Eaglet naming soars into local schools

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The nonprofit organization Humboldt Bay Eagles is holding a contest to name the second of two eaglets, which is just over a week old now. For the first time in decades, bald eagles are nesting in the northern California region of Humboldt Bay on private property.

The eagles have their very own Eaglecam and live feed on the Internet at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/humboldt-bay-eagle-cam. The eagle parents can be seen nesting, feeding, and nurturing their eaglets throughout the day.

The location of the nest is being kept private for the protection of the eagles and landowners. HBE is excited to share the experience with everyone via their Facebook page and the Ustream feed with social media feed.

Many schools have begun to brain storm ideas for the contest. The first name submitted was "Stormy" by Mrs. Holverson's first-grade class at Freshwater School. The class described their name choice as being reflective of the strength of an eagle.

"I think it is really cool to be able to watch them live," Redwood Prep fifth-grader Garett Fuller said. "We do not get to ever see them close up or hatch."

The eagle viewing is funded by a grant from the Sequoia Park Zoo. Together with Dr. Peter Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies, and world-famous canopy ecologist Jim Campbell-Spickler of Humboldt State University the camera was installed to study the majestic creatures.

Natalia Ramirez, also a 5th grader said, "You don't get a chance to see eaglets or eagles. If you turn up the volume you can hear them calling to each other." "You can see pictures on the Internet, but seeing them live is really special," continued Ramirez.

HBE is offering for any classroom teacher (K-8) with the help of their students to submit one suggestion for the name of the eaglet. In addition the name suggestion must be accompanied by a one-paragraph student essay explaining the importance of the name.

The essay and name submission can be submitted to the Facebook page Humboldt Bay Eagles with the school and teacher name by May 25. All essays and names will be reviewed with the winning classroom eaglet name being announced June 1st.

For questions regarding the eaglet naming contest, email hbename@suddenlink.net.

HBE is looking at improving the viewing quality and increasing nighttime viewing by installing infrared lighting and a possible pan-tilt-zoom camera. If you would like to donate they have a PayPal account set up under the Institute for Wildlife Studies and just type HBE in the notes section.

The original goal was set to raise $5,000 to help fund the improved camera, along with improved waterproofing, Internet upgrades, and software.

"I am just in awe of our viewers and fans!" Sandra Hunt-von Arb of HBE said. "We have soared right by our minimum $2,500 goal and we currently stand at $3,300!! Thank you all."

Any money raised above $5,000 will be used to further education regarding bald eagles, the ecosystems they depend on, and other wildlife.

The contest is a great way to introduce students to one of nature's treasures. If you visit HBE on Facebook you can see many still shots of the eagles along with links to all of their social media outlets.

After watching the live feed and seeing the featherless eaglets, kindergarten student Elizabeth said, "I think they are so cute and fluffy. That is it, I will name it Fluffy!"

Administrators of the group are Mary Osteen, Jackie Kolves, Ja Pichler, and Sandra Hunt-von Arb and can be contacted for questions through the fan page on Facebook.