The popularity of the Decorah bald eagles keeps soaring and this week the web-cam installed by the Raptor Resource Project, which is headquartered in Decorah, Iowa, surpassed 100 million views.
That's some milestone, and it's probably not a stretch to refer to the stars of this real-life nature reality show as the world's most famous avian critters (they're certainly the most spied-upon).
(Note: the Ustream feed listed the viewership number at 99,326,489 as of Friday morning, but that was the same number of viewers listed after the broadcast was last refreshed, six days earlier. The higher number will be reflected when the broadcast is refreshed again.)
Happily, all three eaglets are seemingly healthy six weeks after breaking free of their eggs atop the 80-foot-high nest, thanks to the remarkable parenting skills of their white-crowned parents, who smartly constructed the large nest next to a fish hatchery.
Viewers from around the world have witnessed the eaglets' swift growth, from tiny gray fuzz balls into large brown ungainly birds that slowly are shedding their clumsiness in preparation for first flights.
According to project manager Bob Anderson, maiden flights won't begin until at late June or early July, but in the coming days and weeks they'll begin to spread and flap their wings in preparation for the most important steps of their young lives.
What admirers should be prepared for is that only about half of first flights are successful, and that grounded eaglets are vulnerable to preadators and stand a lower chance of survival.
Then again, this adult bald eagle pair successfully hatched and fledged two eaglets in 2008, three in 2009 and three more in 2010. They really are amazing parents.