The nesting pair of American Bald Eagles that the East Tennessee State University Department of Biological Sciences has been livestreaming in Johnson City since 2015 was struck with a potential disaster late in the spring of 2020, when the male parent, Noshi, failed to return to his nest that held Shima and their three very large nestlings. Finding herself a single parent, Shima continued to bring fish to feed her young birds and successfully fledged them from the nest.
The director of the EagleCam project, Dr. Fred Alsop, states that even though an extensive search was made for the missing male, his disappearance remains a mystery. Because adult eagles pair for life, he was presumed dead.
In the fall of 2020, at the beginning of the current nesting season, Shima returned to her old nest with a new, handsome male as her mate. The birds added new nesting materials to their home and carried out their courtship as a pair. Shima laid three eggs in the nest in February, and those eggs should hatch very soon.
After the new male arrived on the scene, attention was also given to finding a name for him.
“We have always had our EagleCam viewers provide suggestions for the names of our adult birds,” Alsop said. “These names are then selected by popular vote among our ‘Eagle Nation’ viewers. They chose Noshi and Shima for the Johnson City pair, and Frances and Eugene for the Bluff City pair.”
To find a suitable name for the new male at the Johnson City nest, a request was posted on the ETSU Eagle Cams Facebook page a few weeks ago for name suggestions to be submitted, along with justifications for those suggestions.
A committee reviewed the more than 850 responses and narrowed the list to 10 possibilities that were posted in a survey for public voting.
“The 1,333 responses were tallied, and our male eagle has a name: Boone,” Alsop said. “We feel our voters’ selection was a good one with historic context in our region, with its connection to the 18th century frontiersman Daniel Boone, and for the TVA lake – Boone Lake – that fronts the hillside nesting site for this pair of eagles.”
In the meantime, the two young eagles in Bluff City have hatched and have been enjoying a steady diet of trout courtesy of Frances and Eugene.
To follow the two eagle pairs at their nests, click here. The free livestream is available on almost any mobile device or computer. The website also provides information on the EagleCam’s major sponsors and a link where viewers can donate toward this ongoing project.