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Thousands watch online as eagles hatch in Iowa

A live video feed from Iowa of eagle eggs hatching has garnered a huge crowd of online viewers. (www.raptorresource.org)

April 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A live video feed from Iowa with a view of eagle eggs hatching has attracted more than 100,000 followers.

The massive following briefly crashed the site on Saturday after the first eaglet emerged.

The camera, which is sponsored by the Raptor Resource Project, shows a nest 80 feet up in a tree, where a pair of eagles is welcoming their brood.

Three eggs were laid in late February, and the first eaglet started to emerge from its shell Friday. The project's executive director, Bob Anderson, said the second hatched about 5:30 a.m. Sunday and the third is expected in about three days.

Anderson controls the camera angle with a joystick from a nearby shed.

Viewers can watch the adult eagles feed the hatchlings and trade shifts sitting on the nest.

The video feed reported more than 100,000 people watching at any given time. Anderson said a spike in traffic overloaded the site Saturday, and it was down for about two hours.

The camera is about the size of grapefruit and camouflaged with leaves. It's equipped with an infrared light - which the eagles can't detect - for nighttime viewing.

The pair of eagles have raised eight chicks since they built the nest four years ago.

Anderson said the eagles on camera, like most native to Iowa, do not migrate and live in the nest year-round. The chicks should be with them until July.

Click here to watch the live stream.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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