Nori and Shima, the two stars of East Tennessee State University’s Eagle Cam in Johnson City, nested for the sixth year together, and the result is three new eaglets. The three eaglets hatched last week, and ETSU’s Department of Biological Sciences’ live-streams captured it all for viewers.
“This is our third year streaming Nori and Shima, but they have been nesting for six,” said Dr. Alsop, the Director of the Eagle Cam Project and professor of Biological Sciences. “They’re good parents, and they’ve gotten to where they can handle surprises. The surprise is that she laid three eggs this year.”
The relationship between the parents and eaglets is a much quicker one than humans experience. The eggs were laid in mid-February, born mid-March, and the eaglets will be ready to leave their home completely by late July. Because the process is so quick and the eaglets will leave soon, they have not been named. JC10 was born on Monday, JC11 on Tuesday, and JC12 on Thursday. Each will leave the nest around 12 weeks. Until then, Nori and Shima will continue to care for them.
“They all have personalities, and they’re starting to show them. It’s like driving teenagers out of the house. The parents will still continue to take care of them,” said Alsop. “Eventually around June, they will be the size of their parents. They’ll start spreading their wings, but the parents will keep bringing them food to come back to the nest for. Then, they’ll likely leave the nest in July.”
According to Alsop, Nori and Shima’s names were chosen by popular vote in a competition. Nori means “father,” and Shima means “mother.” This mother and father have mated for life and return to Johnson City to prepare for nesting in November.
It’s rare for Bald Eagles to lay more than two eggs, and in previous seasons Shima has only laid two eggs. The Department of Biological Sciences is excited to be able to share this nesting season with everyone.
“They mate for life, so they’ll be together as long as they’re alive.They’re in their sixth year,” said Alsop. “Our first year they were like young parents- sometimes it goes well, and sometimes not so well, but they’re great parents now. They definitely know what they’re doing.”
Viewers can watch as the eaglets grow by visiting the live-stream link at https://www.etsu.edu/cas/biology/eagle-cam/. More information, such as frequently asked questions and facts about Bald Eagles, can be found on the live-stream website.