TVA Sponsors Eagle Cams

The eagle has landed. Thanks in part to TVA, anyone can now watch live streaming video from two eagles’ nests in the Tennessee Valley: one in Bluff City, Tenn., and one in Johnson City, Tenn.

The cameras are operated by East Tennessee State University’s Department of Biological Sciences and provide a unique opportunity to peer into the lives and habits of American Bald Eagles.

“We selected two pairs of mated eagles who were likely to return to pre-existing nests,” explained Dr. Fred Alsop, resident ornithologist at ETSU. “Bald Eagles will often use the same structure for years, adding twigs and branches each year until some long-standing nests can weigh more than a ton.”

Winter is the season when these predator birds lay eggs and rear their young, teaching them to fly and hunt. Bird fanciers can watch them online through ETSU’s Department of Biological Sciences website.

TVA is a sponsor of one of the cameras, and provided funding support for employees and equipment to help install the cameras high above the ground. According to Dr. Alsop, the site has already received 80,000 unique page views from 72 countries.

TVA reservoirs have created important habitat for these eagles whose principal diet is fish, and many of the nesting pairs of eagles are located along these waterways.

“Eagle Cams provide an important educational link between our citizens and the conservation of these native raptors, allowing viewing of their social lives to be streamed into our homes on computers and mobile devices,” said Dr. Alsop.

“Faculty and students at ETSU and other colleges and universities, as well as our public and private schools, will be able to study eagle behavior remotely without disturbing the lives of these magnificent birds.”

“The Johnson City Power Board let us know about the opportunity to help fund ETSU’s educational Eagle Cam project,” said Mark Meigs, general manager in Northeast Customer Delivery.

“Our partnership with our LPC and ETSU provides a great way to reinforce the importance of conservation as well as stimulate student interest in science and the environment through online insights into the eagles’ lives.”

Watch the eagles here: