Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle   •   Born: 2013     •   Gender: Male   •   Disability: Severe Wing Injury

‘Abraham’ is a male Bald Eagle who was rescued in Sevierville, TN, close to AEF Headquarters. As a nestling, Abraham’s nest blew over in a storm and he and his sibling fell to the ground. AEF staff rescued the two eaglets and transported them to the UT Veterinary School for treatment. Abraham’s brother, ‘Winfield’ fully recovered and was released back into the wild a year later, but Abraham suffered severe damage to his left wing and could not be released. Pictures later revealed a USFWS leg band on Abraham‘s wild mother, and she was determined to have been the offspring of Franklin and Independence, a Bald Eagle breeding pair residing in the AEF’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at Dollywood. This female eagle was released into the wild in 2008 at about 13 weeks of age from the AEF’s hack tower on Douglas Lake and then returned to the area several years later with a mate. After discovering this pair’s close ties to the AEF, we started a LIVE nest cam project to stream their daily lives, and they were honorarily named Lady Independence (after her non-releasable mother) & Sir Hatcher (after AEF mentor and friend Bob Hatcher). Although he cannot fully extend his left wing, he has become an exceptional educational ambassador starring in our Wings of America birds-of-prey show at Dollywood, less than 100 yards from where his Eagle grandparents reside


Bald Eagles were placed at the center of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782! Since then, they have served as the pride of America’s skies and the symbol of all that America stands for.

Bald Eagles obviously aren’t bald! “Bald” in this sense refers to an old English word that means “white headed.” When eagles fledge the nest at 13-weeks of age, they are primarily all brown. An Eagle gets its full white head and tail feathers and yellow beak and eyes at around four to five years of age.

Bald Eagles typically mate for life. They will only look for a new mate if their faithful companion dies. Together, they build huge nests known as “aeries” atop tall and strong trees. They make use of twigs, grasses, soft mosses and feathers in making their nests. They normally go back to the same nest during breeding season and add new materials to it each year. A new eagle pair’s nest measures an about five feet in width and two feet in depth. As they add to it year after year, however, it can reach widths of over ten feet and weigh up to a ton or more.

Learn More About Eagles HERE