Competition to name eagles with webcam nest on Hilton Head SC


Fans of an Eagle’s Nest Camera on Hilton Head Island have until Sunday, December 12 to submit the couple’s names in a contest sponsored by the Hilton Head Island Land Trust.

The online camera was installed in October after Russell Patterson, a longtime islander resident, spotted the nest. After contacting the Department of Natural Resources and a California company specializing in wildlife cameras, Patterson worked with the Hilton Head Island Land Trust to put together the island’s first eagle webcam.

Since then, the live camera has received nearly 60,000 views from people across the United States and several countries including Canada, Australia, India, Japan and Switzerland.

The land trust did not disclose the exact location of the nest in an attempt to protect it.

The female eagle laid the first egg on November 19, about a month after the eagle’s camera was placed. The female eagle is larger than the male and is primarily responsible for incubating the eggs, although the male sometimes helps. They work together to make sure the eggs are protected from the weather, predators, or intruders.

According to the land trust, for the next 16 to 24 days, eagles will continue to care for the eggs until they hatch. Once hatched, the eagles stay with the eaglets for an additional 10 to 12 weeks until the fledging stage.

After the first flight, known as take-off, young eagles will spend the next 4-12 weeks learning to hunt and fly with their parents. Although eagles can still be seen at night, the infrared light from the camera is not visible to eagles or humans.

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Hilton Head Island Eagle Naming Contest details, provided by Hilton Head Island Land Trust

To enter the naming contest, go to the Hilton Head Island Land Trust website at hhilandtrust.org and click on Eagle Cam. To the right of the eagle’s camera, there is a link to the eagle name suggestion form.

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Hilton Head Island Eagle Camera screenshot, provided by the Hilton Head Island Land Trust

Laura Antunez is the local government and development reporter for The Island Packet. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, she is a graduate of Florida International University with over 30 articles published in the school newspaper PantherNOW and the FIU press office, South Florida Media Network. Towards the end of her bachelor’s degree, she became interested in data journalism and continued to learn Python and JavaScript. She used these skills during an internship with The Hechinger Report to create an interactive map and data visualization.


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