by Brenda Nairn-Davies
SQUEE! That’s eagle talk for “excitement” because it’s almost time to open our LIVE CHAT for the Bald Eagle nest cam! Hope and Chandler, our resident pair at Port Tobacco River Park (in Charles County, Maryland), have begun their new nesting season. We can now watch their nestorations and their sharing (or not) breakfish and listen to their discussions through live streaming. (See more video links & eagle vocab below.)
Here’s a rough timeline of activity based on the last three seasons. Tune in when you can! The eagles usually begin bonding in October with productive mating in late January to early February. Egg laying happens around the end of January and the beginning of February. With luck, we will have baby eaglets in mid-March!!! Those nestlings grow from 3 inches to 3 feet tall in just 3 short months. They will wingersize their way to become fledglings at 10 to 14 weeks old, then fledge in mid- to late June. Chandler and Hope have successfully raised two eaglets a year over the past three seasons. Also, for the last two seasons, Hope laid three eggs. We are anxious to see if this happens again and if all three eggs will hatch.
We are looking forward to another successful season with our Port Tobacco River Park family, but don’t blink! It ‘flies’ by quickly.
To see live action, go to https://www.charlescountyparks.com/parks/eagle-cam or view at the bottom of our Southern Maryland Audubon Society homepage https://somdaudubon.org.
Want to chat? We will open up the chat room via YouTube very soon. First sessions will be on Wednesday, January 27 from 9:00 to 11:00 am and from 4:00 pm until sunset. Next chat opportunities will be on Friday, January 29 at the same times. Go to our YouTube live stream for the chat events at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPI9mWmmc7M.
Remember, the cam at Port Tobacco River Park shows a wild eagle nest in real time. Please know that there are scenarios that some viewers may find difficult to watch. Interactions with other wildlife, sibling rivalry, and weather can impact the eggs and/or eaglets. While we hope for a successful season, anything could happen.
Eagle Cam Vocabulary
Breakfish any meal brought into the nest, often fish!
Discussions beak-to-beak decision making (Hope wins 99% of the time)
Nestorations restoring the nest with new sticks. This activity often leads to “stick wars”— when one eagle places a stick in the nest, the other eagle will move it. (Hope again wins over Chandler)
Wingersize or Flappersize fledglings pumping up their wings to stregthen for first flight