BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Early bird watchers that tuned-in to East Tennessee State University’s eagle cameras got a special treat Monday morning.
The first eagle chick hatched early Monday morning, and thanks to infrared technology on the ETSU eagle cams, people looking in were able to see the hatching of the first of what hopefully will be four baby eagles.
“Someone watching at 4:44 am, we have infrared on thew nest now, actually got to see that our first egg had hatched at Bluff City. That egg was laid on Feb. 3 and so they are right on schedule.”, ETSU Professor of Biological Sciences Fred Alsop said.
Johnson City Camera #1
There are four different cameras aimed at the eagle nests, two on the Bluff City nest and two more on the Johnson City nest. Each nest contained two eggs and the first one hatched this morning. The other three will hopefully hatch in the next week or so.
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“There were two eggs in each nest, and normally they will hatch both chicks. Last year, for the first time, we only one chick hatch in each nest, we have absolutely no idea why,”, Alsop said, “First egg laid in Bluff City was Feb. 3 and the second there was on Feb. 7. First egg in Johnson City was on Feb. 5 and the second was on Feb. 8. So there is about a three-to-four-day difference between the first egg laid and the second that is produced. Incubation is about 35-38 days, so they are right on schedule. Johnson City should be peeping out of the egg in the next couple of days. ”
Bluff City Camera #1
This is only the second year the eagle cams have used infra-red technology, so people can now watch 24/7.
Alsop added, “Last year in our first year, we had 1.37 million views in 179 countries so it’s not just Tri-Cities. It’s not just our region. It’s global.”