Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Season, New Tree, New Equipment

Another exciting season for the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam has begun.  It has been several months since the unfortunate loss of Elliott and Eloise's little ones this past April and with the prospect of a new season they have decided they need a new home.   They have moved nesting locations to a different tree on the golf course for reasons maybe they only know.

The new nest is still located on the golf course and in a pine tree that is only slightly taller than the previous one.  We were hoping they would return to the home nest where all the cameras are located but they have found another home.  With gracious funding from the United States Golf Association and support from The Friends of Harrison Bay State Park, we have been able to continue the Eagle Cam Project and have recently installed a set of three cameras in the new nest.

Electrical power was extended from an existing irrigation control box to power the cameras for this year.  We have upgraded the equipment to transmit the signal wirelessly which minimized the amount of trenching needed.  We have also upgraded the cameras to 2 megapixel cameras which provide a crystal clear picture.

Angelo Giansante, a park ranger at Hiawassee State Park, was gracious enough to come back down this year to install the cameras in the tree.  With better equipment and experience from last year he installed all the camera and secured all the wire in less than four hours. 

The nest is about 100 feet in the 120 foot tall pine tree and Angelo said it looked very similar to the one from last year.

As with all projects at Harrison Bay, it was a team effort, but Mitch and Bill were responsible for the electrical and communication portion of the project.  Using wireless communication and ethernet cables this year were interesting to figure out but made it much easier to hook up and get working.

Angelo safely back on the ground after another successful camera installation.  Hopefully they will stay in this nest for a few years.

We will be working over the next several days to get the video feed out over the internet and loaded onto the website.  This is a still photo of the computer monitor in the office using my cell phone camera.  The detail and clarity of the new cameras is amazing and we can't wait to share this project with the world.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Camera Replacement

Well, it was always a major concern of ours that the cameras would be damaged by lightning and that is exactly what has occurred. The cameras were damaged during a storm last Thursday and so Angelo came back to Harrison Bay and removed them from the tree.  We had them checked by our electricians and we will have to replace them before this year's nesting season begins. 

 Angelo's visit was needed anyway regardless of the camera situation. To the left is a goosegrass plant which had started growing in the nest about a month ago.  It was beginning to take over the nest and the eagles were having to sit on top of it when they visited the nest.  The plant is about 5 feet across and the nest is only about 8 feet across.  Removing the plant will give Elliott and Eloise all the room they need in the nest.

We will repair the cameras and replace them before the season begins.  We are looking at adding audio to the project when we replace the cameras and are looking for someone who has some connections with Charter Communications in Cleveland to assist us with getting cable internet to the golf course maintenance building so we can provide a better outgoing signal.  If you can help please let us know.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Update on Elliott and Eloise

We wanted to share with all our Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Friends and followers that Elliott and Eloise are still at the golf course and are routinely seen returning to the home nest with new sticks and twigs.  They are very active around the course and we hope this year will be a much more successful year than last.

Update on the Eagle Cam Project itself.  For those who were concerned about the quality of video and the lack of sound last season we are currently investigating the possibility of getting high speed cable internet to our recording and broadcasting location and are talking with our electronic experts about the best small outdoor microphone for our location.  Hope everyone is having a fun and safe summer. 

Keep Elliott and Eloise in your prayers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Better luck next year, let's hope

The Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project has been a source of great pride, excitement, and yes, even disappointment this year. The failure of the eaglets to survive is not a failure of the project but rather a common act of nature. It is a quick reminder that we are watching wild animals in their natural environment and with that come the good and bad aspects of nature.
Whether it was the unusual early spring temperatures this year or the disruption of the storms and tornado that came through our area or just simply nature itself that caused the nesting attempt to fail we may never know. This year’s project was a great learning experience and allowed us to accomplish exactly what we set out to do; view and experience the nesting process of the two bald eagles that so graciously call our golf course home. So with that in mind the project itself was not a failure but a resounding success.
Since December 2010 when the eagles first arrived at the golf course til now the sight of them flying overhead has not lost it’s sense of wonder and awe. The eagles have not left the golf course which gives us great hope for a return to nesting next season. They are spending the nights in the trees near the nest tree and have built several roosting platforms around the golf course where they can peacefully sit and keep watch over their domain.
We cannot thank all of the project supporters that made the project possible enough. Beyond the financial support they provided encouragement and expertise which aided in the project’s success. We would especially like to recognize The Friends of Harrison Bay State Park, the United States Golf Association Green Section, Volunteer Electric Cooperative, the East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee Golf Course Superintendents Association, and the TORO Company and their Tennessee distributor Smith Turf and Irrigation of Nashville, Tennessee for their generous support. The support of these organizations along with the continued support of individual donors will insure the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project will continue on for many more years.
We were equally grateful of our friends in the media which provided a great deal of publicity for the project with newspaper articles, radio and news interviews, and special features in magazines and websites. Articles such as these below created a great wave of excitement and brought many interested parties to the project.
Times Free Press
imes Free Press
The good news is the eagles have not left the area and regularly return to the nest, still carrying sticks and rearranging the pine needles as if they are ready to begin nesting at any minute. With this encouraging activity happening we eagerly look forward to our next nesting season, one which we hope will be successful on all accounts.
As with many first year projects there were many lessons learned which we will take note of with the intent of improving the project for the years to come. We quickly became aware of the need for a microphone near the nest so we could hear the eagles call out to one another and this will be our main priority as we look toward next year. Another area which we will look to address will be a quicker internet connection which will allow for a clearer, crisper picture without the distortion we experienced this year.
We are very thankful for the support and encouragement we have received for everyone. The website was a huge success with over 52,000 visitors from 37 countries logging on to view the eagles. We are thankful for those who have donated their time, talents, and money for the future of the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Almost Eaglet Time

photo by Bret Douglas
It appears to me that we are getting very close to time for some little eaglets to venture into the world.  Elliott and Eloise have been excellent parents so far and I am sure they will continue along this path.  The frequency of the egg turning and the maintenance of the nest has drastically increased over the past few days and all eyes are on the eggs to see when they will hatch.

We are getting a lot of great press over the Eagle Cam Project and will hopefully pick up much more in the future.  Thanks to John Reitman of TurfNet for the latest article on A Project for the Birds.  It is great to see the interest and attention the project is receiving from around the world.

Friday, February 17, 2012

World Wide Eagle Watching

I am thrilled with the amount of viewers who have fallen in love with Elliott and Eloise.  Above is a screen shot of the Feedjit Traffic Feed that was current this morning.  The power of the internet has allowed people from virtually all around the world to enjoy this project. 

Can't wait for the little fuzzy eaglets to hatch out.

Happy Viewing!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Elliott Brings Eloise a Gift on Valentine's Day

Sorry for the absence in posts but it has been busy around here.  

Lots of activity in the eagle nest and Elliott and Eloise are now proud parents of two eggs right now.  The first egg was laid on Saturday, Feb. 11 and the second on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.  It has been great to watch both parents taking turns watching over the eggs and taking care of them.  Interesting how the same beak that can rip apart a fish or duck in seconds can tenderly turn a freshly laid egg without a scratch.
Video is Elliott's Gift to Eloise on Valentine's Day.  True love.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Eagle Cam Gets National Exposure

Golf Course Management is the official monthly publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.  This month our Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project is featured in the Environment Section.  It is a very nice article written by Ms. Bunny Smith of GCSAA and featuring a great photo by our friend Bret Rogers. 

(click link to view)
Thanks to everyone that has logged on to the eagle cam website
to enjoy Elliott and Eloise getting ready for this years hatch.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Harrison Bay Eagle Cam is LIVE and Active

Elliott and Eloise
Wow! What an exciting and active week this has been.  It has been a week today since we launched our Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project live and streaming to the world.  We have had visitors from almost every state in the US and from several countries abroad.  It is great to see so many people interested in Bald Eagles and in our project.  We have had a few minor glitches to work through but that was expected and we will have them all taken care of by the time Eloise takes to her nest.

I would like to thank Mr. Richard Simms of News Channel 9 in Chattanooga for his great article "Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Goes Live" which reached people all over the Tennessee Valley and got picked up and posted to several other sites and FaceBook accounts. 

Another huge "Thank You" goes to Mrs. Angie Underwood who has taken on the task of creating and maintaining our website, and putting up with all my crazy requests.  Please visit our website and let us know if there is anything we can do to make it more beneficial and educational to you.

We would like to encourage all that are interested to "like us" on FaceBook at and follow us on Twitter at hbspeaglecam as this will be a quick and easy way to keep up with what is going on.  We will be posting and tweeting activity in the nest and news about special events as they happen. 

Thanks for your interest in our project and for your support!!!