Did you know?
To help reduce disturbance to young bald eagles we are using satellite transmitters to identify and protect communal roost sites.
Welcome to the Eagle Cam, a collaboration with Duke Farms, to help raise awareness for nesting bald eagles in New Jersey.
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!
2018 Duke Farms Eagle Cam Nest Updates
March 27, 2018
Kathy Clark, Wildlife biologist for the NJ Bald Eagle Project,shares her thoughts on the eagle nest failure at Duke Farms.
Kathleen Clark, CWB
Endangered and Nongame Species Program
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
The nest had two eggs that were incubated since February 14 and hatching would be expected to start on March 21-22. On March 23, one egg broken under the incubating adult. The lack of consolidated contents suggested it was infertile, and we suspect that the egg became less resilient through the course of incubation, resulting in its collapse.
The remaining egg could have been the second laid, so hatching would be expected on March 24-25. On March 24th in the afternoon, the egg appeared to have multiple cracks and some indentation, which did not look like normal hatching progress. By 7:30 pm, a camera close-up showed a near-hatchling still in the egg but not moving. It appeared that the hatchling had died during the course of the hatching process.
We can't know exactly why this happened. The camera allows us to see so much that goes on in the nest, but we didn't have a full view of the hatching egg, nor could we know for sure if the egg was damaged by an adult bird. The adults are always extremely careful to protect their eggs, so we don't think that happened. But failure to hatch does happen in eagles and other raptors on occasion. Hatching can take 12 to 24 hours, and if the embryo does not have enough resources, it won't make it. If, in fact, the eggshell was damaged in some way, the hatchling may not have been prepared for the exposure.
It is a sad and premature end to this pair's nesting season. One of the characteristics that bald eagles share with many species on the Endangered Species List is that they raise only one brood each year, and they put all their resources into that one chance each spring. There are many things that can go wrong, including severe weather, predators, and competition from other eagles. The Duke Farms pair has done well for many years, but even their success is not guaranteed every year.
At 9:13am, the male removed the egg from the nest.
Unfortunately the Duke Farms nest has failed. On Friday March 23rd around 2:30 pm one of the eggs broke. It was reaveled when the male eagle stood up. We can only assume that the egg was infertile or failed to develope fully.
There was still hope for the second egg in the nest bowl. On Saturday and intruder bird bird (ID'd by dark feathers on head) came into the nest briefly.
The female chased the bird away and came back to the nest. Later cam shots showed the egg had cracked and revealed what apeared to be an undeveloped chick.
As of today the adults continue to incubate the broken egg.
Cam viewers are asking "what happened"? We might never know what truly happened and can only assume from the video and still shots. Did the egg get crushed during the intrusion or had the egg already been broken at that point? Had the chick stopped developing at some point before the intrusion? Failures happen at eagle nest every year and we usually have little idea of what actually happened. One of the positive things of having a camera on an eagle nest is that we get to see what happens close up, both the bad and the good. Of course by observering the lives of this pair each day during the nesting season we get very attached and it is difficult when the nest fails. No matter how objective you want to be it is still sad to watch.
Here is video that was captured of the intrusion:
Cam viewers are anxiously waiting for the first pip to appear (the first hole the chick makes in the egg when hatching). The first egg is due to be hatching, yesterday the 21st was the 35th day of incubation. Both adults incubated throughout the snow storm yesterday keeping the eggs nice and dry. This afternoon we got a good look at the eggs.
The eagles have incubated through all the storms, both rain and snow. The first egg is due to hatch next Wednesday the 21st and that is when things will get exciting as we wait to see the first chick.
Both Eagles hunker down on the nest during the storm.
The cam is back up and running after being out operation for a few days, due to the storm on Friday. The eagles have made the nest nice and cozy, with lot's of grass. Perhaps they are preparing for the coming storm.
This season there is a two egg clutch.
1st egg laid 2/14- estimated hatching 3/21
2nd egg laid 2/17-estimated hatching 3/24
This morning the male brought some prey to the nest for the female. When she got off to eat we got a good look at the two eggs.
Update on DF Alumni C/94
C/94 is nicknamed "Tiny", because he was the youngest of three chicks at the Duke Farms nest in 2009. He has been nesting in CT since 2014. In 2017 nest monitor Cyndi Pratt Didan reported that he had a new mate who also has a green NJ band, his original mate was an orange banded Massachusetts female. Cyndi hasn't been able to read the code on the new females band yet. C/94 was sighted during the 2017 season, but it's unknown whether he nested. C/94 and the NJ banded female returned to the original nest in mid December and were seen working on the nest. The pair hasn't been seen for the past few days and could be at their second nest location, Cyndi will keep us updated.
The pair continues to incubate and a third egg could be laid today.
There was some excitement at the nest this morning when a banded NJ intruder bird came into the nest. Charles Barreca from Duke Farm's was able to zoom in enough so we could get the band information. It turns out this third bird was hatched and fledged at Duke Farms, banded on May 12, 2014 a female. silver 0709-01590 (left), Green E/00 (right).
Second egg laid at 5:04pm
February 16, 2018
When will the pair lay their second egg?
In 2015 & 2016 the pair laid their eggs each three days apart. In fact, in 2016 the first egg was laid at 2/18/16 ~4:29 and the second was laid 2/21/16 at ~4:30 so almost exactly three days apart. If they follow their past behavior the second egg should be laid tomorrow afternoon. In 2015 & 2016 the pair laid two eggs, in 2014 they laid three and then two eggs again in 2013. We we can't always expect a third egg to be laid.
The eagles will incubate their eggs for approximately 35 days and they'll hatch in the order in which they were laid. The parents will both incubate the eggs and when they switch incubation duties it's called a "nest exchange". When you see the adult carefully "wiggling" onto the egg, they are putting their brood patch over the egg/s to keep them warm. The brood patch is an area of skin on the abdomen where the feathers fall out and blood vessels in the skin fill with warm blood.
You can interact with other nest cam watchers, exchange information and post photos on the CWF Eagle Cam interactive page.
February 15, 2018
The first egg was laid on Valentine's Day, 2/14/18 @4:21 pm.
February 8, 2018
Both birds were at the nest today rearranging the grass in the nest bowl. We can tell the male because he is a banded with a green (NJ) band and a silver federal band.
Please post your photos, comments or questions on the interactive eagle cam page
Below are the dates incubation began in previous years.
February 2, 2018
The pair has been making frequent appearences at the nest.
So far in NJ 17 pairs of eagles are incubating.
So far the camera has been streaming and eagle activity at the nest has been minimal. If you see some action, please post a screen shot of it to our interaction page!
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 23 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
2015- 2 chicks
2016- 2 chicks
2017- didn't incubate
When do the birds start incubating?
In 2016, the pair started incubating on February 18th.
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
2016- 2 chicks- females
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 2017 there were 178 nesting eagle pairs monitored in New Jersey. One hundred fifty-three of these were active (laid eggs) and 118 were successful in producing 190 young.
To learn more about eagles in New Jersey you can read the
2017 Bald Eagle Project Report - 937.9KB
2017 Duke Farms Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 203.4KB
2016 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.4MB
2016 Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 102.5KB
2015 Bald Eagle Project Report - 2.2MB
2015 Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 701.0KB
2014 Eagle Cam Nest Updates - 210.8KB
2014 Bald Eagle Project Report - 4.8MB
2013 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.0MB
2013 EagleCam Nest Updates - 19.8KB
2012 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.3MB
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 & 2015.
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!