It is a visual delight, and constant reminder of the beauty of our natural settings, for Greater Romans to have a nesting pair of eagles set up housekeeping among us. And while they dwell on the Berry College campus, which some know is its own place (Mount Berry) with its own ZIP code (30149), it is within the Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area that includes all of Floyd County.
It is additionally neat that all of us can sit in our homes or offices — or anywhere if properly equipped with smart phones or tablets — and watch what the eagle pair, believed to be newlyweds who may start a family, are doing thanks to Berry College having installed a webcam zeroed in on them (www.berry.edu/eaglecam).
The nest’s presence is unusual but not extraordinary, by the way. Nor is the webcam. There are quite a few around the nation, some of them actually inside nests. (Watch the babies hatch!)
Eagles are reported to be increasingly nesting in urban areas although, unlike storks, not atop chimneys but rather picking large park tracts. Some 17 eagles were recently spotted aloft over a big lake in a huge park in Minneapolis. And many nests last for as long as the trees in which they are located, with one active for 35 years.
Georgia today has around 160 nesting territories after starting from zero back in 1979 when the eagles were reintroduced to the state at Sapelo Island. There are an estimated 7,000 nesting pairs across the U.S., of which an estimated 5 percent have homesteaded urban settings, according to the raptor experts. That means Greater Rome has one of about 350 eagle nests in human population centers.
Still, something new to enjoy about living in Greater Rome ... and the U.S. of A.