NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

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NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:37 pm

Work in Progress


Welcome to the NCTC 2020 & 2021 Nesting Seasons

NCTC Live Cam


Links to the start of the current and previous season's discussion in this thread:
  • 2020/2021 Season starts HERE
  • 2019/2020 Season starts HERE

Bella and Smitty are the resident pair.
Feb 14 Mom wants to mate.JPG
viewtopic.php?p=376949#p376949


:vid:
Bella & Smitty - First Season Together - 2019 Highlights - NCTC Bald Eagles - August 2019
https://youtu.be/AGj-urH7HJ0
2019 April 2 2019 Bella Smitty and Chickletts.JPG
Nest Location - Shepherdstown, West Virginia
This eagle nest is located approximately 75 miles from Washington, D.C. on the campus of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' National Conservation Training Center. The campus is located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, approximately 1/4 mile from the Potomac River. The eagle nest is on the west side of the National Conservation Training Center campus, about 90 feet high in a large sycamore tree, and is about 6 feet across and 5 feet deep, and weights several hundred pounds. It is made of branches and large sticks with a softer grass and leaf lining. Over the past couple of years there was been concern that the nest tree is dying but so far it has held up!
NCTC Map.jpg
NCTC Map.jpg (26.72 KiB) Viewed 4312 times


2021 Nesting Season
Eggs Laid: February 11, 2:42 pm; February 14, 5:50 pm
Hatch Date: March 20, 3:34 pm (37 days); March 22, 9:37 am (36 days)
Branching:
Fledge Date: Talon at 5:41 am June 5, 2021; Spirit at 11:25 am June 8, 2021
Last Seen:
Intrusions:

2020 Nesting Season
Eggs Laid: February 17, 4:11 pm; February 20, 6:35 pm
Hatch Date: March 25, 1:21 pm (37 days); March 27, 8:41 am (36 days)
Sad News: the 2-day-old older eaglet fell into a little hole in the nest and died on March 27
Named: Ozzy
Branching:
Fledge Date: June 13, 2:29 pm (78 days)
Last Seen:
Intrusions:

(JudyB contributed to the timeline updates)

Hatch Timelines
Experience shows that the first egg often hatches around Day 38 and the second egg hatches a bit earlier often Day 36 or 37 as a result of the "cooling period" of the first egg thereby promoting a closer hatch of the eggs. Once all the eggs are laid then the birds generally incubate the eggs continuously. In 2014 Belle cooled the egg one night for 6 hours straight and we speculated it was because she had a third egg to lay, which turned out to be the case.

2019 Nesting Season - Smitty & Bella - 1st Season Together

Eggs Laid: Feb 20, 2019 @ 523 pm; Feb 23, 2019 @ 632 pm
Hatch Date: March 29, 2019, 1235 pm & March 31, 2019, 730 am
Loss - One Eaglet Dies - April 7, 2019 - One of the eaglets passed on; it was observed at first light; the eaglet was out of the egg cup up near top of the nest; cause unknown; could have been hypothermia as chicks at this age are unable to maintain their body temperature. The chicks had just visited that area of the nest the day prior and they enjoyed two feedings there. Sad loss for this family. Some of us feel it was the older chick that died but no way to tell for sure.
Naming of Eaglets - After the passing of one of the eaglets; 4th Grade Students from the Chamberlain Elementary School in Charleston named the eaglets Hope Ann Faith and Angel. Angel for the little one that past away. Thank you students we love both names!
Naming of the New Female - The new female has been named Bella (via a poll at BE 101) in honor of the long term resident female Belle.
Branching: June 1, 2019 - Hope moves up to the stump; a form of branching for this nest. June 4, 2019 Hope flies from nest to post/stump. June 6, 2019 - Hoovers above the nest. June 7, 2019 - Hope flies from the stump to the look out post above the nest. Hope perches above the nest in an area we call the attic. June 15, 2019 Hope was perched all night on the stump look out post.
Fledge Date: June 16, 2019 - Forced Fledge; 139 am - Under darkness; Hope attempts to fly up to the stump/look out post misses and falls over the nest. Hope returned to the nest on June 18, 2019. During the last two weeks in June Hope became quite feisty grabbing Dad's talons often instead of going for the fish. Hope did not want to share the nest with Mom or Dad haha.
Juveniles Last Seen: Parents continued to deliver fish to the nest and to Hope up until July 17 2019 when the cams went off line. Lightening has knocked the cams out a few times this season.
July 30, 2019 - Cams came back up no sign of Hope; Bella and Smitty are often heard in the early morning hours calling trilling from the attic. Smitty visited the nest on August 2, 2019.

Intruders - Adult eagle - Feb 22 & Feb 23 2019 Two large birds possibly sub adults or juveniles; May 7, 2019 Immature Adult Eagle lands in the nest; Hope defended his nest see video footage. June 8, 2019 - Black Snake visits the nest. During the month of June we heard a second juvenile near the nest and we heard the visitor in the attic above the nest. Intrusions and visitors are common at this nest.

Background - 2018 to 2019 Nesting Season
Early in the 2018 nesting season and just after she laid her first egg Belle was injured during a territorial dispute with several eagles. Belle put up a good fight defending her nest and territory but her injuries were significant and she failed to return to the nest. The territorial dispute had displaced Belle and Smitty the long term resident pair. Smitty did his best to incubate the egg and defend the nest but after several days of spotty incubation the egg and nesting season failed. With Belle gone several new females (likely some new males too) started to visit the nest although Smitty appeared as well. The competition for the nest and territory was fierce and fair game for all. Thorough out Smitty was a constant and he was successful in maintaining his position as resident male. On May 31, 2018 the live cam was hit by lightening during a severe thunderstorm (tornado touched down not far from the nest) so we were not able to see what transpired after the cams went off line. When the cams came back on line months later Smitty and the new female Belle were forming their bond. The new female was named Bella in honor of the long term resident female Belle :rh: In 2019 the new pairing Bella and Smitty successfully fledged one eaglet named Hope!

Important Links
Link to live bald eagle web pan tilt zoom cam view
http://outdoorchannel.com/eaglecam

Still Cam can be found here
http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam/stillimage.html

Here are some Face Book sites that support and provide information on Belle, Smitty.

Bald Eagles 101
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1690426617860075/

Outdoor Channel Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LiveEagleCam ........... Live Eagle Cam

Eagle Cam Updates from the NCTC & Outdoor Channel are shared here
http://outdoorchannel.com/content.aspx?id=3933

Friends of the National Conservation Training Center
http://www.friendsofnctc.org/index.htm

Link to the 2019 Nesting Season
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=350&p=118913#p118913

Link to the 2018 Nesting Season
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=113

Link to the 2017 Nesting Season
http://www.hancockwildlife.org/forum/vi ... ue#1048516

Link to the 2016 Nesting Season
http://www.hancockwildlife.org/forum/vi ... pic=816353

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:38 pm

NCTC Resident Pair's - History - 2002 to Present Day
Still working on the history order

Belle and Liberty - First Resident Pair - 2002 to 2011 :wub:
Belle and Liberty were the first resident bald eagle pair at this nest. This pair was very devoted to each other and everyone watching via live bald eagle cam grew to love watching their sweet interaction as a pair. Belle and Liberty were attentive parents to their young and they spent ten years together fledging a total of 11 chicks!

When Liberty disappeared in 2011 just a day or two before the hatch of the first chick was to occur ...it was indeed a sad turn of events at this nest. Liberty's absence had devastating consequences for Belle and the newly hatched chick. A young male eagle arrived on the scene around the same time ... his presence kept Belle on the nest leaving no opportunity for her to hunt and at the same time protect and care for her new baby chick. Belle stayed with her chick protecting her from the intruder. Sadly the baby chick died of starvation; it was a heart breaking loss for Belle and everyone watching via live eagle cam. The Intruder entered the nest and Belle pushed him off the nest. Sadly Liberty was not seen again and sometime later staffers at NCTC found the carcass of a dead eagle ... likely Liberty.

Belle & Liberty - 10 Wonderful Seasons Together
2002 - Belle and Liberty take up residence at the NCTC near the Potomac River
2003 – Belle and Liberty establish their territory & work on their nest
2004 – Belle laid her first egg on Valentines Day; Belle & Liberty raised & fledged two chicks
2005 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged one chick
2006 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged Triplets
2007 – Belle laid three eggs; none survived the spring storms
2008 - Belle and Liberty successfully raised and fledged Triplets
2009 – Belle laid three eggs only one hatched and successfully fledged
2010 - Belle laid four eggs during fierce winter storms; one egg survived nicknamed “Spring” & she successfully fledged
2011 – Belle laid two eggs; resident male Liberty disappears just prior to the hatch; likely deceased; intruder arrives and threatens the family; one chick hatched but died from starvation as Belle was not able to leave the nest to hunt. Intruder is eventually accepted by Belle as her new mate; the new male was nicknamed Smitty as he was so smitten with Belle.

Belle & Smitty - Second Resident Pair - 2011 - 2018
Belle and Smitty became a couple after the long time resident male, Liberty went missing in the spring of 2011; Smitty first appeared as an Intruder around the same time Liberty disappeared. Belle initially rejected Smitty; treated him like an intruder (she pushed him off the nest and pounced on him more then once) yet this young smitten male refused to give up and eventually he won Belle over and she accepted him as her new mate.

2012 was Belle and Smitty's first nesting season together and it was a memorable season. Smitty was a young male and as this was his first nesting season we observed many exciting firsts for this new male. It was exciting to watch this new pair form a bond and raise two young together for the first time. There were many memorable moments in 2012. Smitty's age was confirmed by a few dark feathers on top of his head and tail feathers. We could sense his awkwardness as he learned to cope with his new role(s). Watching Smitty mature as a loving parent was definitely one of the highlights of the 2012 season most notably watching him feed his sweet eaglets for the first time :rh:

2018 Important Milestones
Mating seen at Nest: Dec 2017
Adults Return: This pair does not migrate they remain in the nest area all year long as there is food aplenty.
Intrusions: Young Eagle heard but not fully seen Dec 31, 2017; Jan 27, 2018 - Sub Adult Eagle - Landed in Nest; confronted Mom on nest; spent time in the nest doing restorations! Another intrusion occurred in Feb ... a second mature eagle was seen on the nest. The resident pair were on alert much of February; the intrusions were likely the delay in eggs at this nest.

2018 Nesting Season
The season got off to a late start likely due to intruders that threatened the resident pair.
Egg Laid: Feb 26, 2018
Territorial dispute with several eagles; Belle sustained significant injury while protecting her egg and nest.

After the egg was laid things things got ugly at this nest; several eagles attempted to take over the nest and territory. Belle and Smitty did their best to defend the nest; Belle sustained significant injury to her wing and/or leg (possibly both) as she had problems standing. Belle failed to appear at the nest so we assumed she died from her injuries. Over the course of several weeks different females and possibly different male(s) appeared at the nest; sometimes there were three birds in the mix. Smitty continued to appear at the nest he was determined to stay despite the loss of Belle. On May 31, 2018 a severe weather event knocked out the cams so we were not able to observe what followed. When the cam came back up months later Smitty and a new female appeared to be bonded ... so a new pair was formed. At Bald Eagles 101 on Facebook a poll was held and the new female was named Bella in honor of the long term resident Belle :rh:

Belle and Smitty - Season Highlights 2011 to 2017
Belle and Smitty :rh:
Smitty and Belle Collage.jpg
2018 - Failed Season; Belle resident female injured in territorial dispute and disappeared soon afterwards
2017 - Two Chicks; both chicks died shortly after hatch (chick one within 24 hours and the second chick died on Day 3).
2016 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called them Big and Lil One; New PTZ Cam; Owl Intrusion March 30; Mom protected the kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1o2G3YP4ys
2015 - Three Chicks - one died at 10 days old; may have been accidentally crushed; two chicks fledged
2014 - Two Chicks - both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2013 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Kate and Will
2012 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2011 - Smitty becomes Belle's new mate late in the season

Important Dates - 2017 Nesting Season
1st Night Female Spends on Nest - Jan 7 2017 - Belle spent night on the nest.
She stayed 13 hours on the nest (556 pm to 7 am)
Eggs Laid: 2 - Feb 17, Feb 20 2017
Hatched: Mar 26, Mar 28 2017
First chick died shortly after hatch.
Second chick started to show signs of stress in the early evening of Day 3; not interested in eating; Belle did not brood the chick at night fall; chick appeared sluggish. After dark the chick could be heard peeping. April 1 There was no sign of the chick; presumed it passed away during the night; Mom removed the body from the nest. Heartbreak for this pair!

Intrusions: This pair has occasionally experienced threats from other eagles, as well as, Owls.

Here are some dates that the intrusions occurred.
Intrusions: Dec 23 2016 - Adult - Young - Likely 4.5 years old; visited the nest; mostly white head and tail feathers; some dark feathers blended in tail and head feathers but nearly all white.
Intrusions: Dec 24, 2016 - Immature Adult - Visited Nest - Likely around 3 years old
Intrusions: Feb 25, 2017 - Young Adult Eagle - Entered nest; Dad lunged at it chased it out of the nest; two eggs appear unharmed.
Intrusions: Feb 26 2017 - Intruder Above the Nest - No visual

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:39 pm

Reserved

Debs
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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:39 pm

Reserved

Debs
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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:40 pm

:vid:
Bella & Smitty - First Season Together - 2019 Highlights - NCTC Bald Eagles - August 2019
https://youtu.be/AGj-urH7HJ0

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:46 pm

October 18, 2019

Welcome to the 2020 NCTC Nesting Season :bye 1:

The adults have been visiting their nest regularly mostly just hanging out no aggressive rebuilding seen yet.
There was a huge Jimson weed/tree growing in the nest but the birds have removed much of it.
A Collage Oct 18 2019 Bella.jpg
Here is a video of Bella's evening visit.

Beautiful Bella - Brief Evening Visit - Smitten Smitty Absent - Oct 18, 2019 - NCTC Bald Eagles
https://youtu.be/X4FtFWdoZWU

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:07 pm

636 pm
Smitty arrives first then Bella joins him on the nest. Together they do some nest restorations. Bella sharpens her beak then moves up to the look out post. Smitty remains in the nest bowl as he moves it looks like he is favoring his right leg; has a slight limp. I wish we could zoom in and get a better look at his right leg/talons. Bella returns to the nest bowl she moves a stick then up to the post she goes. Smitty exits the nest and Bella follows him out.

Good Night Bella, Smitty SED to y'all.

:nite:

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:51 pm

:vid:
Smitty & Bella Evening Visit - Smitty Limping - Right Leg - Oct 20, 2019 - NCTC Bald Eagles
https://youtu.be/nUACC1OLeFU

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:35 pm

Nov 16 2019

Evening Friends :bye 1:

Bella and Smitty have been spending lots of time getting the nest ready for the nesting season.
Last night well after dark; Bella and Smitty mated on the nest. The timing of their bonding was a bit strange ... mating under the cloak of darkness is not a common occurrence.

Here are a few memorable moments from the last few days!

Here is a short video from yesterday ... Bella Ms Bossy Pants Visits Before Dark - Nov 15 2019
:vid:
https://youtu.be/F4pknOanU4A

Smoocharoos - Nov 13, 2019 - Bella Nips Smitty
Nov 13 Smoocharoos.JPG
Morning Chores - Nov 12, 2019 - Bella Delivers a Big Pole Branch
Nov 12 Bella incoming.JPG
Bella Delivers Bedding - Nov 8, 2019
Nov 8 Bella and new bedding.JPG

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Ferenz » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:56 am

12/03/2019, 11:51 AM

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Ferenz » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:55 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by JudyB » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:30 pm

Fund Drive for Hard Drives

Good afternoon, everyone! I have just learned that we do not have the hard drives we need to record our cams as we approach little chick time - and we do not have the funds necessary to buy them.

These are the high resolution drives that are connected directly to the cams at the site, making it possible to record high quality videos of events at the nests - and we usually have them up and running before the eggs are laid. As you know, we already have eggs at three of our four nests, and they are likely any day now at the fourth nest - so time is of the essence.

Our tech person Ken is estimating that it will cost about $7000 to buy the high quality, high capacity drives needed for our 9 cams, and while we are keeping up with our regular monthly expenses, we don't have the extra money needed to buy and install the hard drives.

I know this is a hard time financially for many of us, with many businesses closed - but it may also be a time when some of us are staying home and watching the eagles after cancelling planned trips or dinners out - and I'd like to ask those who can to contribute towards these hard drives.
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Details about How to Donate

If you have questions, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Thank You!

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:36 pm

reserved

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:37 pm

reserved

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - 2020

Post by Debs » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:46 pm

This post marks the start of the 2020-2021 season.

For the 2019-2020 season Discussion

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:47 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:05 am

Bella Grabs Hold of Smitty's Head & Neck Feathers - Wants to Mate - Oct 19, 2020 - NCTC Bald Eagles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-V4twTxLbs

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:08 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:43 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:05 am

From Daily Cam archive >>>

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http://eaglecam.blogspot.com/
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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by bev. » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:53 am

is there no cam this year.
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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:54 am

My miswriting, Bev ... <> Live Cam DVR of course

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:00 am

Beautiful day, hard working pair...

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:00 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by bev. » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:19 pm

thanks Ferenz

still cannot get cam
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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:04 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by Ferenz » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:37 am

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by RitaR » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:44 am

Good morning Ferenz! Took a peek in a this cam this morning. Wow! It is really snowing there.
1.JPG

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by RitaR » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:56 am

2:53 pm Wow! What a difference a few hours make. Look at the beautiful feathers on this eagle. Light tips! Just stunning!
2.53 beautiful feathers.JPG

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Re: NCTC Bald Eagles - Shepherdstown, WVA - Seasons 2020 & 2021

Post by RitaR » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:54 pm

Thought I would check this cam again today. Poor Smitty looks drenched!

4:52 pm
4.52 pm Smitty on the nest.JPG

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