Camera Shows Oklahoma Bald Eagle Nest To The World
VIAN, Oklahoma - The Sutton Avian Research Center installed a new camera on a bald eagle nest near Vian, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to watch the pair take turns incubating three eggs.
The George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center was founded in Bartlesville in 1983 as a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to studying and conserving birds, especially eagles, in Oklahoma.
Over the decades it has installed cameras on eagle nests in a tree in the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge near Vian and on a pole in Sooner Lake near Stillwater. Oklahoma's wild weather is hard on the cameras, requiring the center to send a crew out into the countryside to make difficult and expensive repairs.
The eagle pair that originally used the Stillwater nest moved to another nest site a few years ago, so the center has not made replacing the camera on that nest a priority.
The Vian pair keeps using the same nest every year, so when the camera breaks the center fixes it. The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge rented a 130-foot lift in December so the center could put a new camera on the nest. Soon after the center noticed the eagles had three eggs on the nest.
"We are always on the lookout for the 'perfect' eagle nest for a camera. That would include easy access to the nest with a lift truck, close and easy access to electricity, and close and easy access to broadband internet for the video," said Dan Reinking, senior biologist with the Sutton Avian Research Center. "Having not found the perfect nest yet, we rely on more complicated ways of powering the equipment and delivering the video from the site, which also results in more possible things to break down."
Reinking says the center expects the eggs on the nest to begin hatching this week.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed that the video will continue to be available through the end of the season when the young eagles leave the nest later this spring," he said.