April 4, 2011

Millions Watch Live Cam Feed Of Nesting Bald Eagles

A nesting bald eagle couple in Decorah, Iowa has become the center of attention on the Internet lately.

With more than 11 million views from about 130 countries, a live streaming video captured the first egg laid in February, two other followed to total three eggs.

The eggs incubated for several weeks before they hatched.

A biologist and executive director of the non-profit organization, Raptor Resource Project, Bob Anderson installed the live video feed from an 80-foot aerie

The eagle couple has raised eight eaglets since building the nest four years ago.

The previous nesting season saw 10 million hits with about 78,000 of them from unique visitors. Last year the Internet world also experienced three hatched eggs.

The infrared, night-time camera that is the size of a grapefruit allows people to watch the eagle family at any time. It is reported that more than 100,000 people are viewing the site at any time of day or night.

The feed is so popular because people can get a clear view of the eagle family, Reuter reports. This allows a "close view of the majestic birds with white feathers on their head and dark bodies, and the tiny, vulnerable, fuzz ball eaglets."

Anderson told Reuters in a post, "It is a wonder of having modern technology linking to the wonder of nature, and once people watch it they take ownership."

The camera angles are controlled by Anderson through a joystick from a nearby shed.

Two volunteers were recently recruited to help man the cameras so that Anderson could get some sleep and respond to emails from eagle fans around the world, reports the Associated Newspaper.

"It's so big everybody's having problems," says Anderson, which has since been fixed by the organization staff.

You can view the stream at http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles.