While it may be difficult to witness, competition is an integral part of the ecology and long-term survival of species, bald eagles included. It is common to see competition among eagle chicks, especially when one chick was born several days before another. The older chick will typically be larger, stronger, and will have more access to food unless the sibling is able to catch up. It may seem violent, but competition allows for the better survival of the species. Chicks that are stronger will have a better chance at survival and passing on their genetics to the nest generation of eagles. This sibling competition is common in the early weeks of nesting and is typically not problematic unless resources are limited. The nest is in an ideal place, far from human contact and surrounded by bodies of water that were recently stocked with trout.
This competition appears to be abnormal and causing some viewers to be disturbed while watching the Eagle Cam, but it is a common occurrence across bird nests of all kind. Duke Farms will not intervene. Bald eagles are listed as endangered in New Jersey during breeding season, from January 1 to August 1, and we are not allowed within 1000 feet of the eagle nest. The adult eagles are seasoned, veteran parents. The adult male eagle has been nesting at Duke Farms since 2005 and has successfully raised 25 chicks. It is common for one or both adults to leave the nest for a period of time.
It is important to remember that although we have access to witness their behaviors, the eagles are still wild animals. If you find the nesting behaviors of the eagle chicks bothersome or disturbing, do not watch the Eagle Cam.