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Paul Carter, CGCS, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay

John Reitman

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Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated individuals at Harrison Bay State Park near Chattanooga, Tennessee, it has been possible since 2011 to witness bald eagles more up close and personal than anyone could have previously imagined.

 
72dd81edb93aad8bf3d03ffea83f6dea-.jpgThrough the years, there have been a lot of heart-warming scenes on display through the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam. Viewers have been able to watch eggs being laid, new eaglets hatch and grow as the adults brought back blackbirds, turtles and fish to feed them. and ultimately leave the nest. There have been some sad stories as well, including a couple of years where the eaglets did not survive.
 
Truly, it has been Mother Nature at her finest.
 
This nesting season, however, it was Mother Nature that knocked out the camera perched in a tree above the nest during a storm in early December. Federal regulations, namely The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, make it illegal to harm, kill or otherwise harass the birds.
 
Talk about irony.
 
Paul Carter, CGCS, who has been a key driver in the project since its inception (his daughter, Hannah, named the adults Elliott and Eloise), said they won't be able to retrieve the camera until the eagles have left Harrison Bay for the season in the spring.
 
The timing was unfortunate as a new female (dubbed Eliza, courtesy of Hannah) joined Elliott in the nest, replacing Eloise.
 
For now anyway, the second camera that captures the nest and the surrounding area from ground level will have to do - that is unless anyone wants to cover the $500,000 fine and do the jail time that comes with harassing the birds. If next year is anything like the past five, the wait will be worth it.


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