Harrison Bay expecting baby eagles soon

Harrison Bay expecting baby eagles soon

March 13th, 2013 Meghan Pittman in Local Regional News

A bald eagle tends its nest at The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park.

Harrison Bay State Park is expecting the arrival of two new additions.

Elliot and Eloise, two bald eagles who have been nesting at the park since 2010, have laid two eggs in their nest.

Paul Carter, the golf course superintendent at the Bear Trace state golf course, said the two eggs laid in early February are expected to hatch March 17.

The pair and the eggs can be viewed through the park's popular Eagle Cam, cameras installed in a tree overlooking the lovebirds. Their activity is broadcast over a website.

"It's kind of our stamp of approval that they would choose to nest here," said Carter. "Normally they stay away from areas with people, but they feel comfortable enough to choose here."

Viewing the eagles is fascinating to Carter, who is joined by thousands of other bird enthusiasts that have visited the Eagle Cam to see the majestic birds.

Last year the Eagle Cam was viewed by more than 57,000 unique viewers from 36 different countries. The site has generated much more traffic already this year, according to Carter.

"I could talk about eagles all day long, every day," he said. "The whole reason we put the cameras there is so people can watch them."

Elliot and Eloise have hatched young eagles before, years ago when the cameras were first installed. There was another - unsuccessful - hatching, last year Carter said.

After the eggs hatch, the fledglings should flee the nest by the end of May.

"Some of the first [hatchlings] came back last year, but they were only around for a short amount of time before mama bird chased them off," said Carter. "It's completely different from how it is [with other animals]."

The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay has been recognized for its Environmental Partnership Initiative by the state of Tennessee and the United States Golf Association. View the project at www.harrisonbayeaglecam.org.