Decorah eagle cam to offer live look at hatching
They could be becoming America's new favorite family.
At any given moment, a nesting eagle family in Decorah, Iowa has more than 25,000 online viewers watching their every move. The Raptor Resource Project has two cameras fixed on their nest, offering a live stream 24 hours a day.
The eagle's nest is located 80 feet up in a cottonwood tree, stretching almost 6 feet across and weighing and estimated 3,000 pounds.
But beyond that, there's really not much to see from the ground.
From a birds eye view, however, is a different story.
"I try to stay on the eagle now because if he gets up, I want to take a look at the eggs. But sometimes, I'll pan around," said Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project.
Anderson and some colleagues wanted to be able to watch the eagles inside. Now, they have the world watching with them.
"These eagle cams touch many people in many different ways. I'm amazed," said Anderson.
The group has had a camera focused in on this eagle family for five years now and has been streaming it for the last few.
Last October, however, they upgraded to two higher-quality cameras and a better live feed, now hosted on UStream.com.
"Because they have servers around the world, it's like watching live TV. Some people call it the best bird cam on planet earth," said Anderson.
It's drawing attention from eagle lovers all over the world.
The Osmanski family says checking in on the eagles is how they start their day. It doesn't matter that they live almost 150 miles north, in Lakeville, MN.
"We wake up, go upstairs, turn the laptop on and then while we're eating breakfast, we'll just watch the eagles and see what they're doing," said 13-year-old Frank Osmanski.
So while visiting family in Iowa, they Osmanskis couldn't pass up a chance to see the eagles nest in person.
"We were first introduced two summers ago. Now we found out there were new babies and we've been obsessed with watching the nest for about a week now," said Jennifer Osmanski.
Anderson says the male and female eagles take turns, incubating the eggs. From time to time, you'll see them moving the eggs around the nest.
The first one should hatch any day now and Anderson wants to make sure the cameras catch it all.
"It's a big deal to so many people, it really is, so I feel a huge responsibility on my shoulders," said Anderson.
There's no doubt you'll get the best view of the eagles at your computer, but there's something special too about being able to see where they live in person.
"A lot of people follow it on the computer and they just have to drive and come and take a look at it. It has a calling to a lot of people," said Anderson.