Monday, April 19, 2010

My live nesting bird cam obsession

It's Spring and with Spring comes nesting birds and cute little wobbly baby birds growing up under mama's wing. I've started a fun new obsession this Spring - watching live webcams from inside the nests of three eagle families and one owl family. They're so captivating to watch so I thought I'd share it with you so that you can ignore your responsibilities by watching a mother owl trying to sleep while four little owlets drive her insane. I have taken a screen shot of each bird family below with links to the live cams.

Here's a screen shot I took tonight of the owlets waiting for mama to come back with a nice mouse for dinner.

Here's Molly and McGhee's live cam from San Marcos, California. A man built an owl nesting box in his back yard and waited a couple of years hoping someone would move in. He's now got a gorgeous family of Barn Owls living live on the web in his own back yard and he has close to 9 million followers online.

FYI, the man behind the cam is Carlos and he periodically comes on the cam in a picture-in-picture and talks about what's been happening with the owl family. Take last night for example, Molly left the owlets for about 20 hours and everyone was extremely worried about her. She eventually came back with a mouse a minute after McGhee, much to everyone's relief. It turns out that she'll start leaving them longer now that they're older and a few of them can swallow prey whole. (Also, a couple of books are being written about Molly's story - one is a children's book for less than $5).

You can check out their blog and info page here. They have some gorgeous photos and owl facts you won't want to miss.

I've also been quite captivated with nesting eagles, thanks to friends of mine constantly passing along eagle webcams. Here are three eagle families in three very different stages of life.

The first one is an eagle couple on Hornby Island in Canada who recently laid two eggs. Apparently it's getting close to chick hatching time, which would be amazing to watch live. I like watching the mama eagle turn the eggs from time to time and otherwise sit there keeping them warm looking slightly bored. Here's a pic I grabbed this afternoon of mama eagle giving us a peek at her eggs.

The next eagle family in British Columbia has a tiny little baby eagle in the nest. I've only seen one, although there could be another hidden one or one that hasn't hatched yet. Mom and Dad eagle both bring food back and rip it up into tiny little strips for their baby to gobble down. So far I've only seen them bring back fish. You can just see the little baby reaching up his head and taking some food on this picture.

The final eagle family in Norfolk, Virginia, has three big fat babies who are getting adult feathers and losing their chick fluff. I've seen both eagle parents visit the nest with food for the kids. This site is great because they often do a live chat where the eagle experts from the park will answer questions from you about the birds.

A little warning - all of these webcams have microphones attached to them. If you have one of the webcams up on your computer and turn your head you risk hearing a loud SCREEEEEEEEEEECH! that will cause any dog to come out of their skin and cause you to do a very embarrassing jump in your chair. Also, be prepared to watch these birds of prey bring back dinner for their babies and rip it to shreds. It's such an amazing look into these birds lives and I've become quite addicted to my own form of reality tv!


Dani said...

These are wonderful Kate! Thanks for passing it along.

Erin said...

Love the owls! We can see the eagle's nest from the treetop deck at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, it's pretty cool. Last time, I was leaning out over the railing (the deck is in the treetops-cool place to eat lunch!), and I noticed a big water moccasin about 5 feet to my right in the tree....FREAK OUT!!! Now I watch on the web cam, LOL!

Stefaneener said...

I remember going to see some owlets in a nest here. It was fascinating!

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