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 Forum Index > Eagle Nests Across North America - and the World > Other North American Eagle Cams
 2018 NCTC Nesting Season - Shepherdstown, West Virginia
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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 02:45 PM EST (Read 4161 times)  
Debs

Welcome


Work in Progress

Welcome to Belle and Smitty's 2018 Nesting Season.Wub
Click on image to download

This thread is a tribute to the NCTC resident pair; Belle, Smitty and their kids specifically to document their daily events over the course of the year.
Please note we call the resident male Smitty but some other forums call him Shep , Ben and even Spot

Belle and Smitty have been spending more time in the nest performing nest repairs, bringing in new branches, mating and most recently Belle spent the night on the nest. The recent behaviors of this pair tells us that they are gearing up for the 2018 nesting season. We hope you will join us in maintaining a journal of their activities here through nest observations (NO), screen captures (scaps), pictures, reports from the ground and video footage!


Nest Location - Shepherdstown, West Virginia
This eagle nest is located approximately 75 miles from Washington, D.C. on the campus of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' National Conservation Training Center.
The campus is in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, approximately 1/4 mile from the Potomac River. The eagle nest is on the west side of the National Conservation Training Center campus, about 100 feet high in a large sycamore tree, and is about 6 feet across and 5 feet deep, and weights several hundred pounds. It is made of branches and large sticks with a softer grass and leaf lining. Over the past couple of years there was been concern that the nest tree is dying ... so hopefully this pair is looking to build a new nest soon.
Click on image to download

Belle and Liberty - The Lovees - First Resident Pair Wub

Belle and Liberty were the first resident bald eagle pair at this nest. This pair was very devoted to each other and everyone watching via live bald eagle cam
grew to love watching their sweet interaction as a pair. Belle and Liberty were attentive parents to their young and they spent ten years together fledging 11 chicks!

When Liberty disappeared in 2011 just a day or two before the hatch of the first chick was to occur ...it was indeed a sad turn of events at this nest.
Liberty's absence had devastating consequences for Belle and the newly hatched chick. A young male eagle arrived on the scene around the same time
as Liberty's disappearance ... his presence kept Belle on the nest leaving no opportunity for her to hunt and provide for her new chick.
Sadly the chick died of starvation and Liberty was not seen again. Sometime later the staffers at NCTC found the carcass of a dead eagle ... likely Liberty.

Belle & Liberty - 10 Wonderful Years Together

2002 - Belle and Liberty take up residence at the NCTC near the Potomac River
2003 – Belle and Liberty establish their territory & work on their nest
2004 – Belle laid her first egg on Valentines Day; Belle & Liberty raised & fledged two chicks
2005 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged one chick
2006 – Belle and Liberty raised and fledged Triplets
2007 – Belle laid three eggs; none survived the spring storms
2008 - Belle and Liberty successfully raised and fledged Triplets
2009 – Belle laid three eggs only one hatched and successfully fledged
2010 - Belle laid four eggs during fierce winter storms; one egg survived nicknamed “Spring” & she successfully fledged
2011 – Belle laid two eggs; resident male Liberty disappears just prior to the hatch; likely deceased; intruder arrives and threatens the family;
one chick hatched but died from starvation as Belle was not able to leave the nest to hunt. Intruder is eventually accepted by Belle
as her new mate; the new male is nicknamed Smitty as he was so smitten with Belle.

Belle & Smitty's Family History

Nesting Seasons Highlights

2016 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called them Big and Lil One; New PTZ Cam; Owl Intrusion March 30; Mom protected the kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1o2G3YP4ys
2015 - Three Chicks - one died at 10 days old; may have been accidentally crushed; two chicks fledged
2014 - Two Chicks - both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2013 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Kate and Will
2012 - Two Chicks; both fledged; we called the chicks Big and Lil
2011 - Smitty becomes Belle's new mate late in the season

Background Information on this beautiful bald eagle pair.

Belle and Smitty became a couple after the long time resident male, Liberty went missing in the spring of 2011; Smitty first appeared
as an Intruder around the same time Liberty disappeared. Belle initially rejected Smitty she treated him like an intruder, but this young
smitten male refused to give up and eventually over a period of months Belle warmed up to him and accepted him as her new mate.

2012 was Belle and Smitty's first nesting season together and it was a memorable season in so many ways ... so many "firsts"
Belle and Smitty were a brand new pair building their relationship, as well as, raising two chicks so there were many memorable moments
along the way. Smitty's youth was obvious as he was still sporting a few dark feathers on top of his head and a few blended into his tail
feathers as well. We could sense his awkwardness as he learned to cope with his new role(s). Watching Smitty mature as a loving parent
was definitely one of the highlights of the 2012 season especially watching him feed his lil ones for the very first time yet the rest of the
season was just as memorable.

All of us here were touched by the "magic of this beautiful pair" and we all look forward to watching Belle and Smitty and their kids for
many more seasons to come.

Note: Smitty the resident male is called Shep or Ben by some fans & viewers on other forums


2018 Important Milestones
Mating seen at Nest: Dec 2017
Intrusions: Young Eagle heard but not fully seen Dec 31, 2017; Jan 27, 2018 - Sub Adult Eagle - Landed in Nest; confronted Dad on nest; spent time in the nest doing restorations!
Eggs Laid:
Chicks Eating on their Own:
Branching:
Fledge Date(s)
Last Seen at the nest:


Important Dates - 2017 Nesting Season

•Adults Return: This pair does not migrate they remain in the nest area all year long as there is food aplenty.

•Intrusions: This pair has occasionally experienced threats from other eagles as well as Owls.

March 30 2016 - Owl Lands at Nest; Mom protects the kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1o2G3YP4ys

Intrusions: Dec 23 2016 - Adult - Young - Likely 4.5 years old; visited the nest; mostly white head and tail feathers; some dark feathers blended in tail and head feathers but nearly all white.
Intrusions: Dec 24, 2016 - Immature Adult - Visited Nest - Likely around 3 years old
Intrusions: Feb 25, 2017 - Young Adult Eagle - Entered nest; Dad lunged at it and chased it out of the nest; two eggs appear unharmed.
Intrusions: Feb 26 2017 - Intruder Above the Nest - No visual


2017 Nesting Season
1st Night Female Spends on Nest - Jan 7 2017 - Belle spent her first night on the nest. She stayed 13 hours on the nest (556 pm to 7 am)
Eggs Laid: Two; Feb 17, Feb 20 2017
Hatched: Mar 26, Mar 28 2017
First chick died shortly after hatch.
Second chick started to show signs of stress in the early evening of Day 3; not interested in eating; Belle did not brood the chick at night fall; chick appeared sluggish just before dark.
April 1 No sign of the chick; presumed it passed away during the night; Mom removed the body from the nest. Heartbreak for this pair!

Important Links
The live cam was down most of the fall but it is live now for the 2018 nesting season]

Link to the 2017 NCTC Nesting Season
forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=907409&lastpost=true#1048516
Link to the 2016 NCTC Nesting Season
forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=816353

Link to live bald eagle web pan tilt zoom cam view
http://outdoorchannel.com/eaglecam

Still Cam can be found here
http://www.fws.gov/nctc/cam/stillimage.html

Eagle Cam Updates from the NCTC & Outdoor Channel are shared here
http://outdoorchannel.com/content.aspx?id=3933

Friends of the National Conservation Training Center

http://www.friendsofnctc.org/index.htm

Here are some Face Book sites that support and provide information on Belle, Smitty.

Bald Eagles 101

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1690426617860075/

Outdoor Channel Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LiveEagleCam ........... Live Eagle Cam


Hatch Timelines

Experience shows that the first egg often hatches around Day 38 and the second egg hatches a bit earlier often Day 36 or 37 as a result of the "cooling period"
of the first egg thereby promoting a closer hatch of the eggs. Once all the eggs are laid then the birds generally incubate the eggs continuously.
In 2014 Belle cooled the egg one night for 6 hours straight and we speculated it was because she had a third egg to lay, which turned out to be the case.

Here is the Hatch Timelines for 2017 for comparison purposes.

Click on image to download


Posting Guidelines

We welcome all observations and discussions about eagles here and we ask all members to treat each other with mutual respect.

For continuity please use this video symbol to introduce your video Video Camera

Please keep bold and color text to a minimum.

Please do not use animated or altered screen captures here.

Smilies are okay please limit them; smilies are not allowed during the body of the eagle observations.

Please limit the pictures in each post to no more than a total of 150,000 bytes (150KB) and to avoid horizontal scrolling pictures or scaps (screen captures) may not exceed
500 pixels wide - though it's fine to post a 500-pixel-wide thumbnail that clicks to a much larger picture. Three captures per post is recommended.

From time to time we may deleting posts that are not directly related to maintaining an accurate journal here.


Recognition and Thanks

Our small team here at HWF would like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone that contributes to our journal here ... your observations, screen captures, pictures and video footage helps to document the daily events at this nest making the educational experience so much more enjoyable so thanks again to everyone involved.

We look forward to a great season ... growing along side Belle, Smitty and their kids Wub


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
http://light-candle.com/collections/view/33353/success


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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 07:35 PM EST  
Debs

Here are some captures that show a bit of the territory that surrounds the nest.

Click on image to download
Click on image to download


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 07:36 PM EST  
Debs

NCTC History - Belle, Liberty and Smitty and their kids 2002 to 2018
Click on image to download


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:00 PM EST  
Debs

Reserved


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:12 PM EST  
Debs

January 1 2018

Happy New Year Doreen, Terri & Friends wave

Belle spent the night on the nest ... i just happened to peek in and find her sleeping on the nest.
Click on image to download

Video Camera
Adult Awake & Resting in Nest - 0310 am - Jan 1, 2018 - NCTC Nest
https://youtu.be/qmv7LPC3RjQ

Later Belle is awakened by what sounds like gun shots.
Click on image to download

Video Camera

Gun Shots Wake Up Belle - 447 am - NCTC Bald Eagle Nest - Jan 1 2018
https://youtu.be/cT3jQLrCkFs

Belle just before she exits the nest to the branch above the nest.
Click on image to download


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Monday, January 01 2018 @ 09:08 PM EST  
Debs

The adults visited the nest just before dark tonight too.

Belle arrived first then Dad followed her in.
Click on image to download
Click on image to download

Our Royal Pair Red Heart
Click on image to download


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 08:16 AM EST  
Debs

Jan 2, 2018

Morning Doreen & Friends wave

I sent an email to the NCTC webmaster asking if they could re-instate the daily tour at 1 pm and also if they can re-boot the still cam since it is stopped on Dec 22, 2017.

The nest has been MT since i tuned in this morning and i will soon be heading to work.
If you are watching please share an observation; thanks in advance.

Morning light at the nest.
Click on image to download


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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By: Debs (offline) on Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 09:04 AM EST  
Debs

Jan 3 2018

Morning Doreen & Friends wave

Still Cam is back up nice to have both cams to watch.

9 am
Nest is MT.
Taken from Live Cam
Click on image to download

Still cam
Click on image to download

Have a good day y'all hug


May you enjoy all of the simple "pleasures or gifts" that surround you.
Let your spirit soar!


To light a Candle for a loved one or friend right click on the link that follows and copy to your browser
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