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Duke Energy Renewables Invests in Bald Eagle Research, Education in Oklahoma

Dec. 14, 2020
Support of Sutton Avian Research Center provides public with livestream video access to bald eagle nesting activity.

Duke Energy Renewables has partnered with Sutton Avian Research Center in Oklahoma on the installation of the center's second eagle nest camera, now livestreaming video at

Duke Energy Renewables provided grants totaling US$37,500 to support the Sutton Center's original camera in Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge — the longest consistently running nest camera in the nation — and fund the installation of a second nest camera in rural Bartlesville, just half a mile from the Sutton Center.

The second camera is now live on the Sutton Center website, and an adult eagle and a juvenile eagle have been spotted in the area. In Oklahoma, eagles typically refresh the nest in late fall or early winter, with eggs appearing in December or January.

The Sutton Center is well-known for its avian research and successful bald eagle recovery programs. It is credited with restoring Oklahoma's bald eagle population from zero nesting pairs in the 1980s to more than 200 nesting pairs today.

"People care more when they can connect with the natural world," said Lena Larsson, PhD and the executive director at the Sutton Center. "Duke Energy Renewables' grant supports the center's mission to find cooperative conservation solutions for birds and the natural world through science and education. Especially now when people are staying inside to avoid the coronavirus, providing a safe window for experiencing nature up close is tremendously important."

"The incredible work of the Sutton Center complements our own efforts to prioritize the conservation of wildlife where our renewable energy projects are located, including Frontier Windpower II in Oklahoma and the eagle protection measures we've implemented there," said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Renewables. "We're proud to be an active participant in the Sutton Center's education efforts as we deliver on our mission to provide safe, clean, renewable energy in a sustainable way."

Frontier Windpower II

In 2019, Duke Energy Renewables announced the largest wind power project in its fleet — the 350-MW Frontier Windpower II project in Kay County, Oklahoma, which is nearing completion.

Frontier II is an expansion of Frontier Windpower, which has been operational since 2016. The Frontier II project will incorporate IdentiFlight, an advanced technology that quickly detects eagles and slows a turbine to prevent collisions, as part of the company's comprehensive eagle management plan.

Once complete, Frontier I and II will generate a total of 550 MW of wind energy — enough clean energy to power approximately 193,000 homes.

Front-row seat

The Sutton Center's bald eagle cameras provide web users around the globe a front-row seat to the birds' real-time nesting activities. Nesting season for Oklahoma bald eagles extends from November to June.

Known to mate for life and live for decades, bald eagles can boast wingspans of up to 8 ft. Bonded pairs often return to the same nesting site year after year, where eagle cams can reveal their unique personalities, courting rituals, egg laying, incubation habits, feeding strategies, and the sometimes heartbreaking survival challenges of eaglets.

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