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2014 Nesting Season Has Begun

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Starring "Independence" & "Franklin"

This is the nest of non-releasable Bald Eagles Independence and Franklin. They live on the AEF's Eagle Mountain Sanctuary in the Dollywood Park in Pigeon Forge, TN.

There are two cams featured on this page. You can open all the same time. We plan to incorporate sound with the 2nd cam next week.

To read more about Frank and Indy, click here.

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This is an overhead cam focused on the nest non-releasable Bald Eagles Isaiah and Mrs. Jefferson.
There are 2 eaglets in the nest.

Read more about Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson

You may see Indy & Frank, Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson,
or even some of the other eagles in the aviary on Eagle Mountain Sanctuary.

To access a chat window, click here. Resize the chat window to a smaller size, and drag it beside the video to see the video and participate in chat at the same time. For easy to follow directions on how to watch both this cam AND the NEFL cam at the same time while participating in chat, click here for a PDF document which explains how to do it! Our scheduled moderated Chat is open from 8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. (EST) every day.


April 2, 2014: Sometimes there are no answers, and this is one of those times.
Something obviously happened as to how Independence perceived the first two eaglets that were hatched in her Dollywood nest this year. When the first eaglet was observed with no signs of life yesterday, one day after hatching, Al Cecere went to the nest and confirmed the baby was deceased. He removed the baby from the nest and examined it carefully. No signs of injury were visible, and the baby was perfectly formed.

On April 1, immediately after the second egg hatched. Indy, who has successfully raised 29 eaglets, killed the baby instantly. That leads us to strongly suspect that she was also responsible for the first eaglet's death.

Both babies had been healthy and were acting normally both inside their shells and on the first day they hatched out.

The third egg was removed from the nest and later hatched out healthy in an incubator, . A wooden egg was placed in the nest to replace the 3rd real egg. The wooden egg has now been removed.

The eaglet that hatched from egg 3 will not be placed back in Indy and Frank's nest. It will be fostered in another nest.

We are grieving over the loss of these two perfect babies, and we are struggling to understand why Indy did this; it has never happened before. Indy and Frank have been perfect parents for many years.

The breeding season had seemed very normal. When Indy and Frank were returned to the aviary in February, they began nestorations and acted as they always do. Three eggs were laid, but they were all infertile. Wooden eggs were placed in the nest, and then recently replaced with fertile eggs from other nests for Indy and Frank to incubate and raise. Indy and Frank carefully and diligently tended both the wooden eggs and the real eggs. No unusual behavior was noted at any time, and the nest was continually monitored.

Our only clue is that when the aviary was damaged by a storm last summer, Indy seemed to have been injured, because it was more difficult for her to get around. In time, she appeared to be doing fine. However, recently it was observed that her balance seemed off as she would get up from the eggs and walk around the nest. That's the only significant difference anyone has noticed


What is the American Eagle Foundation (AEF)?
Established in 1985, the non-profit AEF is dedicated to protect the majestic Bald Eagle, the USA's National Symbol, and its habitat by supporting and conducting eagle and environmental recovery and education programs.

In 2010, the organization celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

In addition to its WWW.EAGLES.ORG website, the AEF also has a Facebook page, a Google+ page, Eagle Blog, free e-Newsletter, and YouTube "Bald Eagle Info" Channel. All these features can be accessed from its website homepage.

How often are the eaglets fed?
The eaglets get fed by their parents numerous times per day (and sometimes during night). The parents usually feed the babies beginning at around 6:30 a.m. or 7 a.m. (EST). As the babies grow bigger, they will require more food.

The food is placed inside the aviary at the bottom of the hill from the nest twice a day (morning and evening) by AEF staff. The amount of food provided daily is more than enough for the babies to be fed numerous times. In fact, there are usually leftovers at the end of the day.

The food in the nest is sometimes lying off-camera or blends in with the straw. The birds are cared for by professional AEF caregivers and by experienced eagle parents. In past years, the parent birds have successfully raised two sets of triplets. In the video below, you will see how caregivers have left fresh food at the bottom of the hill for the adult eagles. They choose the "main course" and then hop-fly it up a very steep hill to the nest. The adults and babies all share in the dinner - of course, the adults tear the food into tiny bits for the small eaglets, and then as the eaglets grow, they are able to eat larger and larger pieces.

Make a charitable donation to help our conservation work.
The American Eagle Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity, so donations are fully "tax-deductible".

The programs of the AEF are sustained by donations from individuals and corporations. The AEF receives no governmental funding.

There is a DONATION BUTTON on the home page of the AEF's website. You may also click the donate button at the top of this page and choose how you would like to help. In addition, you may "adopt" Franklin and Indy by clicking the "Adopt" button at the top. Soon, we will have a CHAT T-SHIRT for sale, designed by one of our Chat Group featuring last year's eaglets, and sure to please. When it becomes available, the t-shirt button at the top of the page will go "Live."

Donors can support the AEF in a variety of ways, including Adopting Eagles and purchasing beautiful Eagle-Themed Gifts

Sanctuary Mountain
This is the largest aviary presentation of non-releasable Bald Eagles in the world.

Sanctuary Mountain
The nest of "Independence" and "Franklin" can be found about 35 feet up a steep hillside inside the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary aviary at Dollywood. The nest is a human-made structure, but the parents add sticks and other materials before and after laying and hatching their eggs.

Sanctuary Mountain
A vast habitat offers a natural setting for these non-releasable eagles. Many have limited flight and enjoy flying up in the trees.

release tower
An artificial nesting/release tower overlooking a private area on Douglas Lake (East Tennessee) is home for the eaglets after they are removed from their parents' nest at 5 to 6 weeks of age. While there, they do not come into direct contact with people, but are closely monitored and cared for daily by AEF staff members until they have grown to full-size at 13 or 14 weeks of age and are released into the wild. While living in the nesting tower, the eaglets are viewed through one-way mirrored glass windows and fed/watered via sliding drawers, so they do not become "human-imprinted." Prior to their release, the eaglets are fitted with a radio tracking transmitter on their middle tail feather, a colored/numbered marker on their left wing, and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service metal band on their right leg/ankle.

None of the advertising or commercials appearing on this UStream channel are controlled by the American Eagle Foundation, nor are any of the products and services that are promoted here endorsed by the Foundation.

Chat Room Rules When Visiting Our Other Streaming Video Site
1. Be respectful, polite, and focused on eagles.
2. No profanity, personal invective, or other inappropriate comments.
3. No comments touching on politics, religion, or sports. Respect the diversity of the room. Although we respect your political views, please do not post them in the main chat, since this is not a forum for political issues. The conversation should be focused on AEF.
4. We prefer that chatter focus on eagles and other raptors and not on TV shows that may not be suitable for family viewing.
5. Disagreements might be unavoidable but should remain polite, and they should never become arguments.
6. Do not post strings of several emoticons, smileys, or random characters, either on a single line or in successive posts. Do not post in all caps, it's like YELLING.
7. Allow mods to deal with chat abusers, do not engage them yourself, keep your posts relevant to the eagles.
8. Respect the mods, who are here to make sure all viewers have a good experience.
9. Chatting is a privilege, not a right. If your presence is disruptive, moderators (mods) can timeout, kick, or permanently ban chat abusers, and can delete inappropriate posts.
10. Medical - Although we care deeply about the health and well being of our chatters, we ask that all medical issues be kept private. If you wish to communicate with someone regarding your medical situation, please do so by means of Private Messages (PMs).
11. Other Nest Cams - We are aware that many of our chatters view other nests and like to share the news, which is acceptable. However, please keep information from other nests to a minimum so we don't confuse other chatters. The conversation should be focused on the American Eagle Foundation. Of course, if you feel the need to discuss another nest, please feel free to use Private Messages (PMs).
12. For people way off topic - Please remember the conversation should be focused on AEF. We are all very privileged to be able to watch these beautiful creatures and to be able to share the experience with our fellow chatters. If you feel the need to discuss other topics, please do so by using Private Messages (PMs).

If you would like more detailed answers to questions you may have, please check our Eagle Blog or email Bob Hatcher, our Eagle Expert, at

Thanks for visiting! Please tell your friends about us, and come back often.

Weather at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary


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