For the past few seasons, researchers at the East Tennessee State University Department of Biological Sciences have been monitoring a bald eagles’ nest located near Winged Deer Park in Johnson City.
Earlier this month, Noshi and Shima, an eagle couple located near the park, produced three eggs for the first time ever. The first egg laid by the female, Shima, was on Feb. 1, and the next two eggs were laid Feb. 4 and Feb. 7, according to researchers.
“For the past five seasons, they’ve only laid two eggs,” camera operator Michelle France said. “This year, she laid a third one.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see three eaglets in the nest.”
After incubating the eggs for 35 to 38 days, the eggs will hatch, and the chicks that emerge will likely grow to be anywhere between 28-38” long from beak to tail within two months.
But this birdwatching isn’t just fun and games. France said researchers have learned a lot about the family dynamics of these majestic birds from projects such as these.
These monogamous birds mate for life and are very dedicated parents who equally share the responsibilities of parenting and take turns incubating their eggs, which are usually laid in early February.
France said Noshi and Shima, in particular, are model parents that many humans could learn a thing or two from.
“They’re an awesome pair, and they’re very attentive parents,” she said. “They’re better than humans by far. Humans could take lessons from these eagles on parenting.”
To watch Noshi and Shima in action, visit www.etsu.edu/cas/biology/eagle-cam/cameras.php, where visitors can eventually watch as they raise their family weeks from now.