Open Chat FAQ


What chat room formats do you have available?

Moderated Chat: This forum is integrated into the Eagle Cam page during nesting season. Content in this forum is limited to discussion of the eagles at Norfolk Botanical Garden. Only comments approved by moderators will appear. Biologists and educators often participate to give authoritative information about the eagles. Content in this forum is safe for all audiences and recommended for classroom participation.

Open Chat: This forum is set up for fans of the Eagle Cam to discuss the eagles in an open, always-on chat room. In this umoderated forum, socializing and polite discussion on other topics is allowed. Comments are not approved in advance and consequently, content may not be suitable for children. Wildlife experts do not usually participate in this forum, but many of the regular users are knowledgable about eagles and are happy to answer commonly asked questions.

What are the rules for participating in the Open Chat?
We ask all participants to be respectful of others and avoid disruptive behavior. That includes flaming, personal attacks, hate speech, sexually explicit comments, profanity, or other rude activity. Users who violate these rules will be suspended or banned by the moderators.

Disagreements are permitted, arguments are not. Do not divulge personal information and do not post copyrighted content without the owner's permission. Spamming and advertising is not allowed and violator will be banned.

What can I do if someone in the chat room bothers or annoys me?
The chat software offers an "IGNORE" button which allows you to block individual users. 

How do private messages work? 
The chat room allows you to have a one-on-one discussion in private with another user. Participants should request permission prior to starting a private message chat with someone they don't know. Participants have the right to refuse a request for private message chat from another user. They may not however, refuse a private message from a host. Adults are not permitted, under any circumstances to engage in a private message with a minor.

Is there anything else I should not talk about in the Open Chat?
Yes. We ask participants to be respectful of others and to exercise common courtesy by avoiding any discussion of religion and politics. There are many places to discuss those topics on the Internet, and Eagle Cam Open Chat is not one of them.

What happens if someone posts inappropriate content in the open chat?
Inappropriate comments will be deleted by the administrators. IP addresses are logged and offenders may be permanently banned without warning.  

What are the technical requirements?
To participate in the Open Chat forum, you need to have the Java plug-in installed on your computer. Users without Java should be prompted to install it. If not, you may click here to download it free.

Can WVEC help me install Java and configure my browser?
Unfortunately we cannot provide that level of user support. Everyone's system is different and we are not able to troubleshoot individual users' technical issues.

I can't log in
You must create a user name and password to use the Open Chat forum. Accounts from past years will not work. If you click the "Create New Account" link and nothing happens, your browser has blocked the popup window. Click here to create a new account.

I still can't log in!
Make sure you're logging in to the chat on Also, try clearing your browser's cache of temporary files. Another option is to use a different browser. For example, if the chat won't work on Internet Explorer, try using Firefox or Chrome. Some firewalls and company networks may block the forum. 

Why can't I add my own avatar?
This chat system does not allow a custom avatar for each user, and new avatar images are no longer being accepted. Please use an avatar from the existing selection of images.