MR. ROOSEVELT: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle  •  Born: Unknown   •  Gender: Male

ELEANOR: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle  •  Born:Unknown   •  Gender: Female

‘Eleanor’ and ‘Mr. Roosevelt’ are a bonded non-releasable pair of Bald Eagles that live in a private naturally landscaped aviary with a huge nest in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at Dollywood.

This pair bonded years after they were both transferred to the American Eagle Foundation and placed in the “Pick-A-Mate” section of Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. In 2016, the American Eagle Foundation found two eggs that were laid on the ground in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, and the eggs were taken to the American Eagle Foundation’s incubation room. One eaglet hatched but unfortunately didn’t make it past its second week.

Later that year, the pair was moved into its own breeding enclosure with its own manmade nest in order to properly mate and raise young!

In 2017, the pair successfully hatched and raised two eaglets! They became the stars of the Dollywood Eagle Cams project, impressing thousands of viewers with their impressive first-time parenting skills.

Learn more about AEF’s Captive Breeding and Hacking program.

Eleanor’s Background:

Eleanor sustained permanent injuries which prevented her release back into the wild. The bird was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia as an adult on April 16, 2007. On initial presentation, Eleanor had a large open wound on the upper portion of the left wing caused by unknown trauma. The wound healed; however, as a result of the injury there was extensive damage to the feather follicles, creating a large feather gap in the secondary feathers between the wing and the body. Eleanor was treated with a series of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. She recovered well and is otherwise healthy despite her inability to fly well enough to survive in the wild.

Mr. Roosevelt’s Background:

Mr. Roosevelt was presented to the American Eagle Foundation and subsequently to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center on June 2, 2011 for evaluation. Mr. Roosevelt originated in Arkansas and the rehabilitator there believed that the Eagle was non-releasable. The veterinarian’s examination revealed injuries to the left foot, wrist and elbow. Injuries to the foot and wrist were resolved, but the elbow became a chronic problem. Mr. Roosevelt was treated several times with antibiotics and the joint improved; however, it became apparent that Mr. Roosevelt wouldn’t be able to fly well enough to be released back into the wild and was transferred to American Eagle Foundation November 2011.


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 return to the same nest during breeding season, adding new materials to it each year.  A new eagle pair’s nest measures about five feet in width and two feet in depth, but as they add to it year after year, it can reach widths of over ten feet and weigh up to a ton or more.

Learn more about Bald Eagles.