PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- While tending to their nesting duties, non-releasable Bald Eagles "Franklin" and "Independence," cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation, recently survived severe storms that passed through the East Tennessee area.
"During the high winds and intense thunder showers, I intently watched the eagle nest day and night from a video camera available over the Internet," said AEF President Al Cecere. "It always amazes me how the parent birds faithfully cover the eggs and young with their body and wings during severe weather, even when chunks of hail are pounding on their backs."
The first of three eggs laid in March, which both parents have been diligently incubating and shielding from inclement weather over the past several weeks, hatched on the day of the Royal Wedding (April 29). The second egg recently hatched. The third egg could hatch any moment.
The most intimate nesting activities of these majestic birds are under a microscope lately, as the conservation group has established a live Eagle Nest Cam which can be viewed from their www.eagles.org website (or www.ustream.tv/americaneaglefoundation).
At about 5 or 6 weeks of age, all the eaglets that hatch in the nest will be moved to an artificial nesting tower located on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake. They will be released into the wild at 13 weeks of age after they've grown to full size.
"We invite anyone who loves animals, birds, nature and America to drop by our website to watch and enjoy these wonderful birds," said Cecere. "We're even open to suggestions from our viewers regarding any possible names for the babies."
Both parent birds suffered permanent disabilities to one wing due to gunshot wounds. The American Eagle Foundation is headquartered at its United States Eagle Center located at Dolly Parton's family entertainment park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.