Berry eagles: Remaining egg has been buried in the nest so no eaglets this season.

Berry eagles: Remaining egg has been buried in the nest so no eaglets this season.

 

More bad news from the Berry eagles’ nest: Sunday afternoon, “the female eagle buried the second egg under some nesting materials. While one or both eagles spent the night on branches near the nest, and the male eagle has been laying on the nest this morning, we believe that the second egg is nonviable. This means either that it wasn’t fertilized, or that the embryo in the egg did not develop. We were all hoping for a better nesting season this year, but it is important to remember that we are witnessing nature in action. The survival rate for eaglets that hatch is approximately 50% in their first year of life, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 2013, the eagles at Berry have fledged 10 healthy eaglets. We hope to see that continue in the future, and will be watching right along with all of you and keeping you updated.”

  • In 2021 eggs were laid. Jan. 1 and Jan. 4. First egg hatched Feb. 10 but B-14 died two days later. The second egg was buried in the nest, apparently deemed not viable by the parents.

PREVIOUSLY

This is going to be a tough day for the eagle watchers.

Overnight, it appears the first hatchling of 2021 — B14 — wandered outside the nest bowl and couldn’t return to be protected by the parents from the rain and cold. The body is gone, at least per continuing camera views, and the parents continue to care for the second egg. It is expected to hatch today or Saturday as it was laid just a few days after the first egg.

We’re awaiting official word from Berry College.

This has been a rough few seasons for the nest at Berry College after many productive years. One eaglet fell from the nest in 2018; two hatchlings died in 2019; and neither egg was viable in 2020.

The 2021 eggs are from a new female as “Ma Berry” has moved on, possibly to Lake Gunthersville in Alabama.

Watch the latest camera angles here. Be cautioned that the chat accompanying it is both sad and explicit in the fate of B14 today.

 

 

 


 

 

There’s one eaglet now in the nest at Berry College and another hopefully not too far behind. After at couple of tough years and apparently a new mother eagle, two eggs joined the nest in January. “Pip watch,” showing any cracking of an egg, began over the weekend. On Wednesday, B-14 debuted.

For more:

That’s B-14 to the middle left. On the lower right… well, call it nature. From Berry College Eagles’ Facebook page.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (from the eaglecam website)

BERRY NEST: The nest is located on the main campus of Berry College adjacent to the parking lot of the Steven Cage Athletic and Recreation Center and is available for viewing. The Cage Center is home to sporting events, concerts and other activities. Apparently our eagles like to be near the action!

GENDER: The male eagle is smaller and has a sleek white head. The female eagle is larger with a head of ruffled white feathers.

INJURY: Throughout the years there has been concern about the injury to our female eagle’s left foot. She injured it in 2013 and when she returned to the nest the next year it was more pronounced. Please know that our eagle experts and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials are very vigilant about this issue and want to assure everyone that they are taking her health into consideration. As of now, our experts believe that a capture of the female eagle could possibly cause further injury. And during the rehabilitation time, the male eagle could bond with another female. There are many reasons why a capture and rehab situation may not be ideal at this point. We will continue to monitor and make decisions in the best interest of this very successful bonded pair. Our experts note how well the female eagle has adapted to this injury in being able to hunt, feed herself, fly, care for and successfully raise young etc. We appreciate your concern and thank you for watching.

NIGHT VIEW: Berry is pleased to provide live video feeds of the bald eagle nesting area. The nest cameras use infrared at night that is not visible to the eagles. It may look like you are seeing a light, but you are not. The tree looks completely dark at night.

CAMERA/TECH SUPPORT: For more info about the types of cameras and technical issues click on “nest cam information” beneath the live feed on the berry.edu/eaglecam page.

SOUND: Cam 1 has sound.

NAMES: Berry has chosen not to name the eagles because they are wild creatures and we do not want to personalize them.

EGG STATS:

  • In 2013, two eggs hatched (B1 and B2.) B1 fledged on April 22 and B2 fledged on April 28.
  • In 2014, two eggs were laid, but only one (B3) hatched on Feb. 22. B3 fledged on May 22, 2014.
  • In 2015, eggs were laid on Jan. 6 and 9 with hatching on Feb. 13 and 15. B4 fledged on May 10, 2014, and B5 fledged on May 12, 2015.
  • In 2016, eggs were laid Jan. 7 and 10 and hatched Feb. 14 and 15. B6 and B7 fledged May 8 and 9, 2016.
  • In 2017, eggs were laid Jan. 3 and 7 and hatched Feb. 11 and 13.  B8 and B9 fledged on May 5, 2017 and May 10, 2017.
  • In 2018, eggs were laid Jan. 3 and 6 and hatched Feb. 12 and 13. On Feb. 22, 2018, one of the two eaglets wandered over to the edge of the nest and fell out of the 100-foot-tall pine tree. It did not survive the fall. The remaining eaglet fledged on May 9.
  • In 2019, eggs were laid Jan. 8 and 11 and hatched Feb. 19 and 21. The eaglets died shortly thereafter. No cause was determined.
  • In 2020, eggs were laid Jan. 11 and 13. Neither egg hatched.
  • In 2021 eggs were laid. Jan. 1 and Jan. 4. First egg hatched Feb. 10 but B-14 died two days later. The second egg was buried in the nest, apparently deemed not viable by the parents.

STADIUM: Before the eagles, Berry officials had planned to build a stadium in the area. Once the eagles arrived, the stadium site was moved to the south.  In May 2014, Berry officials announced that the stadium would be relocated even further south out of respect for the eagles and their habitat.

DIET: The eagles enjoy eating fish, coot (waterfowl) and squirrel. The nest is conveniently located near the Oostanaula River, the renamed Eagle Lake at Berry and Garden Lakes in Rome, Ga.

HELP: If an eaglet falls out of the nest or any of the eagles become injured, college officials are required to contact authorities regarding the federal rules for handling bald eagles. No personnel are permitted in the restricted area during nesting season. Any intervention or care for eagles will be determined by federal authorities.

IS THIS THE SAME FEMALE EAGLE?: No; the original female eagle got into an altercation with the new female eagle at the end of November 2020, and left the area. That new female is now the resident female. The original female was most recently spotted by a photographer in mid-December 2020 at Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

IS THIS THE SAME MALE EAGLE?: According to our eagle experts, who have reviewed photos and video to look at his appearance and behavior, the male eagle is the same.

WILL THE EAGLET COUNT START OVER, SINCE THIS IS A NEW FEMALE?: No; eaglets are traditionally numbered by nest, not by parent.

GENERAL BALD EAGLE FACTS

  • The U.S. Department of Interior took the American bald eagle off the endangered species list in 2007.
  • The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a member of the sea and fish eagle group.
  • Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white. They reach full maturity in four to five years.
  • The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male.
  • Wingspan ranges from 72 to 90 inches.
  • Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph.
  • Bald eagles weigh on average 10 to 14 pounds.
  • The eagles’ diet is mainly fish, but they will take advantage of carrion.
  • Hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. Home ranges are smaller where food is present in great quantity.
  • Because an eagle lives up to 30 years in the wild, it has many years in which to produce offspring.
  • Bald eagles build their nests in large trees near rivers or coasts. A typical nest is around 5 feet in diameter. Eagles often use the same nest year after year. Over the years, some nests become enormous, as much as 9 feet in diameter, weighing two tons.
  • Eagles lay between one and three eggs. Parenting duties are shared by both male and female during the 35 days of incubation, but it is the female who spends most of her time on the nest.
  • The young birds grow rapidly, adding one pound to their body weight every four or five days. At six weeks, the eaglets are nearly as large as their parents.
  • An eaglet can take its first flight some 10 to 13 weeks after hatching and approximately 40 percent of young eagles do not survive it.
  • All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.
  • Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies.
  • The bald eagle became the national emblem in 1782 when the great seal of the United States was adopted.

Sources: www.baldeagleinfo.com and www.allaboutbirds.org

NEST VISITOR ETIQUETTE

(via the Decorah Eagles web site)

  • For those of you visiting nests, remember, bald eagles are protected by Federal law in the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty.
  • Don’t honk, play loud music, shout or make any other loud noises.
  • Do not feed the eagles. This includes leaving food on the ground. These birds are wild animals and should not become dependent on humans
  • Keep the area free from litter.
  • If an eagle is on the ground, do not approach it. Also, when it flies away, do not attempt to follow it.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. If the eagle is near a road, check for traffic before moving.
  • Take binoculars and/or camera with you whenever visiting a nest. That equipment will afford you the best view.
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