I went to the Refuge today and grabbed the tape we made yesterday of the Eagle Cam video feed. At the Visitor Center, we get a live video feed from the cams (you can watch it on the monitors at the Visitor Center) and we record that feed if we think something big is going to happen on either cam, so we captured the video of our eagle parent warning off the intruders (we hear it might have been vultures) that were near the nest yesterday after the first eaglet hatched. The episode actually went on for quite a while, but I edited it down in the video.
One important detail: One of our cam watchers alerted me to the fact that she thought the parent might have been the male, and after seeing the video, it was indeed the male who was protecting the young on the nest. After the event ended, the mother landed on the nest and the father left, then the mother fed the chick. It’s possible the male got help from the female, as he was calling out during the event, and the female may have been off-camera working to chase away the intruder(s).
Something else worth noting is that the bald eagle male is smaller than the female by about a third. So there’s a chance that part of his logic in holding out his wings was to make himself look bigger, which is a technique that animals sometimes use to intimidate challengers.
In addition to the intruder video, we also captured some video of our eaglet trying to eat. After watching this, you can better understand why feeding sessions with newly hatched chicks are short. The eaglet has a hard time holding its head up, and then he sometimes faces the wrong way, so it can be very challenging for the parent to actually get any food into the little eaglet’s beak.
Finally, we have another short video that one of our cam watchers was kind enough to share showing our eaglet eating. This was captured Sunday, so it’s newer than the video above, and you can see how the eaglet has gotten stronger.