Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

Live Streaming Eagles

Adult bald eagle

Adult bald eagle

I’m sitting here at my computer in Alberta, listening to the occasional squawks of a bald eagle sitting on a nest in British Columbia, with American robins and frogs in the background. You gotta love the internet!

Hancock Wildlife Federation has set up a live streaming video of a bald eagle nest located in a high tree. The two cameras were installed before the birds arrived, and will be running until the fledglings are gone. At this moment, one of the adults is sitting on the nest, carefully watching the surroundings, and waiting for its mate to return.

Eagle fanatics around the world are glued to this website, waiting for the big event. The chicks should be hatching any day now, pecking their way out of the shells with a temporary pip tooth at the end of their beak. Once they have no further use for it, the pip tooth will fall off.

I’ve discovered that if I open seond tab on the internet, or another program on the computer, I can leave the eagle cam on in the background. When another bird gets too close, or the mate comes back, the eagle calls alert me to something happening, and I can quickly switch over. And in the bottom right hand corner of the video you can quickly switch to a full screen view. A word of warning, though.

Ooh a flock of Canada geese flew over the nest – that got the eagle’s attention. And just now the adults changed places. One of them has a black mark on the tip of it’s beak, and other doesn’t. Looks to me like there are three eggs in there.

As I was saying. A word of warning before you go to the site. If you have anything you have to get done over the next few days – do not look at the eagle cam! This thing is beyond addicting, and absolutely guaranteed to keep you glued to your computer.

On the bright side though, I guess you could get a lot of other computer work done while waiting for the eggs to hatch…And if you crank up the volume, you can even hear the eagle squawks when you’re in the next room – I checked.

You can watch the eagle cam here – as long as you’ve got all your work done…

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Filed under: Raptors, , ,

A Must See Video

Even though this video is not a Canadian bird species, it is an incredible view of a Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus sitting on a nest with five fledglings. Truly outstanding, and not a view we’re usually allowed to see!

Filed under: Raptors

Counting Raptors

Immature golden eagle

Immature golden eagle

Raptors, or birds of prey, are among the most popular species for bird watchers. For the ‘hawk watchers’, it’s a joy to read the reports of returning raptors each spring.

Across North America, there are many hawkwatch sites set up, where observations are carried out on a regularly repeated basis from a single monitoring site. A hawkwatch is an organized effort to collect migration count data on diurnal raptors (eagles, hawks and falcons). Records include species identities, quantities, and behaviors of seasonal migrant hawks; data on weather conditions; and number of observers and hours of observation.

The Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation has watching sites set up in the Rocky Mountains of western Canada. Manned by volunteers each spring and fall, thousands of migrating bald eagles, golden eagles, and many species of hawks and falcons are counted. Twice a year they set up a blog to report on their sightings. You can follow the results of the Spring 2009 Migration on their blog.

They are also counting returning raptors across Canada, and you can check the locations and daily counts on the Hawk Migration Association of North America website. Or go directly to individual provinces:

Manitoba

British Columbia

Ontario

Quebec

I participated in an autumn raptor watch one year. It was a beautiful sunny day in the Rocky Mountains, and I have to say, laying on my back on the side of a mountain, watching hundreds of raptors float overhead was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. If you live near any of the hawkwatch sites, you should really look into volunteering. It is a spectacular bird watching experience.

Filed under: Raptors, , , , ,

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