Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Duke Farms’

#OptOutside for Healthier, Happier Kids

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Splashing across a stream, letting imagination take flight on the wings of a bird and the excitement of navigating a new trail are some magical moments in childhood that resonate through the years, not just as memories but as life lessons.

Kids who spend time outdoors, or #OptOutside, aren’t just having fun getting dirty. Time outdoors has been shown to reduce childhood depression and stress, build kids’ confidence and even improve performance in school.

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Duke Farms: A 19 year old male and a Pair of Siblings.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

By: Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

The male at the Duke Farms nest is banded with a green NJ band, A/59. He is nineteen years old this season.

D/59 and female: Feb. 4, 2019@Kathy Clark

On March 24, 2000, at 2 weeks of age, A/59 was fostered from the Greenwich nest in Cumberland County to the Rancocas nest in Burlington County. On May 15, 2000 he was banded, a backpack transmitter attached and fledged on June 3. ENSP’s staff tracked A/59 until the transmitter’s signal was last recorded on October 22. You can read more details in the 2000 Bald Eagle Report. A/59 started nesting at the Duke Farms nest in 2006 and has been in the public eye ever since on the Duke Farms eagle cam.

“Tiny” C/94: Update

We have an interesting update on one of A/59’s offspring, “Tiny” C/94, who has been nesting in CT since 2014. “Tiny’s” original mate was a Massachusetts banded female. In 2017 nest monitor Cyndi Pratt Didan, reported that he had a new mate with a green NJ band on her right leg. Cyndi was recently able to get a photo of the females band and we could read the code as D/15.

D/15 in CT @Cyndi Pratt Didan

In 2010, D/15 was one of two female chicks banded at the Duke Farms nest. Yes, she is Tiny’s sibling. Tiny was banded in 2009. It is interesting that two eagles from the same nest in NJ ended up as a pair nesting in CT and that we are able to know this information via bands and the Duke Farms cam. Cyndi has not yet found where the pair is nesting but will keep us updated.

Duke Farms Alumni D/99: All Grown Up

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

by Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist

On Sunday January 13th, 2019 photographer, Bob Cook was taking photos of the ~20 eagles at a lake in a Mercer County park. He noticed that one of the eagles had a green tag on it’s right leg. After reviewing the photos it was established that the band was D/99.

D/99;1/13/19@ Bob Cook

D/99 is from the Duke Farms nest located in Somerset County. He and his two siblings grew up as a celebrities their every move being watched by viewers of the Duke Farms eagle camera.  The three chicks were banded on May 12th, 2014. Measurements showed that there there were two males and one female, D/99 was the youngest male.  All three fledged from the nest in June 2014.

chicks at Duke Farms nest 5/12/14. D/99 is in the middle.

Unfortunately, in August of 2014 we received a report that D/98, the oldest male, was found dead up in Maine.  He most likely died of injuries that occurred during a fight with another eagle. This most recent sighting of D/99 is the first report of either of the two remaining chicks. D/99 will be five years old in April and reaching the age where he will be looking for a mate and establishing his own territory.  It is always nice to know that a chick has survived to adulthood and most likely has come back to NJ to nest.

D/99 @Bob Cook


When An Eagle Nest Fails

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Guest Blogger, Diane Cook: NJ Eagle Project Volunteer & Duke Farms nest monitor

Nature can be awe inspiring and beautiful. Watching a powerful bald eagle gently offer food to a newly hatched chick is amazing. Cheering awkward chicks walking on wobbly legs, and holding your breath when they take that first flight are the events live cam viewers look forward to year after year.

Duke Farms nest-2016

We are reminded of the harsh realities of nature too. Nest fails can and do happen. Many things can go wrong: storms, predators in the nest, or conflicts with other eagles and territorial disputes. Watching it happen live, can be heartbreaking. Every event is a learning experience for us all.

There is a sad ending this year at the Duke Farms nest. It was hard to see the adult pair defending their nest from younger interlopers again. Harder still was actually witnessing the failure of both eggs. Hatching is a complicated business. We’ve been fortunate to have many years of success. As watchers, we must take the good with the bad. This is nature after all.

So what do we do now? My love of nature and the bald eagle will have me seeking out other live cams, but missing my local wild family. I will remember the successes of past years. I will stare in amazement as I look up into the sky to watch a bald eagle soaring overhead.

Duke Farms- 2016

Life will go on. The cycle will continue, if not in “my” nest, in another. Nature will find its balance.  Thank you to Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ for bringing us the live cam. Thank you to the state biologists who work every day to preserve and protect the wildlife in our state. 

See you next year for a new eagle nesting season.


Duke Farms Eagles-Waiting For The Hatch

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Has it Begun?

Guest Blogger, Diane Cook: NJ Eagle Project Volunteer & Duke Farms nest monitor

Egg 1 was laid on February 14th this year. Bald Eagle eggs are incubated for about 35 days. That means the first hatch could be next week, Wednesday, March 21st! What are the signs hatching has begun? As an observer for many years, viewing the live cam has taught me much. These are some behaviors I’ve seen in the past to alert me that hatching will soon begin or is already underway.

Believe it or not, the adult and chick can “talk” to each other through the shell. Watch for the adults to stand over the eggs with their heads bent closer to them. You may even see movement of the adult’s bill, as it “chirps” to its chick inside the egg.

If food begins to show up in the nest, the adults could be preparing for another mouth to feed. They are stocking the “pantry”.

Restless adults, with lots of moving around on the nest, or more frequent egg rolls, is another sign to watch carefully. When you get a clear view of the eggs, look for a tiny hole or a spider web-like cracking. This first hole in the shell is called a pip, and is made by the chick. The chicks do all the work!

Pips can be difficult to spot with protective adults blocking the view. You may wonder if you are looking at a spot of dirt or piece of grass on the egg or a real pip. Trust your eyes and keep watching, that pip will increase in size. This is exhausting and hard work for a little one. The complete hatching process can sometimes takes a day or two.

It is amazing to watch the progress once the first pip has appeared. Get ready for the most eggciting time of year for eagle watchers!