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Dollywood Nest Cam

Featuring non-releasable Bald Eagles Independence & Franklin

Independence & Franklin



Non-releasable Bald Eagles Independence and Franklin live in an enormous aviary at Dollywood at AEF’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. Since 2002 they have successfully raised 30 eaglets that have been released into the wild.


Non-releasable Bald Eagles Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson are neighbors of Independence & Franklin, also calling AEF’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary their home. They have hatched and raised numerous young as a part of the AEF’s Captive Breeding and Hacking programs.


Volunteer & Hero are a bonded non-releasable pair of Bald Eagles that live in their own compartment on AEF’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. They have hatched and raised numerous young eaglets as a part of the AEF’s Captive Breeding and Hacking programs. Volunteer & Hero were already bonded when they were transferred to the American Eagle Foundation from the San Francisco Zoo in 2007, where they were part of the zoo’s captive breeding program. The young Eaglets hatched by this program at the Zoo were placed in wild Bald Eagle nests in the Channel Islands to help repopulate the species, which had been decimated by DDT. The program has been a huge success.

Fresh food (quail, fish, rats) is delivered daily to the eagles by AEF caregivers and left at the bottom of the hill; the parent eagles choose what they want, and then bring it back to the nest to feed themselves and their babies. There is also a bathing/watering tub at the same location, which the eagles often enjoy.


Lady Independence and Sir Hatcher are a wild pair of Bald Eagles that built a nest just five miles from the American Eagle Foundation. They have produced several young since 2013. Many telephoto photographs were taken of the leg band the female eagle was wearing, which revealed this was the same eagle that hatched in the nest of Independence & Franklin in 2008. She had found a mate and returned to where she first fledged! We named her mate Sir Hatcher in honor of Bob Hatcher, eagle conservationist and valued AEF consultant. The cam is about 600 yards away from the nest, and although we cannot see inside the nest bowl as we do with many other nests, we can enjoy watching the parents come and go, and later see the eaglets make their first fledge.

Chat Information & Rules of the Road


July 9, 2016: Dollywood scheduled chats have now ended for this season.

Note: All chat conversations, including private messaging between individuals, are stored on the Chatroll server and can be reviewed by the administrator. Please keep your comments restricted to eagles, the nest, conservation, and AEF.

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AEF invites anyone to post photos and videos provided by our high definition cams. Since these photos can be copied and duplicated over and over, we request that when you post these up to Facebook, or another social media location, the following information be attached to each photo and each video somewhere in the description: © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org. We appreciate your cooperation!

Help Us Make Our Chat Room Fun & Friendly!

  1. We ask all chat guests to be respectful, polite, and focused on eagles.
  2. First and foremost, the AEF Dollywood Chat Room is a family and classroom friendly place and we ask that all chat guests respect the diversity of the room. Profanity, personal invective, or other inappropriate comments will not be tolerated. Disagreements might be unavoidable but should remain polite, and they should never become arguments. Chatting is a privilege, not a right. If your presence is disruptive or inappropriate, moderators (mods) can timeout, kick, or permanently ban chat abusers, and can delete inappropriate posts.
  3. We request that guests refrain from touching on politics, religion, sports, TV shows, personal medical issues, and other unrelated topics. Although we respect your political views, please do not post them in the main chat, since this is not a forum for political issues.
  4. We prefer that chatter focus on the Dollywood eagles featured on this page. We are aware that many of our chatters view other nests and like to share the news (eaglet hatchings et al), which is acceptable. However, please keep information from other nests to a minimum so we don’t confuse other chatters. If you feel the need to discuss other topics, please do so by using Private Messages (PMs).
  5. Due to how much space they take up in the chat window, we ask for Chat guests to not post strings of several emoticons, smileys, or random characters, either on a single line or in successive posts. We also prefer that guests not post in all caps, as it can sometimes be interpreted as YELLING.
  6. Our Moderators volunteer 100% of their time to this project. We kindly ask that chat guests respect the Mods, who are here to make sure all viewers have a good experience.

If you have questions about the Eagles and would like to have a more in-depth conversation, email Dollywood Mods.

If you would like to have technical questions about Chat answered, or if you are having problems setting up an account, email Webmaster.

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

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