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Sydney Olympic Park - Sea-Eagles

History - 2011
EagleCAM is a BirdLife Australia, Southern NSW, Research Project.

There has been a White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest in the woodland for many years with a succession of eagle pairs renovating the nest in the breeding season. Historic observations go back to at least 1967. For information about what has happened so far look at our News page.

2011:   On 3 February 2011 at 2:12pm after a long, dry, hot period the nest tree of 20 years had a catastrophic failure, fracturing the main trunk and bringing the nest crashing to the ground. These Scribbly Gum trees are called the 'Widow Makers' and for good reason, they tend to shed branches for no reason but especially when they get stressed like in an extended dry period. Luckily there where no eagles in the nest at the time of the collapse. This made a big splash in the local media with Network 7 running a prime time news store about the event. Watch Video of the nest crashing.

Channel 7 News videoing nest down     Channel 7 News videoing nest down.
7 News videoing the fallen nest with Judy Harrington & reporter Damien Smith.

BirdLife Australia, Southern NSW, EagleCAM team continued observations in the forest but gave the Eagles lots of room so they did not affect their choice of nesting site. The team had not been into the forest for about two weeks and in early May the eagles had started to construct a nest in the same tree as the previous year but in a different trunk. It was 2.5 meters (8ft) below where the cameras were mounted in 2010. The EagleCAM team were very much relived, as they would not have to extended the camera cabling. They watched for another two weeks to ensure that the Eagles were nest committed before installing the cameras. The same camera from 2010 was installed again, but this year an infrared light was added to allow vision at night to record their nesting behaviour.
  First egg laid:       4 July 2011 at 5:40pm
  Second egg laid:   7 July 2011 at 6:00pm.
  First egg (S1 - now referred to as SE-7) hatched:       14 August 2011 - 09:00am
  Second egg (S2 - now referred to as SE-8) Hatched:   15 August 2011 - 12:30pm

S1 Day 2, S2 Just Hatched.     S1 & S2 3 days old.
Dad & S1 Day 2, S2 just hatched                                 S1 & S2, 3 days old

On 19 August 2011 the first chick SE-7 met with an unfortunate accident and died on the nest at the age of about 5 days. There had been lots of rain and the two chicks were soaked. A Pigeon had been delivered to the nest and was completely plucked of feathers. It had been fed to the chicks earlier so the partially eaten Pigeon was laying on the nest next to the bowl. The female left the nest for a few minutes, when she returned and moved to settle over the two chicks her back talon got caught on the pigeon and dragged it into the nest bowl. Unfortunately SE-7 got caught pressed up against the pigeon face first. So we surmised that SE-7 could not breath and suffocated.
Two days later Mum removed the little body from the nest.

S1 Day 2, S2 Just Hatched.     S1 & S2 3 days old.

SE-8 Day 5                                                       Mum & SE-8 Day 5

  SE-8 (S2) Fledge:   9 November 2011 3:31pm
  SE-8 (S2) Sightings:   28 November 2011 S2 was sighted at the Waterbird Refuge looking well-fed and healthy; since then there have been a number of sightings in & around the new nest on 5 June & again on 4 July 2012 and was seen by rangers on 12 July 2012.