For 7 documented seasons, Bald Eagle pair “Romeo” and “Juliet” have returned to their nest high atop a Longleaf Pine tree to renew their bond and raise a new family of eaglets. This year, a second HD camera was added (for a total of 3 HD cams on the nest), allowing for unparalled views in the daily life of these eagles. Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched all the activities in the nest.
On Dec. 23, 2014, the first egg hatched and was soon followed by the second egg, which hatched on Christmas Day. A contest was held for AEF members to “Name the Nestlings.” 360 members entered the contest. The named pairs were narrowed down to 5, and then the entire membership was allowed to vote for their favorite selection. “Nick” and “Noel” were the winning names– appropriate for the Christmas season in which they were hatched.
The gender of the eaglets is never certain. However, when they reach full-size at 10 weeks old, there are certain indicators (including size), which provide evidence to make a good educated guess as to whether they are male or female. We do know that both were strong, healthy eaglets, and learned skills they will need to be successful in the wild.
Nick & Noel – 7 weeks old.[/caption]
End-of-Season Scrapbook ~ by Lil O’Rourke Gillar
Nick & Noel ~ Memories for a Lifetime ~ by Dragonlainey
From Egg to Fledge 2015 ~ by Sandy Fink
Schools Participate In “Classroom Chats”
Several classrooms across the country found us and arranged for private educational chats”with AEF’s knowledgeable moderators and expert cam operators. The ages of the students have ranged from 4 years old to high school. Teachers submitted questions in advance to our Classroom Coordinator, Gretchen Butler, who in turned shared them with the moderators so they could be ready to quickly answer all the questions and be prepared to post informative links, including videos. The cam operator is an integral part of this virtual classroom, and pays close attention to the topic so that the camera can show the students specifically what is being discussed.
It has been extremely gratifying to hear how the students and their teachers have responded to this experience. Many regular visitors to our chat forum “perch” (watch but do not chat) during these private chats and learn along with the students.
Two Little Eaglets
by Jim Weller
Two little eaglets way up in the tree. Two little eaglets, looking down at me.
You sit there in your aerie staring at the sky, and every time you flap your wings my heart lets out a sigh.
Silly little eaglets hovering o’er the nest, Don’t you know that you can fly? Your wings will stand the test.
Do you care that I’m waiting here to see you soaring high? I’m tethered to the earth below, but you, you own the sky!
If I were an eaglet and could do what you can do, without a moment’s hesitation I would launch into the blue.
(But wait! One’s perched upon the edge! It leans into the breeze! It spreads its wings! Then hops back down.) You’re such a little tease.
I know that you are old enough, your wings are sure and strong. Dancing high across the sky is where Eagles belong.
You’re made for inspiration. You can make the mute heart sing, rejoicing in your majesty borne on outstretched wing!
“Why don’t you fly?” I ask out loud, “When will you learn to soar? I know that you are ready. What are you waiting for?
Then deep within my spirit, the eaglets speak somehow. They say, “We’ll take that leap of faith when we hear God whisper, ‘Now!’ “