Established in 2009, EagleCAM is a live remote feed operating out of the BirdLife Discovery Centre in the Newington Armory at Sydney Olympic Park close to the Parramatta River. EagleCAM was started and funded by a small group of BirdLife Australia volunteers, who continue to develop and operate the technology that brings the Sea-Eagles to your screen.
The Sea-Eagles nested in July, laid two eggs and two eaglets hatched. In August, it was clear that one of the eaglets was stronger and 'out- competing' the other. This is natural behaviour of wild birds and rarely do two eaglets survive. On 10 August it was discovered that one of the chicks had died. If all goes well the single eaglet will fledge after 10 weeks. The camera is now in operation so click on the link below to catch a bird’s-eye view of our resident sea eagles and view their daily activities courtesy of tree-mounted cameras.
The White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster is a fairly common sight along the coasts and inland rivers of Australia, as well as further afield. However, little is in fact known about their complete breeding cycle from nest building to fledging. The current pair of Parramatta River Sea-Eagles is often seen during the day on their prominent mangrove perch, loafing or feeding on a gull, mullet or other fish from the wetlands. They may also be seen soaring overhead on up-swept wings. Their nest is hidden high in a Scribbly Gum in the Newington Nature Reserve. Each year their nest has been monitored and valuable observations made.
In the past the Sea-Eagles have raised eaglets to fledging (first flight).
Since 2009, resident White-bellied Sea Eagles return to nest around June, and usually lay their eggs in July. Eggs usually hatch during August/September. On average, over time, one eaglet has fledged per year, in spite of some failures and challenges along the way. In 2015 two eaglets hatched, one fledged, and the other died of beak and feather disease. Rarely does more than 1 eaglet survive. In 2016 our male’s long-term partner disappeared at the end of February. As Sea-Eagles pair for life, we were waiting anxiously to see if another female turned up. Our male now has a new partner, they renovated the old nest and the female laid two eggs. Two eaglets successfully hatched, and if all goes well the eaglets will fledge in approximately 10 weeks.
Many visitors to the BirdLife Discovery Centre have marvelled at the Sea-Eagles, which is open on weekends. You may be able to watch the live action (during June to September) as well as recordings of previous interesting behaviour. Many continue to watch their progress on the BirdLife Australia website, where the Eagle Watch diary records the story of their breeding.
EagleCAM has proved a valuable tool to promote the conservation work of BirdLife Australia, Office of Heritage and the Environment and Sydney Olympic Park Authority.