Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Where Have You Been?
December 15, 2017
We’ve been flying around, arranging sticks, posing for the new camera and – oh wait, that’s for the birds….
Here at the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program, we’ve been busy with many projects, not the least of which is replacing the popular EagleCam! As you know, the camera that for the past five years had been streaming live video from a Bald Eagle’s nest somewhere in St. Paul stopped working last spring. Thanks to donations (and a lot of behind-the-scenes work on our part), we’re thrilled to introduce you to our new EagleCam! An inspection of the cottonwood tree in which the nest is located suggested the tree is likely to continue standing for many years, but the branch the camera was mounted to was dead. So, with the help of Floyd Total Security and Xcel Energy and their skilled bucket truck operators, we installed the new equipment on a different branch of the same tree overlooking the same nest as previous years.
The new camera is an upgrade over the previous model. It’s a high-definition camera and it features infrared imaging for nighttime viewing. It also includes a microphone so, for the first time, we should be able to not only see but also hear what’s going on in the nest. We’re still working with our vendor, Floyd Security, to iron out some issues with the sound and other controls, so please bear with us. Also, during our camera break-in period, the web feed cannot be viewed using Internet Explorer; you will need to view it using another browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari. We hope to have this changed and everything else in tip-top shape by the time eggs arrive in January or February.
In the meantime, we’ve observed our beloved eagle pair visiting the nest daily. They’re not spending much time in the nest yet, but at least once a day they can be observed bringing in sticks for “nestorations,” eating a meal, or defending their territory. This is the period when the eagles prepare the nest for a new brood of offspring. It may seem early (and it is!), but these two early Minnesota nesters are using their bodies to melt snow, add materials, and form the nest bole (a small depression that keeps eggs from rolling around and facilitates effective incubation). We’re relatively sure this is the same pair as the past five years, but we’re only able to positively identify the banded female.