Berry’s bald eagle couple lingered around the nest into June of 2013, after successfully raising two eaglets and seeing them off into the world. The eagle parents are seen only occasionally and are expected to leave the area until next fall when we hope they will reappear and resume nesting on the Berry property. The official season for nesting ended in late May.
Born around Christmas 2012, both of Berry's eaglets fledged (flew) during the last week of April. Eaglet 1 flew on April 22 and Eaglet 2 flew on April 28. Eaglet 1 is believed to have hatched a week or so before his/her sibling and so the difference in their maturity is understandable.
Berry College’s bald eagle parents first appeared in March 2012, building a nest in a pine tree not far from the main entrance, near the parking lot for the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. Eagles have been reported in the vicinity of the campus for the past two to three years, but this is the first documented nest in the modern history of Floyd County, according to an article in the Rome News-Tribune. The birds attracted the attention of photographers and others statewide. Students and faculty flocked to the site to catch a glimpse of the majestic couple. The eagles were seen carrying sticks to build their nest, but to the disappointment of many, they had nested too late to produce offspring. By April they were gone – but not for long.
In late October of 2012, the eagles returned to the nest, and in November they were seen mating. Two eggs hatched by late December.
In 2011, there were 142 documented nesting pairs of bald eagles in Georgia. Of those pairs, 111 were successful in producing 175 eaglets. The state conducts its eagle survey during the first quarter of each year.
In the fall of 2013, the Berry staff plans to place a new eaglecam in the tree, directly over the nest, in order to get a better look at nest activity. If all goes well and our eagles successfully return to nest again, we will also feature them on their own Facebook page with regular updates.
- Mother Eagle watches one of her eaglets prepare for flying. The eaglet on the right is thought to have hatched a few days after his/her sibling and doesn’t appear quite as ready to fly.
- Mother Eagle and her eaglets keep watch from their nest 95 feet up in the top of a pine tree.
- First flight.
- First flight.
- Both eagle parents look for fish at the Berry quarry.
- Mother Eagle tends her two downy eaglets.
General Facts About Bald Eagles
- 2007 - The Department of Interior took the American bald eagle off the endangered species list.
- The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a member of the sea and fish eagle group.
- Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white. They reach full maturity in four to five years.
- Size - The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male.
- Wingspan ranges from 72 to 90 inches.
- Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph.
- Bald eagles weigh from 10 to 14 pounds.
- Diet - Mainly fish, but they will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh).
- Hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. Home ranges are smaller where food is present in great quantity.
- Because an eagle lives up to 30 years in the wild, it has many years in which to produce offspring.
- Bald eagles build their nests in large trees near rivers or coasts. A typical nest is around 5 feet in diameter. Eagles often use the same nest year after year. Over the years, some nests become enormous, as much as 9 feet in diameter, weighing two tons.
- Eagles lay from one to three eggs. Parenting duties are shared by both male and female during the 35 days of incubation, but it is the female who spends most of her time on the nest.
- The young birds grow rapidly, adding one pound to their body weight every four or five days. At six weeks, the eaglets are very nearly as large as their parents.
- An eaglet can take its first flight some 10 to 13 weeks after hatching and approximately 40 percent of young eagles do not survive it.
- All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.
- Fidelity - Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies.
- The bald eagle became the National emblem in 1782 when the great seal of the United States was adopted.
Sources: www.baldeagleinfo.com and