Introducing…Mr. Roosevelt & Eleanor!
There’s a new eagle pair in town…
February 28th, 2017
If you’ve ever visited Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at Dollywood, you’ll notice that there are several different enclosures separating our non-releasable Bald Eagles who reside there. The largest enclosure is what we call “Pick-A-Mate” (PAM). While there, some of them actually DO find a mate! Yes, this is what you might call an eagle love story.
In 2014, faithful watchers of our Independence (Indy) & Franklin (Frank) Eagle Cam at Dollywood discovered a pair of eagles in PAM who enjoyed each other’s company and spent a considerable amount of time together (while no activity is going on in Frank & Indy’s nest, our Camera Operators use their nest camera to zoom over into PAM).
In 2016, after very careful observation and zooming in on their identification bands, we were able to identify this couple as Peter (female…we didn’t know her gender when she arrived at AEF) and Julius (male). Closer observation in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary during daily feedings revealed these two eagles had actually claimed the top-right portion of the PAM aviary and built a small stick nest on the ground. In the spring of 2016, they surprised all of us with 2 eggs!
The eggs were removed from the aviary and replaced with wooden ones, which the new couple continued to incubate as normal! The real eggs were transferred to the incubation room at AEF headquarters where it would be safer for the eggs since PAM has many eagles and this nest was, after all, on the ground. One egg proved to be non-viable and the other did hatch but sadly, the eaglet did not survive after 2 weeks.
In the fall, during our annual Eagle Mountain Sanctuary Renovations & Physicals, it was decided that Hero and Volunteer, a long time nesting pair at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, would be moved to a new nesting aviary back at AEF headquarters. Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson (a pair at Eagle Mountain), were then moved into Hero & Volunteer’s old enclosure, which left their old enclosure vacant for our new couple, just yards away from where they had built their ground-nest in PAM. With their very own nesting aviary and their own man-made nesting platform, these eagles were renamed Eleanor & Mr. Roosevelt.
To address any concerns, all three eagle pairs have adjusted to their new compartments without any issues.
We are all looking forward to watching and learning about them as they continue their story as our newest eagle couple at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. We hope you will join us and become faithful followers of ‘Mr. Roo’ and ‘Elli.’ Their story is available on our website and will be updated as they continue their story. We hope to add a live-stream of their nest cam to our website soon.