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UPDATE March 15, 2019: Juliet was last seen at the nest on December 17, 2018 following an apparent territorial fight as observed by her injury which occurred days prior. Romeo has not been seen since December 26, after the newly-hatched eaglet in the nest was unfortunately taken by a large eagle that likely equated the hatchling to food.
Following the absence of Romeo & Juliet, a number of eagles in the Hamlet have found that this beautiful nest is a great resting stop and a lovely place to visit
Although we felt great sadness as the nesting season for Romeo and Juliet came to a quick halt, we were lifted up by the appearance and frequent presence of Samson, identified by our cam operators as one of Romeo and Juliet’s offspring from five years ago! We cannot be 100 percent certain that this is Samson, but by carefully comparing cam photos when Samson was in the nest, compelling similarities were found. Samson has bonded with another visitor, A2, who also frequently visits and roosts at the nest.
One sub-adult (approximately 4 years old) arrived at the nest on March 10 showing obvious signs of injury. The eagle spent considerable time in the nest resting and roosting for two days and also was seen on the ground eating fish. It was determined the eagle likely has a fractured right leg and injured hallux (rear toe). It is possible the eagle can heal on its own from these injuries, as long it can forage and rest the leg so that healing can move forward. That is what we are hoping for.
The AEF stands by its mission to educate and provide transparency; therefore, we will continue to live stream the NEFL Nest at nefleaglcam.org for the remainder of the season. As nature takes it course, we will be watching in anticipation as we continue to learn from this unprecedented experience.
We constantly caution our viewers that this is a wild eagle nest and anything can happen. While we hope that all eaglets hatched in this nest will grow up healthy and successfully fledge each season, things like sibling rivalry, predators, and natural disaster can affect this eagle family and may be difficult to watch.
In order to protect the eagles and their nest, the specific location of this nest is private and cannot be disclosed.
The Educational Impact of These Cams
The educational impact of our high-definition nest cams has been phenomenal, providing unprecedented insight into the Bald Eagle nesting process.
Historically, Romeo & Juliet lay two eggs each season, resulting in baby eaglets entering the world in mid-to-late December, after an average incubation period of 35 days. As hatch time approaches, all eyes will be peeled for the first pip or breakthrough of the egg shell by the baby inside. Then, thousands of viewers settle down to watch these babies grow and develop from downy bobble-heads to feisty and magnificent Eaglets, ready to take their first flight into what will be a steep learning curve of survival in the wild.
This project also focuses on conservation, habitat protection, and the dangers that eagles still face in the wild. “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
To enhance the educational experience, a moderated chat is embedded on the cam page, allowing viewers to comment and ask questions about the eagles. Knowledgeable and friendly moderators help guide the discussion and provide insight. AEF also encourages students and groups who are studying eagles or related topics to reserve time in the chat where their questions can be answered. This has been a hugely successful endeavor, and we have welcomed many classrooms with students of all ages. Teachers across the nation have written us with glowing compliments about the positive impact this experience has had on their students.
Beginning October 1, 2013, the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) began providing live video streaming from a wild eagle nest located near the NE coast of Florida. The nest is located about 80′ up in a Longleaf Pine tree, and was built by the resident eagles approximately eleven years ago. Through the years, the nest has grown considerably in size and weight (likely weighing close to a ton).
For the past ten years, Gretchen Butler (Volunteer for Audubon “EagleWatch” Program and the American Eagle Foundation “Eagle Nest Cam” Program) has closely monitored and documented important events associated with the resident eagles and their offspring.
In late August or early September, the eagle pair usually return to this nest to begin their nesting cycle, which includes bonding, mating, nestorations, egg-laying, incubation, hatching, and raising their brood until their youngsters fledge and are able to fend for themselves. Mom and Dad typically remain in the nest area for 30-45 days after their young have fledged/migrated, enjoying some well-deserved time alone together in their special Florida habitat. Then, Dad will head north for cooler, less humid climates first, and Mom will leave several days later. The following breeding season, they return like clockwork and start their nesting, mating, and family-raising process all over again.
About Our Cams
Three high-definition cams are available on this page. Two are mounted on the nest tree and provide different views of the nest. The third cam is mounted on a nearby tree at a lower angle and shows the nest tree and the canopy. If you watch for a while, you may be lucky enough to see eagles flying to and from the tree, and when the eaglets get to a certain size, you will see them begin to branch and ultimately fledge the nest.
The three video cam views are accessed by clicking on “Other Views,” located at the bottom right of the screen when mousing over the video screen. The three views will be shown at the bottom of the screen as thumbnails, and you can simply click the view you want to watch. By default, cam one has been selected.
At night, an infrared light is turned on. The eagles cannot see this light; it is outside their visible spectrum of light. Neither can humans. If you were at the nest site, looking up at the tree at night, you would only see light from the moon or stars. The infrared light is converted into visible light (black and white) by the camera.