A pair of bald eagles that captivated thousands of online fans last year has returned to their nest, which is monitored by a live webcam, and laid two eggs.
The “eagle camera“ was installed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last year and thousands of people watched as the pair of nesting eagles unsuccessfully tried to become parents.
This year, they have already laid two eggs and can be seen caring for their unborn offspring. If the eggs hatch, the camera will provide a glimpse into the life of the newborn chicks.
Located in the Twin Cities, the exact spot of the nest is being withheld to prevent it from drawing crowds that might disrupt the eagles, the DNR noted.
DNR biologists believe it’s the same pair of birds that used the nest last year. Their eggs failed to hatch, probably because they were laid too early and froze.
“We’re excited they came back, and grateful that they’ve waited until a little later in the season to lay their eggs,” said Lori Naumann, DNR nongame specialist. “With the thaw this week, we’re really hoping the birds will be more successful this year.”
Once pushed to the brink of extinction, the bald eagle has made a remarkable comeback since the pesticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s. Minnesota has more bald eagles than any other state in the lower 48 states.
Fewer than 300 breeding pairs could be found in Minnesota in the 1980s. There are now about 1,300 active nests in the state.
Updates about the nesting pair will be posted regularly at the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program Facebook page. —Sean McCoy