A preliminary morning report: the eaglets are doing well. Wildlife rehabilitator Suzy Doell provided them with a large fish last night -- most of it was chopped into smaller pieces, though she also left a large hunk of fish to see how well they're tearing on their own. As of this morning: all fish was eaten! More reports to come after the daily "morning rounds" with the veterinary team.
Additional diagnostics were performed today on the three eaglets. Drs. Miranda and Kelly took radiographs [x-rays] on each one; the eaglets were briefly anesthetized for this. While some may wonder why the WCV staff are performing so many diagnostics on healthy young animals -- it's all in a day's work here. It's WCV protocol to provide thorough physical examinations on each patient -- and for all birds of prey, radiographs are taken. While these birds are healthy, we want to ensure that they didn't have any undiagnosed injuries that they may have received in the nest -- we've seen that sort of thing happen before with eaglet chicks! All three received a clean bill of health and are awake and alert again. An additional fish breakfast was served. Staff will try to mimic the feedings that mom and dad NBG eagles provided -- in both frequency and quantity. Since we do have other tools as our disposal, the rehabilitation staff is also able to calculate how many kilo-calories these young eaglets should be receiving -- so they know how many grams of food the eaglets should eat over the course of a day. All three eaglets combined should be receiving about 400 grams of fish at each feeding at this point in their development. The rehab staff are supplying approximately 700 grams of fish to ensure that each eaglet receives what they need. The weights of the eaglets yesterday upon examination were: NZ: 3.65 kilograms, or 8.03 lbs NX: 3.41 kgs, or 7.50 lbs NV: 2.8 kgs, or 6.16 lbs In other news, construction on the eaglets' outdoor enclosure continues. Dr. Dave reports that the work is very nearly complete; he is working to secure the area to make sure it is predator-proof. Another stick-gathering party was sent out this morning for materials. Former Education Coordinator Kelly Rourke came in this morning to oversee nest construction -- she's trying her best to channel her inner-eagle to provide a sturdy, natural nest for the young ones. A brief video clip of the breakfast delivery
At 3:45, Dr. Dave called from the new eaglet enclosure: "We need more sticks!" A third session of stick-gathering was soon underway by staff and students. Nest construction continues. Otherwise, the eaglet enclosure is finished and will be ready for the eaglets tomorrow morning. It is likely that Bald Eagle patient #11-207 will be the adult eagle placed in the other half of the enclosure for the eaglets to observe. In other news, we are making real progress with getting a webcam set up in the eaglet enclosure! Thanks to the Center's IT person [who also serves on the board of directors], a new webcam was installed in the eaglet enclosure today. WCV staff and colleagues are working very hard to make a webcam a reality -- both for the staff to monitor the eaglets, as well as to reconnect these birds with their adoring cyber-family. There are a number of challenges related to quickly setting up this webcam -- one being that the eaglet enclosure is quite a distance away from the building. Wires were strung through the forest to connect this camera to the building's network. It's not pretty, but it works! We are currently able to get a live-feed inside our own network, though even that is very limited with current internet problems. One of the current issues that we're faced with is having enough bandwidth to provide the live feed to the world. The important thing to know is that this isn't quick and easy fix -- this is an issue with where the WCV is located. Essentially, to use an over-simplified analogy: the WCV has a garden hose right now -- and we need a huge water pipe! And it will take a bit of time to build a water pipe to handle the huge amount of hits to a webcam. We are working on figuring out the logistics -- please be patient with us! In the meantime, the photo and video updates will continue, and we will also be able to take some screen captures of the in-house feed from the webcam. Finally, an eaglet update: all three eaglets enjoyed their breakfast fish and were served another for lunch. All are doing well.
We look forward to the time when we can share the webcam with the world -- in the meantime, until all of those complications are ironed out -- the webcam is hugely helpful in at least providing the NBG eaglet "family" with updates! Nest is nearly complete.
Ta-da! This is one nice-looking nest if we do say so ourselves -- kudos to Dr. Dave and Kelly Rourke for the construction!
5:44 p.m: Final update of the day
One more shot from the webcam -- Dr. Dave and Kelly put some finishing touches on the nest after the last posted photo. The eaglets are all resting comfortably in their indoor enclosure. They will be fed again later this evening. Tomorrow, we'll move them into their new nest -- and you guessed it, we'll provide plenty of photos of the venture. Until tomorrow ...