NEAR STILLWATER, OK -- An eagle chick that has spent its whole life on camera has taken a giant step toward adulthood.
People watching the nest cameras saw the eaglet fly off of the nest early Tuesday morning.
Experts from Bartlesville's Sutton Avian Research Center installed two cameras near the nest, which is on OG&E property at Sooner Lake north of Stillwater.
Thanks to the internet, the cameras allowed people all over the world to watch the eaglet hatch on March 21st (NewsOn6.com has had a link to the cameras since before the eaglet hatched).
Thanks to the cameras thousands of people tracked the eaglet's growth, through a heavy snowfall, thunderstorms and despite power outages caused by a lack of sunlight on the cameras' solar power equipment.
Related story: April 28th, 2009 Live Eagle Camera Provides Digital Field Trip
Tuesday morning, the cameras allowed anyone who was watching the chance to see the eaglet take its first flight.
The Sutton Center experts say it's possible the eaglet will occasionally return to the nest in the coming days or weeks.
A YouTube user based in Maine who goes by the name greencashew posted video of the eaglet leaving, as well as a different section of video showing the bird returning to the nest about 45 minutes later.
The experts believe the eaglet is a female, because females tend to be bigger than males and this one is already larger than the father.
She was the only eaglet out of three eggs to hatch.
After it became clear the other two wouldn't hatch, one egg was accidentally carried out of the nest by the mother, the other egg was ignored.
Eagle pairs return to the same nest year after year, with this pair using this nest for more than a decade.
The nest actually rests on a kind of artificial tree erected by OG&E with technical assistance from the Sutton Center and financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
OG&E built the tower after the dead tree the eagle pair originally built the nest on fell down.