By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
One Berry College family may be getting two new feathery additions sometime soon.
The now-famous pair of Bald Eagles nested on the 26,000 acre collegiate campus may become parents any day now said Eddie Elsberry, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability at Berry.
“We do have documented mating in just the last couple of weeks, so that would mean we’re a probably a couple days away from an egg drop,” Elsberry said. “A clutch should consist of two eggs. Once that happens, you have around a 35 day incubation period. Both the male and female will sit the eggs. It’s kind of amazing the way they do it. They clean out a brood patch under their belly—-there’s no feathers in that area. It allows the warm skin to get on the egg.”
The eagles first appeared in March 2012, building a nest in a pine tree near the Steven J. Cage Athletic Center. The couple flew off in April, but as Eagles use the same nest year after year, they returned again in October.
The feathered starlets have garnered a lot of attention since their homecoming. A web camera that streams in-real time was set up in November to capture every moment of the Eagle drama, effectively making them Floyd County’s first and only reality TV stars.
However, if you do plan on visiting them, Elsberry asks spectators to use caution, and more importantly, common sense.
“We do ask you respect the site. Stay behind the cones area there. One of the things we do caution people; if you bring a pet, please have it on a leash---especially if it is a small pet. Reason for that is, once the eagles put eggs into the nest, they become even more protective of their area and small pets are in danger.”
The Berry Couple are one of 142 documented nesting pairs in Georgia and are likely the only Bald Eagles in Floyd. To watch live footage from the nest, visit www.berry.edu/eaglecam.