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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Web users eye bald eagle nest
Bald eagle
North American bald eagles are back from the brink of extinction
Internet users who have been following a webcam placed above a nest of bald eagles in Canada are waiting with bated breath to see if a lone egg will hatch.

Doug Carrick, from Hornby Island, Canada, set up the webcam after discovering the eagles had built a nest in his yard.

He says he fears the egg may not hatch, as a 35-day incubation period is over.

Millions of people worldwide are said to have visited his website to follow the fortunes of the nesting eagles.

A Vancouver-based firm that helped broadcast from the webcam said the site was getting more than 10 million hits every day.

The eagles have been taking it in turn to sit in their windy nest with near-clockwork precision.

'Slight hope'

Mr Carrick, a retired accountant, set up the webcam, enclosed in a Perspex case, in his back yard.

The nest originally contained two eggs - but one of them went missing, he said on Monday.

The egg may have been infertile or may have contained a dead chick, he said.

Mr Carrick said he feared the remaining egg was unlikely to contain a live chick, as the deadline for it to hatch had passed.

"I'm just hanging on with a very slight hope," he said.

He believes the eagle couple have been nesting in his garden for 17 years - and may now be too old to have chicks.

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