The newest resident at the National Conservation Training Center is an American bald eagle chick, having hatched on March 14th in the top of a 110 foot sycamore tree on the west side of campus.
This is the first hatchling for this particular pair of adult eagles, and another egg remains in the nest. If the second egg also hatches, it is anticipated to happen in the next 24-48 hours. So, if you missed the first hatching, you may still be able to catch the second one via our live-streaming eagle cam, hosted by our partners at the Outdoor Channel.
The breeding pair first became acquainted last year when the male successfully drove off a long-standing resident male. While the ultimate location of the former resident male remains a mystery, the question of whether this new pair would return to the nest during breeding season has been answered.
American bald eagles are thought to typically mate for the long-term, if not for life. However, in areas where populations are strong and healthy, competition for nests can occur, and sometimes displaces one member of a breeding pair. This is exactly what NCTC biologist Dr. Jim Siegel believes happened last year. “Decades ago, we didn’t know whether the eagle population was going to recover from the negative impacts of DDT. In our region today, the population has grown to such an extent that we now have competition for habitat, including nests. It’s a real success story,” said Siegel.
For more information about the eagles at the National Conservation Training Center, visit our eagle updates page online. For a 5 minute video of today’s hatch, visit YouTube.
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March 14, 2012
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