to get another nest on line this season, and while it may happen soon if things go well, we don't yet know for sure if or when it will happen.
An empty nest.
20 February 2013: Oklahoma is expected to have a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain through Thursday morning. This extended period of cloudy skies and snow covering the solar panels means the owl camera will likely stop working before this storm system has moved through, and sunshine will then be needed to recharge the camera's power supply.
Great Horned Owls have been known to successfully incubate eggs at temperatures below -25 F.
18 February 2013: The Great Horned Owl stayed put during a brief but intense hailstorm this afternoon. The sun was shining a few minutes later.
Great Horned Owl during a short hailstorm.
Close up view of hailstones which came to rest all around the owl's tail.
15 February 2013: It appears that the Bald Eagle egg and one of the two owl eggs have disappeared two nights ago. Whether this is due to predation, breakage, or something else we are not sure. If the rotten eagle egg broke, the sticky contents may have caused it as well as an owl egg to stick to the incubating female's feathers and she may have unintentionally carried them off when leaving the nest. As unlikely as that may sound, lucky camera viewers actually got to see this happen to a female eagle at one of our previous eagle camera nests several years ago.
Female Great Horned Owl taking flight from the nest at dusk, showing one owl egg.
11 February 2013: The Great Horned Owl has now laid two eggs, and the Bald Eagle egg is still present. Two eggs is a common clutch size for Great Horned Owls, although it is possible that she could lay more.
Two Great Horned Owl eggs with a dead Bald Eagle egg.
7 February 2013: Many camera viewers have noticed the extreme mobility of the owl's head as it rotates through an improbable range of motion. Viewers might be interested in reading a little about this on page http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/31/170758750/how-owls-spin-their-heads-without-tearing-arteries. You can also listen to a 6-minute story about this on NPR on page http://www.npr.org/2013/02/01/170855382/how-owls-turn-heads.
This situation with a Great Horned Owl incucbating an abandoned Bald Eagle egg is quite unusual. To answer some basic questions about normal Great Horned Owl nesting behavior, we offer the following. Great Horned Owls frequently select old, unused hawk nests as their nest site. They are typically one of the earliest nesting species in Oklahoma, sometimes starting in December but other times starting months later. A clutch of two eggs is most common, and they are incubated by the female, with the male delivering food. Incubation typically takes 30-37 days, and the young begin leaving the nest at 6 weeks of age but continue to be fed for some time. This information and much more about Great Horned Owls and every other bird species known to nest in Oklahoma can be found in the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas published by the University of Oklahoma Press. This book is the result of a previous Sutton Center project to survey the nesting birds of Oklahoma.
6 February 2013: You may have been watching the Great Horned Owl that has adopted the abandoned eagle egg in the Sequoyah eagle nest. This is an interesting phenomena, but not completely surprising. Female birds (and some males) are stimulated to incubate eggs, when influenced by hormones, and often may incubate almost any eggs in the vicinity when in that hormonal condition. Most females will not incubate eggs at other times. It is likely that this owl had either lost her own clutch of eggs, but is still in the incubation phase of reproductive condition, or has come into “reproductive readiness” but has not bred. In either case she might be stimulated by the sight of the egg to incubate. This “incubating drive” will likely dissipate within a few days or could possibly continue for longer, even until the dead eagle egg explodes.
25 January 2013: We want to update everybody who follows the Sutton Web Site eagle nests and eagle tracking. Excuse us for not having posted this notice earlier, but extended bouts of the flu have made our staff short-handed this year, and we are still in the process of recovering. Because there has not been a lot of eagle behavior captured on the webcams, the comments seem to have deteriorated significantly toward unrelated subjects. This site is intended for the exchange of meaningful information about eagles and not for unrelated personal chit-chat. It is our responsibility to call the attention of participants to that fact, and while we do not intend to offend anyone, please respect the purpose of the comments section and refrain from using it for personal conversations. Thank you for honoring this request.
We started early this nesting season in preparing for hi-def cameras to be installed at some sites in order to have them ready to go. This was possible because we finally had a nest site with access to an AC power source instead of the more limiting DC that is normally provided by solar panels and batteries at our more remote nest sites. No matter which nest site we use, not only is it necessary to acquire the technical equipment (which only lasts for a couple of seasons in Oklahoma’s harsh environment of extremes), but permission must sometimes be obtained from absentee landowners which can be a time consuming process. On top of that, and as we have discussed before, Bald Eagles often repair or build more than one nest (called a supernumerary nest or nests) in a season, but the observer may not know which nest the eagles intend to use until close to the last minute when eggs are laid in the season’s nest of choice. Unfortunately, the eagles chose not to use the nest that we expected them to use.
Just prior the beginning of this nesting season, one of the Sooner Lake dead nest trees equipped with cameras to show nestlings for the past few seasons, fell over. We were glad that the eagles had not yet laid eggs for the year and that we were not working in the tree at the time! As many of our viewers have observed, the nest at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge has experienced an odd sequence of events this year. Things began normally for this pair which laid early as they typically do. However, during incubation, the attending adult often appeared agitated and looked skyward from the nest, while protesting. At times both adults would take off from the nest tree and disappear. Unfortunately, from the angle of the nest cameras, we could not see all that was going on, but it appeared and was confirmed by local observers that another adult and a subadult eagle were regularly present in the nesting territory of the resident pair. It has been recorded in some instances that rogue eagles will arrive and try to take over an occupied territory. That might be what has happened here, but without careful study on the site, we cannot be certain.
Nevertheless, even though the resident adults sometimes covered their unattended eggs with grasses before departure, the parents were off the eggs for increasingly longer periods during times of threat by the invading eagles. While the eggs can take an hour or more of being unattended with resulting cooling and still survive, the adults were off too frequently and for too long for the eggs to still be viable today. Recently, the adults have begun once again to incubate the now dead eggs, stimulated by the presence of the white objects in the nest. We must be realistic, however, and barring a startlingly unexpected outcome, these eggs will not hatch.
In some areas, such as around Sooner Lake, surveys by our staff and volunteers have shown that a number of eagle nests are not occupied this year. Whether this is related to current drought conditions or something else we really do not know. Yet in other regions of the state, eagles are now laying eggs or are about to lay, and all appears to be normal. We are hoping to get one more nest camera online yet this year, and we will keep you informed of our progress. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult nesting season.
10 January 2013: There have been some questions regarding the presence and absence of incubating adults on the nest at Sequoyah NWR. The adults this year sometimes spend a lot of time looking up, leaving the nest, and even vocally protesting—the cause of which we are unable to see on the nest cameras. Usually, this type of behavior is in response to other eagles in the area that cause the nesting pair to be alarmed.
The resident adults have been off the nest several times for 45 minutes to an hour or more daily, and there has been concern that the eggs are now dead. No one knows for sure unless we take the eggs and candle them (shine a special high intensity light device through each egg to evaluate movement of the embryo, while avoiding overwarming the eggs due to heat from the candling bulb). The fact is that the eggs can take considerable cooling, an hour or more, depending on how cold the ambient temperature is; however, were the situation reversed, and the eggs overheated, they would soon die.
The presence of the non-nest owning eagles are likely the cause of disturbance to the resident pair, but there can be other causes. The long term drought currently in effect can impact nesting Bald Eagles as well. If the adult male, whose job it is to catch prey and to feed the incubating female, is having a tough time catching enough prey due to drought-related, low water levels and lack of aquatic based prey, the female might be forced to leave the nest to hunt on her own. We will hope that is not the case, but only time will tell.
21 December 2012: The dead tree containing the nest near Sooner Lake fell over during high winds as a cold front moved through two nights ago (see photo, below). This is why that camera is no longer functioning. Fortunately, the nest contained no eggs or young, and that pair of eagles has alternate nest sites including the tower nest visible on the lower left camera view above. We are waiting to receive some replacement power supply parts for the close-up cameras on the tower nest. Once we receive those parts we plan to reactivate the close-up cameras on the tower nest.
13 December 2012: The first egg was laid in the Sequoyah NWR nest on December 9, and there are now two eggs present.
7 November 2012: Oklahoma's Bald Eagles are beginning to visit previous nest sites in preparation for another nesting season. While for most pairs it will still be one to three months before final nest sites are selected and eggs are laid, this is a time for the eagles to settle in to their territories and make repairs and additions to nests. They might be seen regularly on the nest cameras, or their presence may only be occasional during this time. We are and have been checking and replacing camera equipment in preparation for the upcoming nesting season, and we are also exploring some additional viewing opportunities.
The Sutton Avian Research Center is dedicated to finding cooperative conservation solutions
for birds and the natural world through science and education, and is a part of the Oklahoma Biological Survey at the University of Oklahoma.
Our Bald Eagle nest cam project provides an intimate view of wild Oklahoma Bald Eagle nests. Children and adults from Oklahoma and around the world can observe life in an eagle nest, and scientists can make observations that will help us better understand the life history of our national symbol.
Thank you to to our major eagle nest cam partners!
The video image may at times be unavailable due to technical problems or heavy user demand. We monitor the camera daily and try to keep it working, but outages do occur.
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