Davenport eagle cam draws worldwide attention


A pair of bald eagles joined the Arconic Davenport Works community in Iowa in 2009. They built their nest 56 feet off the ground and 7-foot wide nest on a 400-acre facility in a tree near the Mississippi River. In the spring of 2010 they fledged (to bring up a young bird until it is able to fly) a pair of eaglets, and later that year the first eagle cam was installed. 

Employees and the community helped name the eagle parents, Liberty and Justice. Since the spring of 2010, Liberty and Justice have fledged 16 eaglets from this nest. The first two eaglets fledged in summer 2010 before they installed the eagle camera, and they were never named. The 14 that have fledged since then are named Freedom, Spirit, Faith, Hope, Honor, Glory, Rudy, Star, Sky, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Windy and Storm. 


Since the camera was installed, 35 million visitors from around the world have tuned in to watch an American icon, the bald eagle. 

In the fall and winter, the eagles use the nest to eat and prepare the nest for the next season. Eagles nesting in Iowa typically lay eggs in mid-late February, and the eggs hatch in mid-late March. Eagles usually lay three eggs every nesting season. 

The eaglets grow quickly and are ready to fly “fledge” in late May or early June. The eagles grow 2.5 to 3 feet in length, have a wing span up to 7.5 feet and can weigh up to 13 pounds. The eagles can live close to 40 years in the wild. 

Bald eagles typically eat fish, but will also consume squirrels, small birds, rabbits, muskrats, opossums or whatever else they can catch. Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for bald eagles from consuming lead shot scavenged from animals or gut piles that have lead shot in them after a hunter has shot them with ammunition containing lead.

Eagles have also been on camera nesting near the Decorah Trout Hatchery since 2007. The mother of Brian Winkel, our journalism teacher, was a moderator for the eagle cam in Decorah. Her alias was “Garden Girl,” and for at least 10 years, she was a moderator for one of the most sponsored webcams from the “Raptor Resource Project.”  

She talked with people, answering their questions from all over the world in chat rooms, as they watched the eagles through the eagle cam.

The Raptor Resource Project was founded in 1988 by the late Bob Anderson. The Raptor Project, a non-profit organization, located in Decorah, specializes in the preservation of owls, falcons, eagles, hawks and ospreys.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.