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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 19:28 GMT 20:28 UK
Eagle web watchers' hopes dashed
Bald eagle
The bald eagle parents incubated the eggs for five weeks
Countless internet users who waited patiently to see a bald eagle chick hatch from its egg on a live webcam have had their hopes dashed.

The nest's remaining egg was found to be cracked, with no sign of an eaglet. The first of two eggs went missing.

Doug Carrick fixed the camera by the nest, which was 120ft (36m) up a fir tree in the back yard of his house on Hornby Island off Canada's west coast.

But backers are now trying to feature other nests with live chicks.

They say millions of people visited the site and got caught up in the story of the pair of bald eagles trying to incubate two eggs, and they want to show them a tale with a happier ending.

Sad but grateful

"This has been a roller-coaster ride for me, along with everyone else," Mr Carrick said.

"I think I'm a fairly realistic guy, but my emotions tell me I would have liked to have had a chick. So would the kids watching all over the world."

His worst fears were confirmed when he saw one of the parent eagles peck at the cracked egg, then squawk to its partner.

A forum page on the website quickly filled with visitors' comments - many sad, but grateful for the chance they had to watch nature in action.


A biologist and bald eagle expert who backed the project, David Hancock, is determined not to let enthusiasts down, though.

He spoke to the BBC News website from Powell River in British Columbia, where he was "standing looking up at another nest that we're hoping to get a camera into".

"This one's got three young in it, so we can hopefully get the rest of the story to the kids out there."

He hopes to have that nest on stream by Monday and another, near the city of Victoria, over the weekend.

The next project, he says, will be to set up webcams in the habitat of British Columbia's talismanic kermode bear, or spirit bear.

Catching them on a webcam will be more difficult, he admitted, and would involve just positioning a camera overlooking a promising spot of the river.

"When the bears go by they go by," he said. "If they don't you can just see the rippling river in the background."

Web users eye bald eagle nest
04 May 06 |  Americas
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17 Aug 02 |  Americas
Eagle's bright future
03 Jul 99 |  Americas

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