Written By: Jim Wright for Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation
Welcome to the 2016 nesting season (fingers crossed) of the Bald Eagles at Duke Farms.
Let’s start by getting a few essential bits of information out of the way.
Duke Farms has a brand-new Eagle Cam this year — a Bosch Autodome IP 5000 IR, which streams high-definition video (above) around the clock.
The screenshot photo above of the Duke Farms female, taken yesterday afternoon, gives you a good idea of the quality of the new Eagle Cam.
For the first time, viewers around the world are able to watch the nest at any hour of the day or night, thanks to built-in infra-red lighting.
You can watch the Eagle Cam here. By clicking the little “double-rectangle” at the bottom right of the screen,you can open the Ustream feed in a new window, adjustable to any size you like.
You can tell Duke Farms’ female Bald Eagle from the male by looking at the legs. The male is banded and the female is not.
Nature has its own clock and calendar, but with a bit of luck, nesting season could begin any day now.
Last year, for example, the eagles incubated two eggs. The first egg arrived on Feb. 17, and the second three days later. The female typically lays two to three eggs, which hatch roughly five weeks after they were laid.
Bald Eagles have nested at Duke Farms since 2005. Duke Farms has been streaming video of the nest since 2008, which has been watched more than 10.6 million times.
The nest has produced 17 fledglings in the past eight years, including two last year.
Jim Wright writes “The Bird Watcher” column for The Record. He is the author of four photography-driven books about natural areas, including the New Jersey Meadowlands, and Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain.
Eagle questions? E-mail Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some may be used in future posts.