Berry Eagle FAQs

Berry College Eagle Pair

Berry nests:  Berry College has two documented bald eagle nests. The first is located on the main campus adjacent to the parking lot of the Steven Cage Athletic and Recreation Center (The Cage), near the main entrance. The second nest is located on the Mountain Campus in an inaccessible, wild area. The nest on the main campus is available for viewing. The second nest is in a gated, restricted area and is not open to the public. The Cage Center is home to sporting events, concerts and other activities. Apparently our eagles like to be part of the action!

Gender: The male eagle is smaller and has a sleek white head. The female eagle is larger with a head of ruffled white feathers. 

Injury: The female eagle returned to the nest in 2013 with an injured left leg/foot. We do not know how it happened, but she seems to fare quite well although she will show evidence of her injury for the rest of her life.

Night View: Berry is pleased to provide live video feeds of the bald eagle nesting area. The nest cameras use infrared light at night that is not visible to the eagles. It may look like you are seeing a light, but you are not. The tree looks completely dark at night.

Camera/Tech support: For more info about the types of cameras and technical issues click on “nest cam information” beneath the live feed on the page.

Sound: The second nest camera has sound. The sound will not be on all the time and will be used mainly when the eagles are nesting. Otherwise, viewers will hear a lot of construction sounds and highway noise.

Names: Berry has chosen not to name the eagles because they are wild creatures and we do not want to personalize them. The 2013 eaglets were B1 and B2. The 2014 eaglet was B3. The eaglets from the nest on our Mountain Campus in 2014 were BMC1, BMC2 and BMC3.

Egg stats: In 2014, the first egg was laid Jan. 14, and the second was laid Jan. 17. An egg (B3) hatched on Feb. 22 but the second egg was not viable and did not hatch. The incubation period is 33-37 days. B3 fledged on May 22, 2014. In 2013, we do not know the date of egg laying but two eggs were laid in late December/early January. Two eaglets hatched by mid-January. B1 fledged on April 22 and B2 fledged on April 28.

Stadium. Before the eagles arrived, Berry College officials had planned to build a stadium in the area. Once the eagles arrived, the original stadium site was moved to the south. Berry obtained a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the new location and agreed to restrictions on construction that would ensure the eagles are not disturbed during nesting season.  However, in May 2014, Berry announced that the stadium would be relocated even further south from the original site in order to protect the eagles and their habitat.

Diet: Our eagles enjoy eating fish, coot (waterfowl) and squirrel. The nest is conveniently located near the Oostanaula River, the Berry Quarry and Garden Lakes in Rome, Ga.

Parent duties: When one parent is not visible, it is hunting and perching in nearby trees to watch for intruders.

Owl attack: The mother eagle was attacked Feb. 18, 2014, by a Great Horned Owl, but did not appear to be injured. The video was shown nationwide as she defended her unhatched eggs. Berry is home to many Great Horned Owls.

Temperature: Bald eagles survive in much colder places than Georgia such as Alaska. Our national bird is tough!

Help: If an eaglet falls out of the nest or any of the eagles become injured, college officials are required to contact authorities regarding the federal rules for handling bald eagles. No personnel are permitted in the restricted area during nesting season.

Eagle Etiquette (via the Decorah Eagles web site)

  • For those of you visiting nests, remember, bald eagles are protected by Federal law in the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty. 
  • Don't honk, play loud music, shout or make any other loud noises.
  • Do not feed the eagles in any way. This includes leaving food on the ground. These birds are wild animals and should not become dependent on humans
  • Keep the area free from litter. Pick up after yourself and take your trash with you.
  • If an eagle is on the ground, do not approach it. Also, when it flies away, do not attempt to follow it.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. If the eagle is near a road, check for traffic before moving. Your safety is important.
  • Take your binoculars and/or camera with you whenever visiting a nest. That equipment will afford you the best view.
  • If others are watching with you, demonstrate eagle friendly actions by your own behavior. Be courteous to both the humans and wildlife.