Eagle camera captures eaglet birth, owl attack - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Eagle camera captures eaglet birth, owl attack

Source: Berry College Web Cam Source: Berry College Web Cam

For the past week, I've had trouble pulling myself away from my computer and the drama that has been unfolding in real time before my eyes. A live web camera on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Ga., has provided a close-up view of an eagle's nest as a female and male eagle took turns taking care of two eggs.

And I'm clearly not the only one who has found this close up view of nature fascinating: In the past two weeks alone, there have been about a million views of the Berry College eagle camera website. At any given time, 7,000 to 12,000 computers have the camera web site up for viewing.

[WATCH: Berry College Eagle Cam]

And all that patience has paid off. Finally, on Feb. 22, the first egg hatched and an eaglet emerged. As of this writing, the second egg has not yet hatched.

But the birth has not been the only excitement. On the night of Feb. 19, the camera captured a fleeting but dramatic attack by a Great Horned Owl on the eagle's nest, with an enraged mama eagle repulsing the invader.

I didn't see either the hatching or the attack live; I'm not quite so compulsive that I sat up through the night to see everything. But Berry officials have graciously provided film clips and still photos of those events.           

And I have seen the male eagle bring food to the female and trade jobs with warming the eggs. And I've seen the female rearranging the eggs and later interacting with the eaglet. Right now, as I write, I see the eaglet squirming under the female while she still sits on the other egg.

If you wonder, the female is the larger of the two eagles. Both parents take turns warming the eggs, but the female appears to have by far the most time in the nest.

Eagles are fascinating creatures. I've seen them in person here in Alabama at Lake Guntersville and at several places along the Alabama River, including Gees Bend. I've seen them in Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, and other national parks.   But the Berry College eagle cam has provided more than 2 million people the chance to see eagles in a way they could never see them in person.

Ken Hare is a retired newspaper writer and editor who now writes a weekly column for WSFA's web site. See his columns on public affairs issues at:   http://www.wsfa.com/category/245234/ken-hare-in-depth

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