A pair of bald eagles joined the Arconic Davenport community in Iowa in 2009. They built their 7-foot nest on our 400-acre facility in a tree near the Mississippi River. In the spring of 2010 they fledged a pair of eaglets and later that year we installed our first Eaglecam. Employees and the community helped name the eagle pair Liberty and Justice. Since the spring of 2010, Liberty and Justice have fledged fourteen eaglets from this nest. The first two eaglets fledged in summer 2010 before we installed the camera and they were never named. The twelve that have fledged since then are named: Freedom, Spirit, Faith, Hope, Honor, Glory, Rudy, Star, Sky, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
Since the camera was installed 35 million visitors from around the world have tuned in to witness an American icon, the bald eagle, developing live within this unique eco-system. In the fall and winter the eagles use the nest to eat and prepare the nest for the next season. Eagles nesting in Iowa typically lay eggs in mid-late February and the eggs hatch in mid-late March. The eaglets grow quickly and are ready to fly “fledge” in late May or early June. Arconic is proud that our unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability is helping conserve our precious natural resources.
After 42 days off the grid, Apollo has checked in. Yesterday she checked in along with Sky, Mercury and Gemini. Only Star did not check in. He has not checked in for about 11 days. Here are maps for the four that checked in yesterday. Apollo looks like she is heading back this general direction from south-central Minnesota.
Just when I thought there would be nothing left to watch...it changes quickly. This nest seems to be for rent by the hour. Eagles in, then Geese in, then eagles in, then geese lay an egg, then eagles in...and it continues. Nothing we can do but watch and see what happens. In the meantime here are maps of Sky, Mercury and Gemini. Star has been off the grid for about 5 days and Apollo has now been out of touch for about 35 days or so.
I was able to get tracking maps on Sunday for Sky, Mercury and Gemini. All three of them are hanging out on the outskirts of the Quad Cities. You will see that Sky actually came within a few hundred yards of the nest in the map from yesterday. I did a zoom in on that part of the map. It will be interesting to see what else happens around the nest this week.
Apollo has not checked in for about three weeks...but the other four have checked in over the last couple of days. As of yesterday afternoon Star was still in southern Wisconsin. At the same time, Sky, Mercury and Gemini are all withing about 10-15 miles of the nest. As of yesterday afternoon none of the charts show any of them actually at the nest...but Mercury is the closest.
It will be interesting to see How they deal with the snow coming into the area tonight. Will they stay on the nest as if they are still taking care of the egg? Today has been another day with very little nest time. Below are a few photos taken today near the nest. One is a bit blurry but you can see both Liberty & Justice near, but not in, the nest. A couple others of them flying around and into the nest tree. I did see a couple of immature eagles in the area but no other adults while I was there.
I want to acknowledge what many of our viewers have seen since Friday.
Late Friday afternoon another eagle attacked Liberty while she was tending to her egg in the nest. The intruder was eventually driven off, but not before inflicting some wounds to Liberty. What we did not know at the time was the egg may have been damaged in the fight. Liberty and Justice continued to tend to the egg on Saturday. However, Saturday night they left the egg unattended and on Sunday the egg disappeared from view. I have seen what looks like at least part of the egg this morning, but I think it is unlikely the egg would be viable at this point. Liberty & Justice continue coming to the nest, but seem confused about this turn of events as well.
We will continue to watch the nest, but we will likely have to wait until next year for our next eaglets.
We are waiting for a Mediacom crew to spend some time tonight working on our upload issues...keep your fingers crossed.
In the meantime, Mercury has been busy for the last few days. Below are some charts from the last 3 days. You will see he has been pretty close to home. This includes a map that shows just how close he came to the nest on a flyby during the last 24 hours. It does not look like he stopped at the nest or the trees in the area. He is still fairly close so we will continue to check on him in the coming days.
We are in the period of not quite winter and not quite spring. A mix of rain, sleet and snow this morning. It will be all rain for the middle part of the day and then another possibility of a mix this evening...hopefully most of that will go to our north. Liberty & Justice continue to doa great job tending to the egg.
I have updated maps for all five of the "kids" from the last two seasons. Apollo is really on the move. She has spent most of the last few months in Missouri. All of a sudden on Friday she took off and headed north. Below (at the bottom) you will see her maps from Saturday and Sunday. She got into Iowa on Friday and by Sunday was in Minnesota. It will be interesting to see how long she stays on this path and how far she goes. Star is still in southern Wisconsin, Sky and Mercury are along the Mississippi River between Burlington and Muscatine, Iowa, and Gemini is just east of Sterling/Rock Falls, Illinois.
What a great sunny day we are having today. Nice view today of parents as they take turns on the nest.
I wanted to share my surprise from this afternoon when I checked to see if the "kids" moved any further today. All have made a move to the north. Mercury shifted off the Mississippi and headed straight north and is not far from the area Gemini has been frequenting most of the winter. However, he will not find his sibling who has also headed straight north and is now near the Sterling/Rock Falls area north and east of the Quad Cities. Both Sky and Apollo moved a bit to the north but nothing like the dramatic trips taken since yesterday by Mercury and Gemini. Star did not check in today.
It looks like this will be a one egg year for the Arconic Eagles. That said, I would project a hatch somewhere around March 24. I'm sure we will all keep our fingers crossed for a successful hatch and mostly good weather for the next few weeks.
Over the weekend all five of the kids from the past two years checked in. Most are about where they have been. Sky made the biggest move heading up the Mississippi a bit to get just north of St. Louis. Star is still in southern Wisconsin, Mercury is the closest to home just north of Burlington, Iowa, Gemini is still southwest of Peoria and Apollo is still south of Joplin, Missouri.