How long have eagles been nesting at Duke Farms?
The eagle nest at Duke Farms was discovered by our staff in the fall of 2004. In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy's 70+ mph winds tore off the upper half of the nest tree, destroying the nest completely. The pair built a new nest 100 feet south of the original site in late December 2012, which is still actively used.
In what type of tree is the nest located?
The nest is located in a sycamore tree in a restricted area of the property.
How high is the nest?
The nest is about 80 feet off the ground.
How long has the camera been at the nest?
The camera transmitted the first video in March 2008. In the fall of 2013, the camera was moved to the new nest tree. The camera was struck by lightning shortly before the eaglets fledged in 2015, but a new camera with infrared for night viewing was installed prior to the 2016 nesting season.
Where is the camera located?
The camera is in the nest tree and is positioned to view the nest from above. The camera can be maneuvered remotely to pan, tilt and zoom.
How many young have been raised in this nest?
A total of 23 eagle chicks have been raised and fledged from this nest since 2005.
When do the birds start incubating?
|Year||1st Egg Laid||2nd Egg Laid||3rd Egg Laid|
|2014||Feb. 17||Feb. 20||Feb. 24|
|2015||Feb. 17||Feb. 20||N/A|
|2016||Feb. 18||Feb. 21||N/A|
How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?
About 5 weeks.
|Year||1st Hatched||2nd Hatched||3rd Hatched|
|2014||Mar. 29||Mar. 29||Apr. 1|
|2015||Mar. 27||Mar. 30||N/A|
|2016||Mar. 26||Mar. 28||N/A|
How long does it take them to fledge (fly)?
About 10 – 12 weeks from when they hatch.
|Year||1st Fledge Date||2nd Fledge Date||3rd Fledge Date|
|2015||Jun. 19*||Jun. 17*||N/A|
|2016||Jun. 18*||Jun. 16*||N/A|
*In addition to technical difficulties in observing the chicks using the cam, it can be difficult to positively identify individual chicks. These dates are estimates.
Are the adult eagles banded?
Yes. In 2009 and 2010 it was noted that both the male and female were NJ-banded birds, because they each had a green NJ band on one leg and a silver federal band on the other. A photo was able to capture the information on the male's state band, so we know that he is from a 2000 nest near Rancocas Creek. In 2011, a different female returned with the male, which we know because she is not banded.
Have any of the chicks been banded?
Yes, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife has banded 13 of the Duke Farms chicks. See the table below.
|Year||Chicks Banded||Chick Sex|
|2014||3||2 Male, 1 Female|
Do we know what happened to any of the chicks that were banded at the Duke Farms nest?
The oldest of the three males from the 2009 nest (C-96) was identified while fishing in 2013 at the Conowingo Dam in Maryland. The smallest male from the 2009 nest (C-94) was observed nesting in Connecticut and has fathered at least four chicks as of 2015. Finally, another male that was banded at Duke Farms in 2014 (D-98) was found near Little Sebago Lake in Maine. Unfortunately, local residents witnessed him being attacked by a nesting adult bald eagle, and he was later found dead.
More information can be found on our blog.
How is the eagle cam funded?
Duke Farms hosts the eagle camera and the internet connection. The Endangered and Nongame Species Program and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ conduct the on-site banding and provide biological consulting and support with our educational programs.
How many eagle nests are in NJ?
In 1973, when the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act was passed, there was just one nesting pair in a remote forest in Cumberland County. In 2016, there were more than 150 active nests monitored in New Jersey. To learn more about eagle nests in NJ, visit The Division of Fish and Wildlife to read the annual Bald Eagle Report. The state’s eagle population would not be thriving without the efforts of the dedicated eagle volunteers who observe nests, report sightings, and help protect critical habitat.
What can you do to help?
- Be a citizen scientist! Nest camera watchers can submit this data sheet to assist biologists in tracking food items that are delivered to the nest.
- Buy a Conserve Wildlife license plate. Show everyone on the road that you value wildlife and believe in preserving our state's wildest creatures
- Keep a safe distance from any active nests.
- Protect critical habitat from disturbance and development.
- Share your knowledge and your passion and educate others about wildlife.