ASHTABULA — Technical difficulties with Lakeside Eagle cam will prevent hundreds of fans from watching two eaglets grow and spread their wings.
Ashtabula Area City Schools Superintendent Mark Potts said the eagle cam has been experiencing technical difficulties since June 25.
“Until it’s repaired, onlookers from the ground have reported that both young eaglets have been spotted flying from the nest and safely returning,” Potts said.
The recent heavy rains with strong winds may have knocked out power for the camera. School officials are not sure when the camera will be fixed.
This is disappointing to eagle fans who watched a pair of proud Bald eagle parents welcome two chicks as they hatched on Lakeside’s live webcam.
The eagles — Joy and her mate, Pride — are the popular stars of the webcam on lakesideeaglecam.com.
Eagle fans of all ages enjoy watching the fuzzy white chicks, named Nestor and Raindrop.
Joy has been tending to the chicks non-stop, continually checking on their progress, said Aaron Chamberlain, science teacher at Ashtabula Area City Schools.
The exact location of the nest is kept secret so it won’t be disturbed.
The eagle cam project started four years ago when a group of Ashtabula Area City School District teachers noticed an increase in bald eagle sightings in the area. They saw an educational opportunity for their students, as well as anyone else interested in wildlife, Chamberlain said.
In fall of 2017, the Ashtabula Foundation awarded the district a $13,000 grant to build the eagle nest camera. The grant covered the camera, a battery and solar panels to keep the system running, as well as other components that would end the camera’s signal to the internet.
Teachers from Erie Intermediate School identified a well-known nest near LaBounty Road as the best site. The property owner and the U.S. Department of Fish Wildlife granted permission and the camera system was installed, but the eagles soon abandoned that nest.
The educators then found another site near Lake Road in Conneaut and the project started all over again.
On Jan. 2, 2020, the website went live.
Within only a few hours, Joy and Pride swooped in and spent the night in the nest. In the following days, eagle cam watchers saw the pair adjusting the sticks in the nest in preparation for Joy to lay her eggs.
Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, teachers involved students with the eagle cam, having them chart daily eagle activity, editing video and maintaining the website.
Lakeside Eagle Cam’s mission is to provide a place where learners of all ages can visit to gather and share knowledge of bald eagles, according to the website.