Month: February 2014

Liberty and Justice Screeching and Protecting the Nest


I captured a bit of footage of Liberty and Justice trying to deal with all the eagles in the area. Never a dull moment.


Liberty delivers egg #2 of 2014 on 2.27.14

Another egg is now in the nest. In case you missed we have amazing people on watch 24/7 to grab all we need!

Once again eaglewhisperer18 captures Liberty in action. I just love these videos as I did not get to see any of this last year.



This image was snagged by an avid eagle watcher Carolyn.

Will we be blessed with a third egg? The third egg is not common, but we did have three eggs a few years back. Now they will work hard to keep those eggs warm. We have had cold temperature here in Iowa in the below zero range when you include windchill. We are expected to get more snow, but not as much as expected. Saturday they are thinking an inch or less, but more as night settles. I have hope that the weather will be nice for our eagles(fingers crossed). The good thing is that Liberty and Justice and all the other eagles have endured worse this winter so this won’t seem like such a big deal to them.

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Continue to watch the nest. There seems to be much more activity around the nest than previous years(this is my personal opinion so don’t take it as fact). On 2.26.14 there was all sorts of excitement as juvies decided to be a bit of a pain. They kept flying by creating a ruckus. Liberty was not happy at all and was screeching like crazy. I was I had my recording equipment to screencast, but I did not. Next time. I did however snag one shot of a juvie flying by on my phone.



We will have to watch the nest this weekend and see how they do with the snow, wind, and cold.

Until next time……

Straw, lots of straw, cold temps, and a ton of Eagle Watchers

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After all the excitement of the first egg being laid it is sometimes tough to keep the excitement going. I know we are now in a waiting game to see if another egg will emerge. While we wait many things have developed in the journey of Liberty and Justice.

First, for those that don’t follow all the eagle nests around the world, there were many nests that laid eggs on the same day including the eagles in Decorah, Iowa. It was a busy day to say the least!

As students will notice along with many who are new to the camera Liberty and Justice are amazing parents. They know what they are doing. I know at times our human brain and emotions kick in and we feel bad for the egg or the eagles, but trust me or even more importantly trust Liberty and Justice that they know what to do.

Things that you will start to see if that they will take turns keeping the egg warm. They will rotate the egg every hour or so. There is a reason for this, but I don’t want to ruin all the research and team explorations of the students who begin their online team collaboration later this week. When we raised quail last year we learned the importance of egg rotation

Students and others have expressed concern with the fact that Liberty and Justice leave the egg exposed to the cold or possibly predators. Liberty and Justice are always near the nest. We may not see them, but trust that they are around. There is also a reason for this to happen. They are attempting to cool the egg in hopes that it will slow the egg development. By doing this the eggs will hatch closer to the same date. If the eaglets hatch too many days apart the younger ones have a real hard time staying alive. They grow and develop so fast and it is survival of the fittest. Don’t panic, they are just trying to make sure all their eaglets have a chance to reach adulthood.

I will be recording a podcast this week about the egg process. I hope to share some insight into the egg development. If you have questions let me know and I will be sure to answer them on the podcast.

Many still want to know how to decipher Liberty from Justice. I posted earlier on this blog on this topic, but the easiest way to determine who is who is that Liberty has a black spot on her white feathers. Justice has a smaller head but it is hard to see that at times. The females eagles are bigger than males so when together you can determine them much easier.

Some of you may have noticed a massive amount of straw in the nest. After the nest looking so bare A bale of straw is being delivered to Alcoa. Some straw was left by the nest and L and J discovered it and now so many people are quite happy. It has been a very cold and difficult winter. Today we are back in below zero temps once again so the straw is quite helpful for the egg. You can check out project page to see the nest prior to the 25th to see the difference in the straw. We have another snow storm moving in this weekend where we could get up to six inches of snow. We are so over this snow and cold!

In regards to our global education project I posted to many forums for eagle watchers to mark the location. You are all amazing and I thank you for taking time to stamp the map. Our students are now able to see their audience for their work as well as how amazing the camera has impacted people from all over. THANK YOU to all who took time. Your support of the students and the project is not going unnoticed and only makes the whole community stronger.

I have added a new map to our education project. I think it would be awesome to have showing where all eagle watchers are located. If you can please add your location so students can see how far reaching this camera has become.

Students will begin their research next week so we will start to slowly share out some work. Teachers are getting some cool things accomplished in their classrooms and we hope to share those out soon on the wiki as well.

Lastly, if anyone ever wants to guest post on this blog just get a hold of me. I would love to have other voices on this blog as things progress.

Alright, back to eagle watching and staying warm.

Liberty lays first egg on 2.23.14

Finally, after waiting and waiting we have our first egg!

I am so excited. I know there was some nervous people worried about Liberty and Justice possibly nesting elsewhere and so many intruders in the nest as of late that we just were not sure what we were going to get.

Then last night Liberty settled in and laid the first egg of the season

Even better Eaglewhisperer18 actually captured it on video. It happened around 6:20-6:25 PM CST


I missed the event by about 20 minutes. I was wrapping up homework with my son and when we checked we saw all the excitement.

Last night everyone shared the first glimpse


This morning an awesome eagle watcher, Mavis, shared this image of the egg when Liberty and Justice swapped egg warming duties.





It is official!

Now we wait to see if another egg will show up over the next few days. For those that are new there will always be Liberty or Justice in the nest. I will post about the brood patch as well as try to answer or find answers to any questions that you have.

As always, we are keeping a running log on our project page so if you get any good shots let me know or add them yourself –

As always I give much thanks to all the eagle watchers and groups that help me stay current with the events of the nest. There is a wonderful community that really reaches out helps me quite a bit.

Update Knowledge on Eagle with Bad Beak

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I reached out to Peter Sharpe, Ph.D. of the Institute for Wildlife Studies in California about the eagle we captured in photo when visiting Lock and Dam 14.

He responded with the following information which I found interesting.

I can’t tell if that is a deformity or an injury. It almost looks like the middle section was broken off. If that it the case, then it may grow back slowly. I think it can still eat because it has the tearing parts of the beak still.

This is not a specific answer, but what I found interesting is the chance that the beak might actually grow back. I will have to do more research on this topic because I never thought that the beak was something that would regrow. 

You can learn more about Peter Sharpe at

I am hoping that we can find time to do an interview and podcast, but he did state that he is ready to be out on a project surveying and banding birds. I will keep you posted if we can arrange anything.

If you know anymore about the beak leave a comment. A very interesting topic for students and eagle fans to explore.

Something for you to chew on and sling your opinion


Here is the story shared here on our local news WQAD

Watch the story here and then come back to this blog and let me know what your thoughts are on this idea.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic

Eagle photographers launch fish for the perfect picture via @wqad