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More in News
Watching eagles hatch – live!
WAITING FOR HATCH – At the Paris Elementary, students have been watching a pair of eagles in their nest via webcam. The eagles, and students, are anxiously awaiting the hatching of three baby eaglets. Pictured: Lilijune Rennie, Ethan Keisman , Tasker Winslow, Anna Piirainen and Andrew Merrill.
SOUTH PARIS – Students at the Paris Elementary School have been learning quite a bit about eagles in the past month or so! And not just from their classroom.
They have been watching a pair of eagles, live via webcam.
According to Jane Fahey, principal, the eagles are nested in Decorah, Iowa ... her home state, and a friend of hers, who now teaches in Warwick, Rhode Island emailed the news to her.
“He said that his class and most of the teachers in his school were watching the eagles,” she said. “And he sent along the live web and I wanted our students to have the same experience.”
A computer was set up in the library at Paris Elementary and connected to a large, projector screen so that students can watch the pair of eagles as they prepare for their babies.
“As the eaglets start hatching, I believe interest will increase and there will be more discussion in class,” said the principal. “Currently, classes that come into the library watch the nest, and talk about what they are seeing. Some teachers have made connections with books they are reading aloud with their children.”
With the library being a glassed-in room, students and staff can also watch from the hall as they pass by.
“It’s like being a fly on the wall,” said fifth-grader, Ethan Keisman. “We are seeing what they do in nature, not what they would do if they knew we were watching.”
The students have learned a lot about eagles over the past few weeks and very anxious to explain what they learned.
“The nest is about six feet wide!” exclaimed sixth-grader, Anna Piirainen. “And it weighs around 3,000 pounds.”
“It’s 80 feet up in the air,” added second-grader, Lilijune Rennie. “There are three eggs the size of a wiffle ball and one of the parents is always there.”
With the climate and landscape close to the northeast, the eagles need to keep the eggs warm.
“The eagle body temperature is 108,” explained fifth-grader, Tasker Winslow. “And they have to keep the babies at 105.”
Andrew Merrill, a second-grade student said the parents have a routine in keeping their young warm.
“The dad will be on the nest and he will squawk and the mom will come. Then they will swap. The mom will then move the eggs around and line them up. Then she does a little dance so her belly covers the eggs and she will lay on them for a while.”
“They lose feathers on their bellies during nesting,” said Ethan. “I think it is so that the babies are closer to their skin and makes them warmer.”
“It’s called a brood patch,” added Lilijune.
What do the eagles eat?
“They eat fish and small rodents,” said Tasker. “The other day the mom brought home a rabbit! But Mrs. Fahey explained how that was nature.”
“Some of the rabbit is still there!” said Anna. “Maybe she is saving some for the babies.”
Fahey explained to the students how eagles mate for life.
“These parents have been together since the winter of 2007-2008,” she said. “They had two eaglets in 2008, and three in 2009 and 2010. The first egg laid this year was on February 23, the second on February 26 and the third on March 2.”
The live webcam was brought to the Internet by the Raptor Resource Project, a non-profit organization that specializes in the preservation of eagles, ospreys, hawks and owls. The purpose of the project, through training in nest-site creation and management is to preserve and strengthen the raptor population, expand raptor preservation and help foster the next generation of preservationists.
“And we learn about the eagles in class too,” said Anna.”And there is a word wall and there are all the letters of the alphabet in the library. When we learn a new word, we put it under the letter it starts with.”
When students get a chance, they even watch from home, they all said.
“It’s just so much fun,” said Lilijune. “I hope I get to see one of the babies hatch.”
For more information or to watch the eagles live, visit ustream.tv/decoraheagles.