Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Great info on OK cam...and Visits to other cams across the country

Dear Fellow Bald Eagle Enthusiast,

You'll be interested to know that our live Bald Eagle nest camera is now operating and available by linking through our website---www.suttoncenter.org. This year we were able to get the camera up and operating shortly after the eggs hatched, so you can see the entire nestling process through (cross your fingers) the fledging of the young from the nest in late May, which is later than average for Oklahoma's Bald Eagles. With the camera in place now, and the high likelihood that the eagles will continue to use the artificial tower as a nest platform, we should be able to broadcast the entire nesting season in 2008, starting with nest renovations in November and continuously through incubation and fledging.

This year's nest camera nest is unique for Oklahoma, and very unusual anywhere. It's located on Sooner Lake, the cooling reservoir for OG&E's Sooner Power Plant. The nest was first built in 1995 in a short dead tree which was flooded when the reservoir filled years ago. The pair using the nest produced 2 young in 1996, and they have been very prolific throughout the years, fledging 21 young as of the end of the 2006 nesting season (11 years). Thinking that the nest tree would rot and fall down before long, and feeling that there were no other suitable nesting sites nearby, we spoke with OG&E's "Green Team." The Sutton Avian Research Center asked them to construct an artificial nest platform, which they did, and which was paid for in part by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's "Partners for Fish and Wildlife" program to restore wildlife habitat on private lands. The platform was erected and placed by OG&E in 2004, and the eagles used it as a perch. This past winter the existing nest tree did fall down, taking the nest with it. The eagles built a new nest on the platform and laid eggs. This Bald Eagle nest is unique for Oklahoma because most other eagle nesting territories have other nearby trees for the birds to place a new nest in, and an artificial platform nest might not be attractive to eagles as a nest site where more natural choices, large trees, are available.

The nest camera was erected by OG&E's efficient and hard-working construction team using their modern pole siting equipment. The camera was hooked up to a radio receiver by our hard-working friends at Atlas Computers of Owasso, who are always eager to help us. After the radio transmitter was place on OG&E's Sooner Power Plant, and linked through their Internet cable, the signal was ready to be viewed by anyone with an Internet connection.

The placement of the camera pole had to be 100 yards away from the nest instead of just feet, as was done last year. This means the views will not be as close as last year's; on the other hand we'll be able to see more of the action in the immediate vicinity of the nest. Too, when the wind blows (most of the time!), the maximum telephoto focal length we have to use will result in shaky video. We'll be working to reduce that as much as possible, hopefully in the next week.

One follow-up note on the fate of last year's two young that fledged from the nest our camera was on: several of us visited the nest site not too long ago to find that the nest itself had fallen out of the tree, and the pair had moved their nest site to another tree. It's not unusual for nests to be blown out during the winter. There were two Bald Eagles perched in the nest tree when we got there, both in their juvenal (first year) plumage. After they flew from the tree they spent a great deal of time flying directly overhead and interacting, flying very close together and at times chasing each other. Without knowing positively for sure, we strongly feel these two were the young eagles that fledged from our 2006 nest camera nest. Needless to say, we cold-blooded, unemotional, unbiased, scientific types were greatly thrilled to see this.

Alan Jenkins
Asst. Director
G.M. Sutton Avian Research Center
Bartlesville, OK

More info about the Center and its work with Eagles can be seen here

A fun link to watch from the Hancock vhannel which features the nest out of BC

In addition to short clip from OK, Todays Video makes short visits to several nests we haven't checked on for sometime.

1 comment:

Gabby said...

Thanks for the updates and Loops, I am in Colorado now working, so it`s hard to view all of the different cams! So your updates are wonderful and the Blog is very informative , so i feel like I `m still up on everything. Keep up the good work you EAGLEHOLICS, you are very much appreciated!!, d.j New York