The Eagle

By now I’m sure you’ve heard from your grandmother on Facebook or a quirky uncle via forwarded e-mail that there’s a live video feed of a bald eagle nest in Iowa. (I’m hoping the video will go meta someday and feature a bald eagle watching a video of humans watching the live feed.)

It’s fascinating to watch, even when nothing is happening. Right now it’s just a mother eagle sitting on top of some baby eaglets.

At the same time, it’s a mother eagle sitting on top of some baby eaglets!!! (excited voice)

It’s one of those things that would hold your attention for a few minutes on Animal Planet, but there’s something unique about watching it live. It’s not some random snippet edited for the masses. When it’s live, it’s your snippet. It’s your time to hang out with the bird. (Although even now at 1:30 am, there are over 41,000 other people watching the video. I don’t blame them. The eaglets are feisty at night.

My favorite part of the video is that there’s always food in the nest. For some reason I always imagined eagles bringing fresh prey back to the nest and immediately eating it (or regurgitating it for their young, as I do for Biddy).

But that’s not the case. If you watch the feed during the day, you’ll noticed dead animals in the nest in the “refrigerator” area on the bottom left. I’ve seen a bird, a fish, and a rabbit. And the mama eagle just sits there. It’s cool. No big deal. It’s not like papa eagle made a pretty sweet dive into the river to get that fish. I’m sure it’s much more important to preen right now than eat that delicious fish.

In celebration of this magnificent creature, I’m eating sushi tomorrow. And I can assure you I’m not just going to let the fish sit there all day.

8 thoughts on “The Eagle”

  1. You mentioned three animals they are dining on, and in their honor you chose to eat a unique derivative of one. I think to truly honor our winged friends, you should eat a wild bird, a fish (raw, not doctored with rice and wasabi), and of course the rabbit.

    Additionally, these items should sit out in the open, all day in the corner of your office. Offered to those who unwisely choose to visit.

    • All of what you say is true, but I simply could not let a dead rabbit sit in my office all day. I would be too compelled to eat it.

  2. The eagles are in Decorah, IA, which is where my aunt and uncle live, and the eagles are right above the bike path that they ride on all the time. This is, of course, how I found out about it, though neither my aunt nor uncle are particularly quirky. My parents and I keep the feed up for most of the day, and I’ll click over every now and then to see what they’re up to. The good news is that I’ve gotten my boss hooked on the eagles too, so that he never gets upset if he sees me watching them instead of working. 🙂
    We were all in a debate at one point if the third eagle was ever going to hatch or if it was a bum egg. I’ve gotten some pretty cute screen grabs of some fluffy baby eagles too. My boss keeps reminding me of how deadly they are every time I squeal like a little school girl when I see them, and this was my response last time:

    “Don’t talk about my baby eagles like that! My baby eagles will soon become vegetarians and leave the nest for a great adventure in the wild. They’ll quickly meet an equally cute animated deer or bunny and become best friends. They will all burst into spontaneous song and dance routines at random intervals and live happily ever after.”

    I think you should eat a muskrat–they had one up there last week.

    My mom keeps suggesting that my aunt climb up in the tree and wave to the camera at us. I’m thinking that may not be the best idea.
    They seem to get upset when things get too close to the nest!

    • Wow, that’s really cool that your aunt and uncle live so close to the nest. And it would be absolutely hilarious if your aunt appeared on screen for a few minutes.

      I watched the clip of the eagles yelling at the unseen owl. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t go after the predator–I’d think an eagle could easily take down an owl. Maybe I’m not giving owls enough credit. Any owl readers want to weigh in?

  3. I am with Katie. I could watch all day. It is interesting that if this were a TV show, we would get bored and turn the TV off. I think there are are other scientist. like Neil, that are setting up similar observation cameras so they and other people could better understand other animals/birds etc. It is such a good use of technology – computers and cameras.

  4. I’ve been watching the Eagles in Norfolk, VA. Was told about it when the eaglets were still in eggs, so you got to see those babies hatch a few weeks ago. It was awesome. I still have it open every day and it’s absolutely fascinating. I’ve seen the male bring back living fish and a seagull. Boy the plucking of that seagull made a mess of the nest. I could watch them for hours.


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