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Hoping Eaglets Survive Cold
DECORAH, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Across the globe millions of people have watched a drama unfold high in the tree tops above Decorah. Thats where a live Bald Eagle Cam has followed every move of two parents frantically trying to save their babies from one of the worst winters in history.
Feathered fans have followed the pair of giant eagles for years as they rebuild their nest every spring, lay eggs and raise their young. But Mother Nature doesnt follow a calendar and when the female laid her three eggs a little more than one month ago, she had no way of knowing the brutal weather that still lie ahead.
For 35 agonizing days people could only watch and hope as the eagles warmed their precious eggs round the clock, through blizzards, howling winds and brutal temperatures. Raptor Resource Project Director Bob Anderson admits he tried to prepare everyone for the bad news, warning that the eggs may never hatch, Between the rain and sleet and snow it essentially turned the nest into a big ice cube.
But even with the small cluster of eggs surrounded by snow, under Mom and Dads feathery incubator, signs of life began to appear. One .. then two .. and Monday morning number three, as all of the fuzz balls emerged from their shells to surprise their internet fans. Anderson says he still cant believe his eyes, Its absolutely amazing. I mean it truly is amazing. I was praying we would have one baby to give the world, but to have all three hatch is amazing and considering the cold, 25 below, strong winds, heavy snows, I have seen many Bald Eagle nests fail in those temperatures.
Anderson calls it nearly a wildlife miracle. He says the Bald Eagles absolutely refused to let their eggs get cold, even on nights when ten inches of snow fell on the nest. He says the three eaglets look healthy and owe their lives to Mom and Dad, who weathered many storms, At this nest it starts snowing and booop, both birds are there with their wings out. They work as a team and theyre very good parents and it probably just indicated why theyre successful in hatching their eggs.
Nature can be cruel and the eaglets still have another three months to compete for food and survive the elements before they leave the nest, but Anderson says at one point after the third egg hatched Monday morning he looked at the eagle cam and saw the remains of a duck, three squirrels and three trout in the nest. He says thats a good start on life.
You can follow the raptors on the Decorah Eagle Cam 24-7 by following the link here on our website.