Tragedy Strikes In Eagle Cam Nest; Eaglet Does Not Survive Fall
TULSA, OK -- The camera that's providing live pictures of a bald eagle nest in central Oklahoma captured a tragedy on April 1st, one that definitely was not a prank.
The second eaglet to hatch in this year's brood wandered to the edge of the nest and fell out. It did not survive.
The incident happened at about 2:05 p.m. as the adult eagles traded places on the nest and one adult began feeding the older of the two eaglets.
The camera is provided by the Sutton Avian Research Center located in Bartlesville. The experts there posted a message on the Center's web site, reminding users that what happened on Thursday is sad, but is also part of nature.
"Though unpleasant to witness or hear about, events such as happened yesterday (the fall of the youngest chick) are an everyday occurrence in nature, and our goal with the camera is to show you what really happens to wild birds in wild places, and to provide information along the way."
The second eaglet broke out of its shell on Tuesday, March 30th. There is video of the hatching on YouTube.
The pair of bald eagles welcomed its first eaglet on Sunday, March 28th. There is a third egg in the next and if it is viable, it should hatch at any time.
Last year this pair laid three eggs but only one hatched.
People around the world are watching the progress of America's national birds thanks to the cameras installed at the nest by the Sutton Avian Research Center.
This year the eagles presented a real challenge for the Center in getting the nest on camera.
The pair worked on four nests in the area, finally settling on a nest in a dead cottonwood tree. It's located near the nest the eagles had used for the past several years, which was in a specially-constructed steel tower in Sooner Lake near Stillwater.
The Sutton Avian Research Center experts noticed the first egg on February 17 then saw the second and third egg a few days later.
Last year only one of three eggs hatched, but the chick matured and grew strong enough to fly away from the nest.
The Eagle Cam runs 24/7 on the weather page of NewsOn6.com. Challenges arise each year as the natural world sometimes interferes with the technology that broadcasts the eagles' progress. One year beavers knocked the cameras off line by chewing through an underwater cable. One year lightning hit the tree and knocked the nest right out of it.
Dr. Steve Sherrod, the executive director of Sutton Avian Center, says providing the live eagle nest cameras requires an amazing mix of volunteers, donations and hard work. He urges everyone to be patient should the cameras go off line.
Users should be able to watch the birds feed and care for their young as the weeks go by, and the surviving eaglet should grow very quickly.