Before I start with the questions, videos are here:
- http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25724937 (Bob's interview)
- http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25708771 (cam set-up)
- http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25654654 (intro video)
What did you guys do when you installed the cam?Bob Anderson directed the installation. He designed and tested the equipment, planned and oversaw the deployment, worked with Dave and Neil via the webcam to make sure everything was installed correctly, and staged on the ladder to help pass equipment.
Neil Rettig and Dave Kester climbed the tree. They cleaned the old camera dome, replaced the broken IR cam, removed an unnecessary screw, and added two new cameras: a new PTZ and a very high resolution fixed bullet cam. As Bob pointed out, we'll have new views. You will sometimes be able to see one of the cams appearing on screen.
Jim and Charlie worked on the computer and power protection systems and helped haul equipment.
Amy Ries briefly staged midway up the tree to help get the camera bag up, set anchors, and helped haul equipment.
What is new this year?We have a new PTZ cam, a new high resolution fixed cam, new views of and from the nest, better surge suppression and electrical protection, new video cards, and a new system to switch back and forth between the cams on site or remotely.
Kudos are due John Howe for designing the switching system, and Kenny from Simms Electronics for his technical assistance and computer systems.
When is the cam turning on?We don't have an exact date yet. We need to get a T1 line pulled in for faster service and make some changes to our computer system. It will be sometime between mid-October and mid-November.
When will chat re-open?Chat will re-open in February. We will announce an exact date as it gets closer.
How did Mom and Dad react to the camera installation?Mom and Dad weren't at the nest when we got there. They did fly by in the early afternoon and vocalize two or three times before leaving. We saw them briefly soaring over the bluff later in the day, which was warm, windy, and perfect for flying.
Are Mom and Dad already working on the nest?Yes, they are! They have begun adding crib rails to the side in preparation for next year's brood.
Were you able to get permission to lighten the nest? Who would you get permission from?The US Fish and Wildlife Service oversees permits and other issues related to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, including falconry, raptor propagation, scientific collecting, special purposes (rehabilitation, educational, migratory game bird propagation, and salvage), take of depredating birds, taxidermy, and waterfowl sale and disposal. We have permits to go into the nest and install cameras, and we have permits to band and attach transmitters to eagles, but we did not get permission to lighten the nest this year.
Bob pointed out that Neil, Dave, and all the gear weighed more than the eagles were likely to bring in this year, so we think the nest will be fine. We'll probably ask again next year.
Did you leave a treat for the eagles?We usually do, but we did not this year. Fortunately, they didn't seem to hold it against us.
Is the crossbow dangerous to the eagles?We use a dull bolt, but we also don't shoot the crossbow when the eagles are in or near the nest. We don't want to take any risks with them.
Will Mom and Dad migrate?Probably not - they have a history of staying through the winter. Eagles are partial migrators - that is, some eagles migrate and others don't. For eagles to be non-migratory, there must be sufficient food during the winter. The Decorah eagles have a nest in a relatively sheltered location, with ample access to food year round. The adults are not migratory.
Are D13 and D14 still around?Yes, for D14, although we haven't seen D14 at the nest. D14 spends a lot of time NW of Decorah, near the Upper Iowa river. He has been seen in the company of other adult and hatch year eagles, but we don't know whether those eagles are family members. It is certainly possible, although there are other eagle families in the area. You can follow his adventures at: http://www.raptorresource.org/maps/D14_latest.php
Probably for D13 - D13 was believed to be spotted recently, but we don't know for sure.
Why do these eagles always lay three eggs?They don't - in 2008, her first year at this nest, Mom laid a two-egg clutch. She has, however, laid three egg clutches every year since. Three egg clutches are not common in Bald eagles. According to Gary Stahlmaster:
- 79% of clutches have two eggs
- 17% of clutches have one egg
- 4% of clutches have three eggs
- Less than 1% have four eggs.
Are you going to turn the nightlight off this year?No: the nightlight is infrared light, which the eagles can't see. Click here for more information on the IR cam.
Are you going to have cameras in the kestrel nests?We don't have any plans to do so right now. The kestrel project is a pilot that explores using county right-of-ways along gravel roads to expand the kestrel population. We don't easily have a way to get power or connectivity out to the boxes, which are located in remote areas. If you would like to learn more about that project, click here.
What was that about Philippine Eagles?The Raptor Resource Project will be working with the Philippine Eagle Foundation to raise awareness of the highly endangered Philippine Eagle. From the foundation: The Philippine Eagle Foundation firmly believes that the fate of our vanishing Philippine Eagle, the health of our environment, and the quality of Philippine life are inextricably linked. We are therefore committed to promote the survival of the Philippine Eagle, the biodiversity it represents, and the sustainable use of our forest resources for future generations to enjoy.
We plan to add a Philippine Eagle cam and help sow the seeds for a recovery effort for and by the Philippine Eagle. We will post more about that as it gets underway.
Thank you for watching!