What's the Best Bald Eagle Cam?
Bald Eagle Cam Suggestions
Living in the nation's capitol comes with a certain panache of patriotism, and with that DC has gone bald eagle crazy for the latest round of chicks that have hatched at the National Arboretum. You can watch every move of mom and dad eagle, every pip of the eggs hatching, and the woozy wobbling of the young in real time on their eagle cam (short for camera). It's fascinating, and unpredictable. I would also venture it's something like watching fish in a tank, it is relaxing and lowers blood pressure too. In light of this I thought it would be useful to list some of the best live eagle cams on the web.
These two eagles are called "Mr. President" and the "First Lady" of eagles. They nest in the National Arboretum, among the Azalea Collection and is hosted by the American Eagle Foundation. There are two camera views, A (above the nest) and B (beside the nest). Make sure that your Adobe Acrobat viewer is up to date or you'll have trouble viewing it. You can find the eagle cam here: http://www.eagles.org/dceaglecam/ or click on heading above.
This camera is also from the American Eagle Foundation and it features two larger fledglings (as big as their parents) called "Liberty" and "Justice" (as of this posting 3/2016), see a trend in names here? I don't like their page as much as the DC cam, it's harder to understand where to find the live feeds. You have to scroll down a bit, or click on the specific cams. They have three views, top, side, and bottom (like you're looking up at the nest). This eagle cam is dedicated to eagle conservationist Bob Hatcher. This eagle cam also has a night time infrared light that allows you to watch even after dark. http://www.eagles.org/Cams/FloridaNest.html
This nest cam is in Iowa, but it's one of the most well known. The eagle cam is run by the Raptor Resource project, that has a lot of activity and resources on their blog and Facebook pages. However, I will say that the page is kind of busy and hard to follow. Information is buried, and if you didn't know this nest was in Iowa, they make it really hard to find out. I like the cam, but unlike the other cams they have a loud advertisement that you have to sit through before you get to the cam (so turn down the volume before you click here. There's only one view on this eagle cam's live stream.
I do like that the Decorah page also has links to other eagle cams, but you have to dig a bit to find them. Again, it's not the easiest page to navigate. I did like that on their Facebook page they offer a guide to telling the male and female apart (see below).
Unlike the other three cams this one is a private eagle cam that is hosted by Minnesota Bound and Ron Schara. It's pretty much a "come to Minnesota" plug. Like the Decorah eagle cam you'll have to sit through a commercial before you get to the actual cam. Don't bother clicking on the "watch without ads" option, it takes you someplace you'll have to sign up for subscriptions and it's annoying. I like the cam, and the page is more friendly than the Decorah North page, but I found the constant pop-up ads annoying. There is only one camera angle/view on this eagle cam. They also advertise a "Live Loon Cam" but that's not operational anymore. http://mnbound.com/live-eagle-cam/.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission hosts this eagle cam. They don't give a name for their eagles, but the cam is pretty good. I found it confusing that the first video stream box/image on their web page http://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/bald-eagle-live-cam doesn't work at all (for some reason it doesn't stream). You have to click on the second box below it to get to the live stream, and it takes you to a second page. Save yourself some effort and go directly tohttp://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/pa-bald-eagle-ir-cam or click the title/link above. There aren't any commercials, which is nice, but there's only one camera view.
This cam is run by a private group, Dick Pritchett real estate in Florida. I like the simplicity of this eagle cam. It's easy to access and has no commercials. The eagles are called M15 (Ozzie) and Harriet. I also like that they provide a quick guide to telling the male and female apart. As of this post (Spring 2016) they have two rather large chicks. There are three camera views, with one additional split view. Pretty much the only functional/good one is the first view or Camera 1. The others are too far away. You can find their website at http://www.dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html.
Regardless of which cam you watch, eagle cams are a great window into the lives of these amazing birds. They can also be a window into dialogue about raptor (bird of prey) conservation.
Do you have a favorite eagle cam that isn't listed here? If so shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy watching!