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The top 11 animal stories of 2011

By: Russell McLendon on Dec. 27, 2011, 7:43 a.m.
Stray dog in Minami-Soma, Japan

Photo: Raptor Resource Project/UStream

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Decorah eagles

The year may have started with bad news about birds, but thanks to the Iowa nonprofit Raptor Resource Project, it didn't stay that way. The RRP, which set up the Internet's first "birdcam" in 1998, enjoyed unprecedented popularity in early 2011 when its webcam feed of a bald eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa, went viral.

The pair of eagle parents in Decorah laid three eggs in February and March, and watched all three hatch in April. The trio of chicks then fledged in June. Along the way, more than 200 million people tuned in to watch online.

Here's a video of the first chick hatching: