Westminster

World watches as eaglets begin life at Standley Lake

Webcam offers view of majestic birds via internet

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Two eagles at Standley Lake Regional Park in Westminster are famous since their live eagle cam launched in January.

The female eagle laid three eggs, on Feb. 24, Feb. 27 and March 2. Rod Larsen, Westminster’s Open Space Division manager confirmed that two eaglets hatched April 5 and 6 and the third eaglet hatched on April 11

“The entire process happens naturally,” Larsen said. “They will stick around the nest until late summer.”

Viewers on the internet have been following the growing family, with the live footage being viewed more than 83,000 times this year. This is the first year the footage has been live.

Larson said the city has wanted to put the eagles’ nest live on the internet for several years because the nest’s location is mostly hidden from public view, about half a mile from the eagle blind.

Previously visitors could only see the eagles from that distance.

“Our intent was to make it an educational opportunity worldwide for people to view the eagles in their natural habitat.”  

The camera’s angle has a great view of the parents, but not the eggs.

“There isn’t a webcam angle to show the eagles coming out of the egg,” Larsen said. “The viewing opportunity will increase up above the nest in the next few weeks.”

Funding for the webcam comes from the open space operating budget, he said. The eagle cam was installed last fall by a team of City of Westminster Open Space staff working with Boulder-based webcam company View Into the Blue. The wireless webcam is powered by solar panels and attached to a pole donated by United Power Electric Cooperative, which also donated the time to install it. Installation took place in one day while the eagles were away from the nest.

“The video is monitored daily with an opportunity to go back and view footage,” Larsen said. “The city works with View Into the Blue as they provided the camera and also monitor the live feed.”

The nesting site is located at the northwest side of Standley Lake. The eagles stay at the nest year-round and can now be viewed from anywhere in the world.

The staff hasn’t named the eagles, he said.

“The eagles do not have names as it is the intention to keep it as natural as possible. They have nested in a cottonwood tree that is isolated.” Larsen added, “They tend to favor those type of trees.”

He added that this is a brand new nest this year close to the old nest. The electric pole is located between both trees, so the webcam can pan between the old and new nest.

This pair of eagles has nested at the park since January 1993 in an area that is closed off to access, so that they can mate and raise their young in a protected nesting habitat. This seclusion has led to success, since they have produced two eaglets each year for 21 years since 1996, with the exception of 2015, when they successfully raised three eaglets.

When asked if any of the eaglets have remained at the lake, Larsen confirmed that they did see more than two eagles at the lake last year, but it is difficult to determine if they are from this family.

Now anyone can click on the link at http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/eaglecam and watch a live broadcast of the eagles as they interact and raise their young. This helps people around the world connect with nature and learn about the preservation of wildlife. At any given time, viewers are able to witness life as it is started and sustained in natural ways, and can watch the eagles as they diligently protect the nest and their young.

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