I already know that BACKPACKER’S readers are the coolest around, but now they’re serving as muses too. Thanks to a forum post from Backpacker.com member lizsbaby, I came across Xcel Energy’s Eagle Cam.
Located at the Fort St. Vrain Station in Platteville, CO, the wireless, solar-powered camera provides a live feed of the bald eagles nesting at the power station. There’s a live video feed starting at dawn, but the camera turns off at dusk to conserve power. Xcel archives the day’s photo stills, taken every two minutes.
Xcel implores people to view the nesting eagles through the power of the Web cam. They state that visiting the nests can disrupt what is an already tenuous time in an eagle’s life. Bald eagles can be extra territorial during nesting time. Eagles are capable of breeding annually, but some choose not to (either they can’t find a good nesting site, the weather is wrong, or Mr. Eagle didn’t do the dishes and Mrs. Eagle is pissed). When they do, they only lay 1 to 3 eggs. The eagle couple sometimes gets into fights as they take turns incubating the eggs. Additionally, the first-born eaglet might kill the second-born, especially if the older one is female.
All this family drama makes my family gatherings seem downright calm. Best to stay on the couch and watch from the eagle-free safety of your living room! Can’t get enough of these bird cams? Check out the Owl Cam in Boulder, CO or the Minnesota Falcon cam.
– Adrienne Saia Isaac
Photo credit: Xcel Energy webcam