Let's face it: Americans might have an obsession with animal cameras. There are puppy, seal and brown bear cams, and lets not forgot the near-hysteria that ensued when the National Zoo's panda cam shut off during the government shutdown.
But don't worry, if the panda cam goes offline again, there's yet another animal camera to boost morale: the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam in Fort Myers, Fla.
The SWFEC has been monitoring bald eagle pair Harriet and Ozzie since September 2012, and the duo have received 19 million views from 190 countries. The cam showcased two chicks hatching last winter, and has captured the parents taking turns incubating their new eggs since they were laid on November 17 and November 20. Both eggs will hatch any day now, concluding their average 35-day incubation period.
Harriet and Ozzie have been using that nest since 2007 and typically reside there from October to April. It's located one mile from the Caloosahatchee River in a pine tree 60 feet above ground. Dick Pritchett Real Estate and the Pritchett family helped fund the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam Foundation and four Pritchett siblings currently manage the project as a hobby.
These nationally symbolic birds mate for life and build some of the largest nests in the avian world -- ranging five-to-six feet in diameter and two-to-four feet tall. They use a range of materials to build nests, including sticks, feathers, moss and grass. Following extensive hunting and poisoning in the early-to-mid 1900s, protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1978 and the banning of DDT has led to such a population increase that the raptors were removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007.
UPDATE 12/26: Harriet and Ozzie's two eggs hatched just before midnight on Dec. 23 and on the morning of Dec. 25, according to a press release. The two eagles will now watch over their young for the next three to four months.