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.
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.
It appears Liberty has laid her first egg of 2018. While I still have not seen the egg, both parents are clearly taking turns tending to the egg and doing a pretty good job of keeping it hidden from the view of our cameras. Based on what we saw last night I have to agree the egg arrived somewhere between 6 & 8 pm last night (CDT). I would expect a second egg on Saturday or Sunday.
While we wait for Liberty & Justice to produce their first egg of the season I wanted to share an update on the five kids we continue to track. All five "checked in" yesterday. All are in roughly the same places they have been for the last month or so. To recap; Star is in southern Wisconsin; Sky is along the Mississippi River north of Burlington, Iowa; Mercury is in far southern Illinois; Gemini is just a little southwest of Peoria, Illinois; Finally Apollo is south of Joplin, Missouri.
Now that we are in February it is time to begin looking for an egg. On average our pair lay the first egg about the middle of the month. We have seen some earlier and a few much later. It was nice to see both of them in the nest this morning. They clearly have the bole pretty deep as one is sitting there with just its head sticking out in view. Below is a picture from this morning and tracking maps for all five of our youngsters. They have checked in at various times this week. Star had gone silent for about three weeks but pinged in a couple of days ago. Star is still in southern Wisconsin. Sky is along the Mississippi north of Burlington, Iowa. Mercury is in southern Illinois. Gemini is in central Illinois just southwest of Peoria. Finally, Apollo is in southwest Missouri.
Our weather forecast is looking better with temps moderating into the 30's and 40's for the next week or two. As of yesterday it also looks like Mediacom has fixed whatever it was that was slowing our upload speeds. Below are maps of four of the kids from yesterday. It has now been about 12 days or so since Star checked in. I will say at the point she last checked in the battery in the transmitter was very low. I expect she will check in sometime in the next week or two.
We have been fighting some upload speed issues for a few days. Mediacom is working on the issue and I hope it will be resolved soon. In the meantime I did have three of the five "kids" check in today. Sky is still along the Mississippi River near Burlington. Mercury is in southern Illinois just north of Cape Girardeau. Gemini continues to hang out along the Illinois River not too far south from Peoria.