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Welcome to the Eagle Cam, a collaboration with Duke Farms.
Bald Eagles are extremely sensitive to human disturbance. At no time should anyone approach nesting eagles. People who want to observe or photograph eagles and who come too close may actually cause the birds to abandon a nest.
Located on Duke Farms in central New Jersey, the Eagle Cam allows viewers an up close and personal view into the lives of a pair of bald eagles as they breed, incubate, and raise young. It is a perfect tool for teaching about wildlife and covers a variety of topics including animal behavior, bird biology and natural history, endangered species, food webs, contamination, and MORE!
After much careful consideration it has been decided that the Duke Farms nest will not be banded this season. The climber from past years, Mick Valent, has retired. The Duke Farms tree is very difficult to climb and reach the chicks. Our new climber though already trained and skilled, will be gaining valuable experience this season. The climber and chicks safety is the top priority.
We thank you for your understanding.
Duke Farms Alumni C/94 is nesting in CT. The nest observer took these photos of the chick which is exactly one week older than the oldest DF chick.
The chicks are now four weeks old. This screen shot shows the pin feathers starting to emerge. It's easy to tell the older chick right now as he/she has many more pin feathers on it's back and head than the younger sibling. A turtle shell can be seen on the edge of the nest behind the oldest chick.
At two weeks of age the chicks have their second coat of down and can regulate their own body temperature. They no longer need to stay under the adults and are moving about the nest. At times you might not see an adult but most likely there is one close by the nest just out of view of the camera.
The chicks are now a week old. They are both getting plenty of food and there is always a stockpile of food in the nest. The chicks can often be seen peeking out from under the adults.
Update on C/94 the male from the 2009 Duke Farms nest and now nesting in CT. He and his mate had hatching on March 20th and one chick has been seen in the nest so far.
The second chick hatched at ~7 am
6:47pm; chick being fed, 2nd egg with pip.
First chick has hatched 3:37pm. Chicks wing is visible in photo.
Chick emerging from egg 1:08 pm
Pip in egg 11:40, hatching is in progress.
The first egg could hatch anyday now. The Duke Farms blog explains what to expect during the hatching process.
An update about Duke Farms alumni C/94, nesting in CT. The first egg in that nest hatched this past Friday during the snow and sleet storm. Cyndi was able to read the band on the female in the pair and she was banded June 11th, 2008 at Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts.
Duke Farms Eagle C/94 nesting in Connecticut
We recently were contacted by Cyndi Pratt Didan regarding a pair of eagles she has been observing up in CT. She was able to get a reading of the green band on the male C/94. It turns out that C/94 is a Duke Farms eagle from the 2009 nesting season. In 2009 there were three chicks in the nest and all were male. C/94 was the youngest and considerable smaller in the beginning as he was a week younger than the oldest chick.
He is now nesting approximately 150 miles away in CT. His mate is also a banded bird, most likely from Massachusetts. The pair nested last year and fledged two chicks. They are nesting again this season and are due to hatch next week.
It’s exciting to know that one of the Duke Farms chicks has survived and is now raising chicks. We’ll be sure to post updates about this DF alumni.
The clutch size this year is two eggs.
1st egg laid 2/17- possible hatch date 3/24/15
2nd egg laid 2/20- possible hatch date 3/27/15
The adults have been incubating through, snow, sleet and rain with more to come this week. It certainly doesn't look like fun for the birds when they are sitting in the nest covered in snow, but this is the easy part. Eagles feathers insulate them from the cold and protect them from the rain. Once the eggs hatch they'll be busy protecting the chicks as well as bringing food back to feed the chicks. There has been some concern about the amount of time that the adults were off of the eggs last week. The eggs can't get too cold but they also can't get too hot. The adults know when the eggs need heat or cooling. They are experienced parents so though there aren't any guarantees in nature, we hope for the best.
On February 20th, the first eagle nest hatched in NJ. The dates that eagles begin laying eggs in NJ is spread out from January though March.
The second egg was laid this afternoon around 2:20. The third egg will most likely be laid early next week.
1st egg laid 2/17- possible hatch date 3/24/15
2nd egg laid 2/20- possible hatch date 3/27/15
The first egg was seen the morning of the 17th, so the egg was laid sometime during the night or early morning hours. Now that incubation has started one of the adults will remain on the egg at all times for the next ~35 days. In 2014 the first egg was laid on the 17th and the second on the 20th, so we can expect that the second egg will be laid this Thursday or Friday.
The pair has been busy working on their nest. In 2014 they started incubating on 2/17 and in 2013 on 2/14. So we can expect them to begin around that time period again this year.
Twelve eagle pairs are currently incubating in NJ.
Yesterday Duke Farms staff was able to zoom in on the bands on the males legs. We still need more information from the band to confirm exactly where and when in NJ this bird was banded. We do know that this is an narrower type of band that was used up til 2003 when we started using the wider bands. The "A" series ended in 2002, so we can say for certain the bird was banded between 1995-2002. So at the minimum the bird would be 13 yrs. old. The code used on the band is a letter followed two numerical digits. So we need to figure out what the numbers are next to the letter. In one photo it looks like the number could be a five, if that is the case the bird would have been banded in 1999.
The eagle cam is now back up and running. The eagle cam interaction page is also back online, please feel free to post any observations about the eagle cam or questions.
Download the 2014 Eagle Cam Updates Summary:
2014 Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 210.8KB
Duke Farms Eagle Cam FAQ’s
How long have eagles been nesting at Duke Farms?
The eagle nest at Duke Farms was first discovered in the fall of 2004. The pair started using the nest in 2005. In the fall of 2012 Hurricane Sandy's 70+ mph tore off the upper half of the nest tree, destroying the nest completely (the camera and camera tree were spared). The pair built a new nest 100ft south of the eagle camera in late December 2012. The view of the nest was limited by branches and leaves during the 2013 nesting season.
In what type of tree is the nest located?
In December 2012 the pair built a new nest in a sycamore tree.
How high is the nest?
The nest is about 80 feet high.
How long has the camera been at the nest?
The camera was set up in 2008 and transmitted the picture beginning in March 2008. In the fall of 2013 the camera was moved to the new nest tree.
Where is the camera located?
The camera is in the nest tree positioned above to view the nest from above. The camera can be maneuvered remotely to pan, tilt and zoom.
How many young have been raised in this nest?
A total of 19 eagle chicks have been raised and fledged from this nest since 2005.
2005- 1 chick
2006- 2 chicks
2007- 1 chick
2008- 2 chicks
2009- 3 chicks
2010- 2 chicks
2011- 2 chicks
2012- 1 chick
2013- 2 chicks
2014- 3 chicks
When do the birds start incubating?
In 2014, the pair started incubating on February 17.
Are the adult eagles banded?
In 2009 and 2010 it was noted that both the male and female were NJ- banded birds, because they each had a green color band on one leg and a silver federal band on the other. In 2011, however, there was a new female in the pair, which we know because she was not banded.
Have any of the chicks been banded?
Yes, the chicks were banded in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
2007- 1 chick- male
2009- 3 chicks- males
2010- 2 chicks-females
2011- 2 chicks- males
2014- 3 chicks- 2 males, 1 female
How is the eagle cam funded?
Duke Farms hosts the eagle camera and the internet connection. The Endangered and Nongame Species Program and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ support their work and conduct the on-site banding and provide biological consulting.
How many eagle nests are in NJ?
In 2014 there were 156 nesting eagle pairs monitored in New Jersey. One hundred fourty-six of these were active (laid eggs) and 115 were successful in producing 201 young.
To learn more about eagles in New Jersey you can read the 2014 New Jersey Bald Eagle Project Report.
2014 Annual Bald Eagle Project Report - 4.8MB
2013 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.0MB
2012 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.3MB
2013 EagleCam Nest Updates - 19.8KB
2011 EagleCam Nest Updates - 59.8KB
2010 Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 31.0KB
Adopt a Species - Bald eagle - 197.5KB
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The Return of Bald Eagles in New Jersey Story Map
Use interactive web-mapping and multi-media to learn about the recovery of bald eagles in New Jersey between 1985 & 2014.
Download lesson plans and activities to enhance your use of the EagleCam in the classroom! Download fun facts about bald eagles, activities about raptors, journaling pages for students, and MUCH MORE!