Nat Geo – You’re looking at a live webcam featuring a bald eagle nest in Washington, D.C. The nest is home to a bald eagle pair and their chicks, which hatched in March 2013. You’ll see the adults bringing fish from the Anacostia River to feed their young. The two chicks are covered with black juvenile feathers—they won’t sport their characteristic white heads until they are four or five years old.
About the Eagles
The nest featured here is about five feet wide and made mostly of sticks. It sits about 80 feet up in a tree on the grounds of the Metropolitan Police Academy. Installing the webcam, provided by National Geographic, was Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier’s idea. She has long been interested in the eagle pair that chose the academy grounds for its home. “It is fitting and exciting that our national bird has made a home on the Metropolitan Police Department’s Academy grounds,” said Lanier. “We look forward to viewing the eagles in their habitat.”
The eagles are thought to be the same pair that has nested in the area for several years, says Craig Koppie, raptor biologist at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay field office in Annapolis, Maryland. Koppie is an advisor on the Earth Conservation Corps eagle restoration project, which also oversees a second bald eagle nest in Washington.
Bald eagle nests usually contain one to three dull-white eggs, and the parents take turns incubating them. Eggs hatch in about five weeks, and hatchlings are covered with soft, fluffy, light-gray feathers. “Generally the female stays on the nest while the father’s job is to bring in the food,” Koppie says. Food for this pair of eagles is generally fish—catfish, shad, or perch—plucked from the Anacostia.
Dogs, long known as loyal companions to humans, are increasingly coming to each other’s aid, by giving their blood. Rising demand is causing places many animal hospitals to seek more dog and cat blood donors to keep up. (April 19)
When they’re not playing, polar bear cubs learn under the watchful eye of their mother.
PopSci – The pirate perch, Aphredoderus sayanus, is a very strange creature: it’s a small fish, only 5.5 inches long at most, that’s the only species in its family. Its cloaca (sort of a combination waste and reproduction opening) is right under its chin, it breeds by secretly dropping eggs into a mass of tangled wood, it’ll eat anything in your fish tank (hence its name), and now it’s exhibiting some exceedingly odd predatory behavior.
The pirate perch, native to freshwater environments in North America, was the subject of a study published in The American Naturalist. It’s not a particularly well-understood fish, being solitary and nocturnal and all-around mysterious, so two researchers decided to try to see how exactly it preys.
The experiment had frogs and aquatic beetles lay eggs in an environment populated by different types of potential predators that might want to chomp down on some eggs.
The wolf is the largest member of the dog family. With thick, shaggy hair and a bushy tail, it looks a lot like a German shepherd dog. Wolves have long legs to run great distances and powerful jaws to grab prey and hold it. The gray wolf pictured here lives at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.
A hiker who was trapped on Mount Rubidoux in Southern California was rescued Tuesday after an alert dog led his owner to the severely dehydrated man.
Cities all over the world plunged into darkness on Saturday evening to mark Earth Hour, an event to raise awareness on climate change organized by the conservation group, the World Wildlife Fund.
Nat Geo – Back before alarm clocks jolted us awake to greet the morning with bleary-eyed confusion, roosters performed that daily duty. Now, a new study shows that roosters don’t need the light of a new day to know when it’s dawn—rather, their internal clocks alert them to the time.
While hunters stalked the elusive Burmese python through Florida’s Everglades over the past month, state and federal wildlife officials set traps for other animals menacing native wildlife in a fragile ecosystem.
Nat Geo – In an Exorcist-style display of flexibility, owls can rotate their necks a maximum of 270 degrees without breaking blood vessels or tearing tendons.
To the untrained eye, it looks like a case of movie magic, but scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now have data to explain the eerie skill that has baffled birders for years. (Check out National Geographic’s backyard bird identifier.)
Whereas people and other animals can simply move their eyes to follow an object or use peripheral vision to scan a room, owls must turn their heads for the same effect. These birds have fixed eye sockets, which means their eyeballs can’t rotate, forcing them to stretch their necks—a seemingly supernatural feat.“In the case of birds, their systems are designed to handle that amount of movement,” said Eric Forsman, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service, who was not part of the study.More