Furor over eagle cam seems to have subsided

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Earlier this week, web camera viewers from across the country demanded that Maine biologists intervene on behalf of an eaglet that they said was in distress.
An eagle soars over Brewer recently. Brian Feulner| BDN

An eagle soars over Brewer recently. Brian Feulner| BDN

The Biodiversity Research Institute, which manages the camera, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said they would not intervene, preferring to let nature take its course.

Viewers were particularly outraged that a second eaglet in the nest had been killed by its sibling, and said that the remaining bird was not being fed by its parents.

On Friday, two DIF&W employees said the furor has subsided, in large part because the eaglet has been observed feeding.

“Earlier in the week we were receiving calls and over the past two days we haven’t received any here at headquarters,” said Mark Latti, who handles outreach and communications for the DIF&W. “It has subsided, but people throughout the country are very passionate about this and have [previously] reached out to us and [BRI] to let us know their thoughts.”

Latti said the story was picked up nationally, and on Thursday a story about the issue appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Brad Allen, a wildlife biologist who serves as the DIF&W’s bird group leader, said news coverage that allowed him and other biologists to state their case helped inform the public.

“Most people understood where we were coming from,” Allen said.

But the most important reason that people aren’t still calling for an intervention likely has to do with Mother Nature herself.

“My sense was people were complaining that the one eaglet left was not being fed, when in fact it was,” Allen said.

Patrick Keenan, Biodiversity Research Institute outreach director, could not immediately be reached for comment.



John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.