Wildlife babies appearing on peninsula

Jun 1, 2020

A moose mother looks back toward her calf in a yard in Soldotna on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Credit Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

  This weekend, Kenai’s celebrity eagles welcomed their first eaglet of the season, to the delight of viewers watching the City of Kenai’s eagle cam.

The city and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center have operated the camera since 2017, trained on an eagle nest in the Kenai area. The eagles are informally named Aurora and Redoubt by the city employees—officially, eagles are designated by numbers given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The couple took a year off from parenting in 2019, but this year returned to the nest and laid two eggs. They were expected to hatch between May 28 and June 2.

Right on time, one egg hatched this weekend. On Monday, more than 200 people were watching the live stream as the parents kept the eaglet and remaining egg warm in the nest while the other parent ran errands. The camera has gotten more popular over the years and has more than 100 viewers on a regular basis, according to the city.

The live stream can be found on the City of Kenai’s website or on the city’s YouTube channel.

Speaking of baby animals, eaglets aren’t the only ones being born right now. Moose moms are giving birth right now all across the Kenai Peninsula, as are caribou and bear moms. Because moose often give birth in populated areas and the newborns are adorable, people may want to approach them. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game warns people not to do this, as cow moose can be particularly aggressive during calving season.

People who spot a moose calf alone may assume it has been abandoned, but most of the time, the mother will return to it before long, according to Fish and Game. People out recreating, such as bicyclists and trail runners, should be sure to keep their distance and make noise as they can easily come around a corner or over a hill and surprise wildlife. Lingering near one, even for a photo, could discourage a mother from returning, too, so it’s best to move on.

More information is available on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website.