A handoff occurred during my first viewing. I was mesmerized by the piercing yellow eyes constantly scanning the surroundings, and the fuzzy gray head of a baby bird poking out from underneath the breast feathers. Suddenly, another eagle entered the frame and landed on the edge of the nest. The dramatic effect doubled: now there were two massive birds and bold white heads. After a few moments, the babysitting parent took off, revealing two more youngsters hidden underneath. The new arrival shuffled over to assume the position, and the eaglets huddled closer for warmth.
It’s a few days later and I’m back for more, sharing the site with about 80,000 other people also viewing live video feed of the Decorah Eagles at this moment. Many of them undoubtedly have visited before – it’s a bit addictive— but with more than 43 million hits since the site went online this winter, the total number of people who have sneaked a peak clearly is quite large. Sponsored by the Raptor Resource Project this real-time video feed provides anyone with an internet connection a voyeuristic view of a bald eagle family nesting near a fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa. You can also click on links replaying each of the eggs being laid and hatching, as well as the youngsters feeding.
So what’s the big draw?