Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Harrison Bay Eagle Nest Visits Begin

The Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project has been a tremendous success this year.  Despite a few technical issues with equipment we have been able to enjoy watching the eaglets, affectionately HB3 and HB4, over the internet.  Although watching them on the computer is great, we began hosting eagle nest visits this morning.  We had a good turn out for the first tour this morning with 10-12 people coming out to get a closer look at the nest.

Photo by Bret Douglas

Elliott and Eloise both put on a good show for the people who came out for the tour.  They flew around the nest area picking up sticks and fresh nesting material all to the enjoyment of the visitors.  The tours are provided by Harrison Bay State Park rangers each Tuesday from 7-9 AM.  We are lucky to have two very knowledgeable rangers which provide the tours.  Interested persons should contact the Harrison Bay State Park office to register for a visit.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two Weeks Since Eaglets Arrived

It has been two weeks since the eaglets at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay hatched.  Watching the eaglets hatch and grow has been the highlight of my year so far and I am excited to continue to watch their growth and anticipate them fledging the nest.

Here is a great video (or at least I think it is great)  of a family dinner last week.  The eaglets are getting fed a steady diet of fish, turtle, and waterfowl about every thirty to forty minutes during the day.  Without the benefit of infrared cameras we don't know if they are getting any midnight snacks or not. 

I like this video because it shows off the huge "feet" these little eaglets have.  All the better to catch fish with later in life with.

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Eaglets have Arrived at Harrison Bay

We are thrilled and blessed to announce the hatching of two eaglets at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  The first eaglet arrived on Wed. March 20, 2013 around 7:30 AM and the second arrived Thurs. March 21, 2013 around 7:30 PM.  Both eaglets appear to be strong, healthy, and thriving.  This is great news, especially considering the failure of the two eggs last year.

This is a video of the first eaglet hatching.  What a wonderful site.
Feeding time this afternoon.
I can not thank the United States Golf Association and the Friends of Harrison Bay State Park for their funding and support.  Without these great sponsors this project would not be possible.
It was great to see the little ones come into the world but as a result of all the attention the website crashed and our web host has been working diligently to get it back up and going.  We are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused any of our visitors.  In the meantime you can view the video feed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/harrison-bay-eagle-cam
Hope everyone is enjoying this awesome site.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Expected Hatch Date is Quickly Approaching

March 17th is quickly approaching.  What is so special about March 17th you might ask?  Well it is the expected date for the much anticipated hatching of the first egg Eloise laid on February 10th.  Hopefully a few days later little brother or sister will emerge from the second egg which was laid on February 13.

Both Elliott and Eloise have been very busy and attentive parents this year, with Eloise taking the brunt of the parental duties.  She has stayed on the nest through bitter cold temperatures, driving rain, and wind storms that have swayed the treetop enough to make some viewers feel ill.  After last years sad and disappointing failure of the two eggs laid we are praying for a happy and successful hatching and fledging of the two eaglets.

It has been great to see the attention the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project has received this year and we are very appreciative of all the articles, email and Facebook passes, and tweets that everyone has sent out.  It has been especially thrilling to see entities such as TurfNet, The Golf Channel, and USGA spread the word about the project, along with emails and tweets from organizations such as Audubon International and GCSAA

Here is a photo my mom sent me of some eagles having a "family reunion" in Homer, Alaska.  Don't know if we will ever have this many eagles at Harrison Bay but we can hope. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

TurfNet article about Elliott and Eloise

The great folks at TurfNet continue to promote the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam as they have for the past several years.  Below is the latest article by my good friend John Reitman of TurfNet.

Bird's eye view

Monitoring the happenings high atop the trees in Tennessee's Harrison Bay State Park has resulted in some recent highs and lows and the constant reminder that nothing in life, even tomorrow, is guaranteed.
Two years ago, a pair of bald eagles first were spotted near The Bear Trace golf course within the park. They gained worldwide acclaim when park ranger Angelo Giasante, a former Army ranger, shimmied up the tree and installed a Web cam so people everywhere could get a birds-eye view of how a nesting pair of bald eagles really live thanks to the efforts of a group known as the Friends of Harrison Bay .
Named Elliott and Eloise by Hannah Carter, daughter of Bear Trace superintendent Paul Carter, CGCS, the eagles have had mixed results in their attempts to successfully hatch eaglets. In 2011, a pair of eaglets hatched and eventually flew the coop, so to speak. Last year, however, the results were not as positive.
Two eggs, laid February 11 and 14, hatched March 16, but neither eaglet survived the process. This year, the Web cam is back in place and the couple is again keeping vigil over the nest after Eloise laid another pair of eggs.
The eggs, which were laid Feb. 10 and 13, are expected to hatch about March 17.
Last year, the golf course received a Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for Carter's work in the pursuit of sustainability. The award specifically mentioned the Eagle Cam project as a factor in the course winning the award.
In its 26th year, the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect Tennessee's environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.  
According to the Web site www.baldeagleinfo.com and the American Bald Eagle Foundation [http://baldeagles.org/home], both the male and female share time guarding and incubating the nest for an average of 35 days before the eggs hatch. Once an endangered species, bald eagles are on the rebound thanks to conservation efforts that have resulted in an estimated 7,000-plus pairs now nesting in every state except Hawaii. 
The Friends of Harrison Bay Eagle Project is a cooperative effort of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Harrison Bay State Park and the USGA.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Streaming Video and Sound

We have had many people comment on the lack of sound on the broadcast and the fact that the feed is sometimes "jumpy".  I wanted to take a moment and address both of these concerns.

Sound for the project is something we have worked on each year but it is very difficult to find an outdoor microphone that is compatible with our cameras.  I agree that it would be great to be able to hear the eagles call to one another and we will continue to work on this feature.  The other thing about the use of a microphone is the fact that audio takes up valuable bandwidth on the broadcast which we can not afford to waste.

Being is a rural area of the country is great in some instances, such as the fact that Bald Eagles like to be away from populated areas and out "in the country".  The bad thing about our location, however, is that modern technology, such as cable internet, is not readily available to us.  We are working diligently with Charter Communication of Cleveland to install cable internet to our facility and we are confident that once the upload speed on the broadcast is increased compared to our current DSL service that the video feed will smooth out and be less "jumpy and jerky".

We hope everyone is enjoying the show so far and we are anxiously, but cautiously, waiting on the little ones to pop out of their eggs.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Eloise lays two eggs for the 2013 Season

 After some early indecision about which nest Elliot and Eloise were going to call "home" for this year, they have returned to the original nest on #10 and she has laid two eggs for this season.

The first egg was laid on Feb. 10 and the second on Feb. 13, both between 4:30 and 5:00 PM.  This is only one day different from the laying schedule last year.  With a 35 day incubation period we will be looking for some new eaglets to hatch around March 17th. 

Thanks to all the sponsors and supporters which make the project possible.  We are praying for a successful season this year but just knowing they are safe and sound is very nice.