MELISSA BLOCK, host:
A webcam in Decorah, Iowa, has brought new meaning to the term bird's-eye view. The Eagle Cam broadcasts a 24-hour live stream of an American bald eagle nest 80 feet up in a cottonwood tree. And over the past few months, 11 million Internet viewers have tuned in to watch the mother eagle lay three eggs, two of which just hatched with another due to emerge any day now.
Bob Anderson is the director of the Raptor Resource Project, and he joins us from mission control near the base of that tree where the eagles are nesting. Bob, welcome to the program.
Mr. BOB ANDERSON (Director, Raptor Resource Project): Well, good afternoon. It's my pleasure to speak with you.
BLOCK: And when we say mission control, you are operating actually two cameras, one of which has this pan-tilt-zoom. You can get in really, really close on this eagle nest.
Mr. ANDERSON: Yes, we can. We can actually blow up the head and make it full-screen, so you can look right into the eye.
BLOCK: Which I'm doing right now, I should say. She's beautiful.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. ANDERSON: And the cameras are cryptic. They're hid under artificial leaves. And so they really pay no attention. She's now just standing up as we're talking. Well, she's just moving around, I guess. And I have to reposition the camera right now.
BLOCK: And this movement that I've been seeing her doing this week, she sort of moves her body from side to side, sort of nestling down over those little eaglets.
Mr. ANDERSON: Yes, in fact the people have given that a name. They call it the Decorah Shimmy.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. ANDERSON: And there's a YouTube video out there. In fact, right now we can - actually, one of the babies is sticking its head up from under her breast. I'll zoom in on it right now.
BLOCK: Why don't you describe those eaglets to us. They're just a couple of days old.
Mr. ANDERSON: They're just little, teeny fuzz balls right now, just, you know, a little bit bigger than maybe a goose egg. And they're really, really fuzzy, and they're really, really cute at this stage.
BLOCK: They are cute.
Mr. ANDERSON: And then soon they'll grow into ugly teenagers. But right now they're little puff balls, and they're just really, really, really, unbelievably cute.
BLOCK: Yeah, they're white, and they have sort of black around their eyes, right?
Mr. ANDERSON: Correct, correct.
BLOCK: Now, you're panning back a little bit, and I'm seeing in this nest, which is huge, well, snacks. Let's just call it lunch or dinner.
Mr. ANDERSON: Well, I mean, there we can see - I'm going to pan right now. Here we see a crow, you know, the remains of a crow. Here's the remains of a muskrat. And then here's the remains of a rabbit.
And behind the female that's incubating, she just finished feeding the babies a small (unintelligible).
BLOCK: As I'm talking to you, Bob, there are about 166,000 other people doing what I'm doing right now, watching this stream. Why do you think this is so popular this year?
Mr. ANDERSON: We've been asking ourselves this question a lot. And I think the quality is incredible. I mean, we're reaching a broad audience with - and we have also a great camera. And - but I really think it might be more than that. I think this - just everybody, this is a positive. Everybody, when they log on, they go wow. And I think this just moves everybody, you know, gives them a little bit of pleasure.
BLOCK: She's looking very alert right now, this mom. She is looking all around, like something is bothering her.
Mr. ANDERSON: Yeah, there is - you know, there must be something up there, up in the sky, I'm assuming. It's probably her mate. He's above the camera, up in the tree, and she was talking to him. But in a minute, he might drop down, and they might do an exchange.
BLOCK: Bob Anderson, thanks for talking with us about what you're seeing on the Decorah Eagle Cam today.
Mr. ANDERSON: Melissa, it was my pleasure.
BLOCK: Bob Anderson directs the Raptor Resource Project in Decorah, Iowa.
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MICHELE NORRIS, host:
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