By Craig Day, The News On 6
BARTLESVILLE, OK -- An eaglet near Stillwater has flown the nest with the world watching. For about six months, Bartlesville's Sutton Avian Research Center has had a web camera trained on a bald eagle nest. It has been linked through Newson6.com. It's become an international hit.
The OU Sutton Avian Research Center near Bartlesville is an education and conservation group that's been around for 25 years. This year, a pair of bald eagles and an eaglet have become international stars.
"I'm not surprised because really there are so many people out there that want there to be wildlife out there. They may not see it every day, but they want to know it's out there," said Sutton Center Executive Director Steve Sherrod.
Back in the fall, the center put up solar powered cameras at the eagles' nest north of Stillwater. People all over the world, 60 different countries from Serbia to South Africa, have been watching.
"Canada, Mexico, South American countries, a lot of European countries," said Sutton Center Assistant Director Alan Jenkins.
Webcam viewers watched as the eggs hatched, through the feedings, and growth spurts and finally on Tuesday, they say the eaglet's first flight.
"I'm getting about 130 emails a day and various phone calls wanting to know how's the bird doing, is it still alive? Is it missing? What's it going to do?" said Sutton Center Assistant Director Alan Jenkins.
"We get all kinds of phone calls and messages and people are talking about the empty nest syndrome now," said Sutton Center Executive Director Steve Sherrod.
The webcam has had 2.2 million hits in the last two and a half months.
"The real thing we're trying to do is let people appreciate the kind of wildlife that is here in Oklahoma and in this country," said Sutton Center Executive Director Steve Sherrod.
For the Sutton Center, the eagle cam is an amazing success story of the magic of life. One that raises awareness and promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation for one of our most majestic creatures.
In an email to the Sutton Center, a teacher writes that she can't believe the change she saw in her kids when they became involved in watching the eagles. She says they have become more interested in learning and caring for animals.
News on 6.com has also had dozens of comments posted from people from all over including Washington, Florida, Boston, South Carolina, Alabama and even Sydney, Australia.
People have really become fascinated with watching the eagles and witnessing the beauty of nature.