Eagles opt for nest without webcam

Overwhelmed by the glare of the paparazzi, celebrities of all stripes have been known to try and keep their children out of the spotlight.

Overwhelmed by the glare of the paparazzi, celebrities of all stripes have been known to try and keep their children out of the spotlight.

So it goes with Whitehorse’s very own world-famous eagle couple, who have decided this year to build their nest across the street from the expected location. That means they’re no longer beneath the web camera that captured their chicks’ early life last year.

As a result, the Yukon Electrical Company Limited shut down its incredibly popular eagle cam last week, for lack of anything to film.

“They literally moved across the street,” said Yukon Electrical’s Laura Carlson.

Last year the eagle pair had three baby chicks. The trio hatched, grew and eventually fledged from the nest along the Millennium Trail as viewers watched on computer screens around the world.

Between May and September the site received more than a million hits from around the world, including Canada, the U.S., and many countries in Europe.

For a while this year it looked as though the birds would make that nest their home again. The male was seen defending the nest, and until about three weeks ago, the older eagles had begun “renovations” on the nest to prepare the spot for eggs, Carlson said.

When staff stopped seeing activity, they investigated and found the eagles building a new nest in a tree across the road.

Carlson said it is typical for eagles to have more than one nest in the area they call home.

“They could very well come back next year.”

Another possibility is that the nest with the camera has developed some sort of parasite and so the eagles are waiting a year for the bugs to die off.

The male is still defending the old nest even though they are not living in it this year.

That’s a good sign that the birds may move back next year, though it does mean no other eagles will be taking over the spot this season, Carlson said.

In 2007 the company built a slatted metal bowl, two metres in diameter, welded atop a 12-metre pole. It was designed to be a safer place for the eagles to nest than a tree that served as an earlier home.

A year earlier, a heavy rain sent part of the nest plunging from the high tree to the riverbank. With it fell two flightless eaglets.

The baby birds were rescued by conservation officers and Yukon Electrical staffers.

The web camera was installed in early 2013.

For now, Yukon Electrical will be posting photos of the new nest to its YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/user/YukonElectrical.

Educational events are also still being planned for this summer.

Carlson said there will be spotting scopes on hand so that people can get a closer look at the new nest.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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