The Eagle Valley cam folks are reporting that unfortunately the approx month old eaglet died sometime in the last day or so. The cam has been down for a few days, but they checked the nest today and saw that the eaglet was dead. The other eaglet in the nest was lost to suspected owl predation a couple of weeks ago. Here is the statement by Eagle Valley:
We spent most of the afternoon of May 29 troubleshooting our video and audio stream, which had been choppy for most of the day and then unexpectedly quit around 2 p.m. CDT. All involved quickly and efficiently identified the defective hardware and ordered a new part.
Update on Eaglet:
The (camera) part had not yet arrived by Monday (June 2) morning, but we were anxious to check on the eagles, so at 9:10 a.m. we took our laptop to the relay site at the bluff edge and plugged in there to view the live stream. To our great disappointment, we discovered the eaglet was no longer alive. Its death was recent, within the previous 24 hours. At 9:25 one of the adults landed on one of the favorite nearby perches and was heard calling with another out-of-view eagle.
While we have no video verification of the cause of the eaglet’s death, based on our observations and experiences the past several days, we strongly suspect small, swarming flies/gnats constantly annoying, plugging airways, and perhaps biting the eaglet likely led to its demise, despite the parent birds’ attempts to hover over to protect and even pick the insects off of the eaglet. Based on the completely intact body, which appeared to have food in its crop and ample fat reserves, predation and starvation were ruled out as possible causes.
Though this is the first year we have had the camera over this nest, we watched this nest closely last year with binoculars and spotting scopes as they successfully fledged two young. We believe that this year’s pair is the same pair as last year’s.
We are grateful for your participation in our glimpse of the natural world and appreciate your positive comments. We will continue to share views and all of the sounds from the nest area once the system is fully operational again.