MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People all over the world are getting a chance to see Minnesota bald eagles up close.
The “DNR EagleCam” is in its second year, but this is the first time the eagles laid eggs that hatched into chicks.
The live feed, available online, gets thousands of hits a day with people wanting to see the chicks in their natural habitat, according to Lori Naumann, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program information officer.
“People were saying, you know, it would be really neat to have a camera in an eagle’s nest,” Naumann said. “It’s been really fascinating.”
The EagleCam has been following the progress of two bald eagles and their three babies, who were just hatched in the last two weeks. The bald eagle is more common in Minnesota than any of the lower 48 states, so the DNR decided to broadcast its research to the rest of the world.
“Watching them with a camera is a non-invasive, harmless way of researching them without having to take blood from them, capture them or put bands on them,” Naumann said. “We can just watch them.”
More than 130,000 visitors have gone to the site, where they can currently see the parents with their newly hatched chicks.
“There are people all over the country watching them,” Naumann said. “We got a call from a classroom in Alaska, and they’ve been watching it every day. These fifth graders are learning about eagles.”
A research team is studying behaviors, like the parents’ incubation duties, feeding and protecting their eggs from the elements.
The EagleCam is only meant for viewing. The DNR won’t be interacting with any of the eagles in the nest. It’s there for the researchers to learn and to teach the rest of the world about the beautiful species.
“It’s all been really insightful, and it’s been really beneficial for us,” Naumann said.
The location of the nest is kept secret to protect the eagles.