And Eaglets Make Four

Peter Sharpe, Ph.D., is a wildlife biologist with the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Egg-citing news: shortly after 7:30 a.m. last Saturday, an egg laid at the Pelican Harbor Nest on Santa Cruz Island hatched, becoming the first bald eagle chick on the Pelican Harbor nest to emerge from its shell this nesting season.

The second came quick on its heels, hatching today around 11:20 AM this morning. The parents, bald eagles K10 and K26, made history in 2006 when they became the first bald eagles to successfully reproduce on the California Channel Islands in nearly 50 years.

Bald eagles were reintroduced to Santa Cruz Island in 2002, and 2010 marks the first year that the first generation of native-born birds can reproduce. We’re not only witnessing the birth of a new generation of bald eagles: we’re witnessing the rebirth of Santa Cruz Island, where The Nature Conservancy has a preserve.

One of California’s — and the world’s — most remarkable ecosystems is being restored. Partnerships like those between the Institute for Wildlife Studies, the National Parks Service, the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program and the Conservancy are nursing the whole island back to health.

Over the next several months, we’ll continue to monitor the island’s bald eagle nests as the breeding season continues and more pairs produce eggs and chicks. In roughly eight weeks, we’ll band the eaglet at the Pelican Harbor nest so we can monitor its health and movements.

For the next 12-16 weeks, you’ll be able to watch the daily lives of the Pelican Harbor eagles — and the amazing growth of the newest addition to their family — through the live nest cam.

(Image credit: Dave Menke/USFWS)

If you believe in the work we’re doing, please lend a hand.


  1. Is there a video we can see of the eggs hatching? How did you figure out the actual hatching times if the mother sat on the eggs during the event?

  2. These are certainly lovely chicks.

  3. Please tell me that’s not a dead adult eagle in the nest…?

    1. It’s actually a dead seagull the eagles found and brought back to the nest.

  4. WHEW! Thanks, Robert! Sorry for the gull’s sake but so glad it wasn’t what I feared! THANKS for the relief! ~B~

  5. @Loretta,

    I agree, those chicks look awesome.

  6. What happened to the video ??

    1. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, it’s great!

  7. Thanks for this great experience. It has been exciting to see the eaglets grow and fledge. Can the camera be zoomed closer again so that we can see who is on the nest and what is happening? The present wide zoom makes it difficult for those of us who observe on computer screens to see anything.

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