BYRDSTOWN – The American Bald Eagles featured in their nest on the shoreline of Dale Hollow Lake are about to hatch, and the public is encouraged to watch it all unfold on Dale Hollow Eagle Cam.
According to Tom Allen, vice president and general manager of Sunset Marina and Resort, three eggs were laid on Jan. 17, 20 and 23.
“With a 35-day incubation period, the eggs should begin to crack and eaglets appear any day now,” Allen said. “Once the eaglets hatch, the adult eagles will feed and care for them for approximately 70 days before they are large enough to fledge the nest.”
Allen said there will be a lot of activity in the nest over the next several months while the eagles care and feed their young daily.
An online video feed allows anyone with Internet access or Twin Lakes TV to observe American Bald Eagles nesting, hatching and fledging on the shoreline of Dale Hollow Lake. The web cam is made possible through the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, Friends of Dale Hollow Lake, Dale Hollow Lake Marina Association, Twin Lakes TV, and public donations.
The Corps of Engineers approved an easement last year to install the Eagle camera on Corps-managed public land and ensured the project followed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines. Twin Lakes TV installed an HD camera high above an eagle’s nest during an inactive period and is giving its subscribers access on Twin Lakes TV Channel 955. Friends of Dale Hollow Lake, a non-profit organization, is also promoting the project with local communities.
Dale Hollow Lake Marina Association contributed the first $5,000 toward the web camera project and set a $20,000 goal for expenses, which includes paying for an easement across a private landowner’s farm and installing utility poles and electric service to operate the cameras. Mickey Ledbetter, Willow Grove Marina general manager, and a team at Entertainment Direct, developed the Dale Hollow Eagle Camera web site.
In the 1980s into the 1990s, the American Bald Eagle was reintroduced to the upper Cumberland region and Dale Hollow Lake.
A total of 44 eagles were transplanted back then from nests in Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin and then reared, tagged and released on the shoreline of Dale Hollow Lake near Irons Creek. The team utilized a technique called “Hacking” to care for and then release the birds of prey in hopes they would someday return to the vicinity of where they first took flight to nest and reproduce.