Sunday, May 27, 2007

Eaglets Testing Their Wings on Eagle Cam

Eaglets Testing Their Wings on Eagle Cam

The eaglets at the Norfolk Botanical Garden continue to grow. The three young eagles have replaced their downy feathers with their brown juvenile plumage, including their flight feathers. These eaglets won't attain the emblematic white head and tail of an adult eagle until they are 4 or 5 years old.

The eaglets are much more active in the nest now, and have begun to test their wings, catching breezes and getting the feel for what flying will be like. They'll begin to make short hopping glides to adjacent branches, gaining coordination and strength in their flight muscles. Sometime around Memorial Day we expect these eaglets will start fledging. They'll stay in the vicinity for a few weeks and may often return to the nest where their parents will continue to feed them. The immature birds will follow their parents - who may continue to be fed by them. The young eagles will eventually learn to hunt on their own, and will subsist largely on scavenged fish until they gain the skills necessary to catch live prey.

Be sure to follow the progress of the eaglets on the VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam. VDGIF maintains a blog with news and information about the birds.

Eagle Cam Named Top 10 in World

Recently the Web site selected the VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam one of the Top 10 webcams in the world. The Top 10 webcams are chosen by a panel of EarthCam producers who select the best out of hundreds of popular webcam submissions. The criteria used for judging includes image quality, uniqueness of the content, and overall technical achievement in webcam technology. The Web site describes the winners as, "the cameras that have amused, amazed, or astounded us."

Check out EarthCam's Top 10 list or visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Eagle Cam Blog.