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AZ Game and Fish eagle cam lets public see nature in action

 

Following a rollercoaster start, the next generation of bald eagles on Lake Pleasant could very well be on the way after a second egg was firmly laid in the nest.

The egg, which was laid around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, came one day after a first egg was eaten by a pair of opportunistic ravens that swooped into the nest while the unassuming bald eagle parents were away. Each event was watched in real-time by thousands streaming video of the nest on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s bald eagle nest camera.

“While this scenario occurs daily in nature, the department’s live-streaming camera allows us to bring this unfiltered nesting process to everyone with an internet connection,” said Jeff Meyers, AZGFD watchable wildlife program coordinator. “Viewers are repeatedly drawn into the daily drama of survival, tuning in to watch the eagles eat, fend off intruders — such as egg-eating ravens and a rival bald eagle — and finding time to take turns incubating the egg. All the while, viewers are learning about Arizona’s bald eagles and other native wildlife.”

While the department is hopeful the nest will produce young, biologists aren’t as optimistic based on activity they’ve seen so far.

The eggs are the first for this new bald eagle pair, after the previous male was bested by another bird early into the breeding season. The new male still has much to learn about his role in caring for and protecting vulnerable eggs.

“Egg laying is an important milestone, but the female can’t care for the egg alone,” said Kenneth “Tuk” Jacobson, AZGFD raptor management coordinator. “The male needs to provide relief and take his turn incubating the egg; bring food for the female; ward off potential intruders; and ensure there is a constant presence on the nest. Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite learned that and the nest is often left unoccupied for multiple stretches of the day.”

Still, records show the bald eagle population at Lake Pleasant has grown since 1993 and 28 birds have since survived to take their first flight, known as fledging. In this nest, two eggs were laid with the previous male in early January 2018 and each hatched the following month. The two young successfully fledged in late April.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department Lake Pleasant bald eagle live-streaming camera is funded through Heritage and Pittman Robertson funds, and public donations. Those wishing to support the Watchable Wildlife program can click the “donate now” button after selecting which live camera feed to view at www.azgfd.gov/livecams.

To support the department’s effort to conserve and protect Arizona’s more than 800 native wildlife species, the public can purchase a Conservation Membership package at www.azwildlifehero.com and clicking on “support us” and “become a member.” Different membership levels come with special perks, from a beautiful set of wildlife notecards to an annual subscription to Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine.

The bald eagle cam is the fourth wildlife camera offered by the department, which also provides seasonal views of wintering sandhill cranes in southeastern Arizona, a bat roost at Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area and an underwater pupfish cam. All the live streams can be viewed at www.azgfd.gov/livecams.

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