DNR Nongame EagleCam Update Jan. 26, 2017

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Any day now . . .

Will we soon have eggs?

Will she?! Won’t she?! Many of our eagle fans have speculated that the female eagle may soon lay eggs. Indeed, she and her partner have been tidying up their aerie, or nest, by preparing the bole (the cupped area where the eggs will be laid), rearranging sticks, and bringing in new nesting materials.


A juvenile eagle was observed in the nest again this week. This is potentially the same bird that was observed last week. Perhaps this juvenile is “taking notes” on how to best pick a nesting site and construct a nest?


Bald eagles select very different nesting sites across their geographic range. For example, at higher latitudes where coniferous trees dominate, eagles primarily nest in pines, spruces, and firs. At lower latitudes where deciduous trees dominate, eagles primarily nest in oaks, hickories, cottonwoods, and aspens. However, the species’ adaptability is especially evident at the extremes of its range. Bald eagles often nest in mangroves in southern Florida and around the Gulf of California, and they nest on the ground in treeless areas of Alaska and northern Canada.


Again, as a reminder, eggs were first observed during the first week of January in 2013, and on February 14 in 2014, January 19 in 2015, and January 25 in 2016. We suspect these eagles will soon lay eggs, so keep checking the DNR EagleCam live stream website. We are very excited to meet this year’s eaglets! If you happen to be watching when the first egg arrives, please let us know via our DNR Nongame Wildlife Facebook page so we can retrieve the video footage and still images to share with everyone.


Common species need love, too

Just because you’re a fan of feathered species, doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the furred, scaled, or slippery ones! Even common species are integral to healthy and resilient ecosystems.


One of the most common animals throughout the United States is the squirrel. Did you know that there are at least six squirrel species in Minnesota? They include the gray, red (or pine), fox, southern flying, northern flying, and thirteen-lined ground squirrel. Each of these species is unique and has its own niche or role and position in an ecological community. For example, gray squirrels actively forage for food during the winter, while thirteen-lined ground squirrels quietly hibernate and wait for spring to arrive. And, as anyone who’s followed our EagleCam knows, squirrels sometimes wind up as food for other critters.


The gray squirrel, a common backyard inhabitant, has a two potential breeding periods: December-February and June-August. We’re nearing the end of the winter breeding period, which may explain observed upticks in gray squirrel activity.


You can help celebrate these species by attending Squirrel Appreciation Day at Sibley State Park (Sunday, January 28, 12:00-2:00 pm). Earn bragging rights by being the best squirrel impersonator or by collecting the most acorns. This event is going to be NUTS!!


Don’t worry if you can’t attend Squirrel Appreciation Day. There are plenty of other opportunities to get outside and learn about wildlife winter ecology. For example, you can learn to identify wildlife tracks at Fort Snelling State Park (Sunday, January 29, 1:00-2:00 pm), or you can snowshoe to the bog in Lake Bemidji State Park and learn how it changes with the seasons (Sunday, January 29, 1:00-3:00 pm).


Check out Minnesota State Parks and Trails’ events calendar for more information about these and other events. Our parks are a state treasure, so be sure to enjoy them!


Same stream, new address

We’ve made some technical changes to our live video feed, so the web address has changed:



Like what you read here? Want to learn more? Your MN-DNR Nongame Wildlife Program and the educational products it provides (including the popular EagleCam), are made possible by donations from the public. Please give today.