A new addition to the Berry College website now allows friends of the college and friends of nature alike to observe the pair of bald eagles that have established a home on the college campus. Berry’s Eagle Cam — online at www.berry.edu/eaglecam — officially went online this week.
The camera, mounted atop a pole and zoomed in on the nest, will allow viewers to observe adults on the nest, but since it is below the nest, no eggs will be visible.
The college sent out emails to faculty and staff Monday afternoon announcing that it had been activated. Word leaked to the public, and the site got so many hits that the website crashed Tuesday morning. The college had it up again early Tuesday afternoon.
The eagles started building the nest in March of this year and then returned to the site in late October.
Georgia started a project to reintroduce bald eagles to the state in 1979 on Sapelo Island.
During the winter of 2011-2012, 158 nesting territories were identified, and those nests produced 190 young eaglets from 116 of the mating pairs. Eagles typically lay one to three eggs.
Eagles, when they reach reproductive maturity, are thought to establish nests in the general area of where they first learned to fly, which might suggest that the pair could possibly have been raised at longtime nests at Lake Allatoona, Carters Lake or Weiss Lake.
Eagles have been seen around the nest with increasing frequency in recent days, however there has been no indication that eggs have been laid. Once eggs are laid, one of the birds will be sitting on the nest virtually 24-7 for the 35-day incubation period.
Once the eggs hatch it is typically about 11 weeks before the young fly, assuming the adults are able to provide them enough food to grow normally. An eagle is as big as it gets by the time it makes that first flight.
If the Berry pair is successful in producing offspring the period of time from about six to 11 weeks will be optimal viewing time on the Eagle Cam as the young hop around limbs close to the nest, flapping their wings and getting ready for that first flight.