The Dale Hollow Eagles

I am so delighted to have found this Bald Eagle nest on the Dale Hollow Lake in Kentucky. Why had I not heard of it before?

The nest is located along the shore from the Dale Hollow Marina on Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. The resident eagles are River, the female, and Obey, the female. I asked how old they were and was told they are at least 18-20 years old, perhaps older. In other words, they are very experienced eagles just like Harriet at SWFlorida and the Dad at Duke Farms who is 23 years old.

In the 1800s, it was believed that there were 100,000 Bald Eagle nests in the United States. Those numbers declined rapidly with the destruction of the habitat as cities grew and also because of hunting. In 1940 the US Congress passed a bill to protect them. However, the introduction of DDT after World War II, those numbers went into a tail spin. By the time the impact of DDT was known, in the 1960s and 70s, there were only around 400 breeding pairs left in the US. They were placed on the endangered species list. The eagles had recovered so much that by 2007 they were removed from the list.

In Tennessee, in particular, the eagles suffered from infertility and thin egg shells due to DDT. In the 1980s and 1990s, translocation projects to reintroduce eagles from Alaska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota was undertaken. Forty-four eagles were reared and released around Dale Hollow and Iron Creek in the hope that when they were adults they would return to where they were released. That process of translocation is known as ‘hacking’. Today there are approximately 200 Bald Eagle nests in Tennessee. Of course the threat to eagles continues and their numbers are declining. One of the most serious is lead poisoning – secondary poisoning from the shot left in the innards of deer and other hunted animals which the eagles ingest in the woods. Today, there is the added threat of habitat destruction as well as avian flu.

One of those successful nests is the one of River and Obey. They laid three eggs. Two hatched yesterday within an hour of one another – twins! The other is now believed to be pipping as I write this.

Here is the first feeding of the two eaglets that hatched within an hour of one another on 25 February 2022.

Here is the first attempt at feeding the wee ones by River. Obey had brought in a lot of food.

This is a more recent feeding by River.

I really urge you to add this nest to your watching list. It is easy to overlook for the more well-known nests like Harriet and M15, Samson and Gabby, as well as Jackie and Shadow. This is the link:

This is an image from the most recent feeding of DH14 and DH15:

Fantastic family!

It has been a good day. The Captiva Eagles were enjoying a nice fish at 14:51. Those kids were once again really hungry. Big Red has been working on her nest and Ferris Akel is entering the Ithaca area in search of Big Red. There were a lot of raptors on the tour today. Our snow is melting and tomorrow I will add some before and after images. Hopefully the melting will slow down a bit! The day will be perfect if Ervie decides to show up at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Grinnell arrived at The Campanile this morning. He has to be one of the most handsome Peregrine Falcons I have ever seen. Good to see you looking so good Grinnell. You were busy keeping other falcons out of your territory!

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Thank you so much for joining me for this close up look at the Dale Hollow eagles. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle and Cal Falcons streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks again Mary Ann for such a great newsletter with The new Dale Hollow eaglets. I have watched them off and on for a few years. Good luck to them and their little ones. 💕💕❤️🦅❤️🦅
    Hope Ervie comes in to the barge today to eat his fish. So glad to know the Captiva nest osplets are all doing good!
    Grinell sure is a handsome one!
    Thanks for all the photos and info on them all!
    Take care and have a good evening!
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda. Oh, I am so happy someone has been watching those marvellous eagles at Dale Hollow. They are very impressive! It is such a pleasure to see a wonderful nest. Thank you so much. I am glad you enjoy the newsletters. All the best to you and your family, Linda.

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