Editor’s Note: At the time of publishing, Shima had been last seen on Friday, Jan. 21. However, shortly afterward, administrators of the ETSU Eagle Cam page informed News Channel 11 that she had been seen safe in the area. The story has been updated to reflect that change.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Eagle watchers in Johnson City may have a new leading lady in the skies to observe.
A post from the ETSU Eagle Cams administrators says a new female eagle has been spotted at the Johnson City nest site with the roosting male, Boone.
Boone, who became the male at the nest in 2020, has been seen engaging in “bonding behaviors” with the new female.
The initial post about the new female said that Shima, the female who has nested in Johnson City for years, had not been seen since Friday, Jan. 21. However, a later post from administrators states that Shima was seen by the landowner perched about 100 yards from Boone and the other female.
Shima has been at the Johnson City nest for the last 12 nesting seasons, according to the post. Prior to Boone, a male referred to as Noshi had been Shima’s mate; however, he went missing in 2020 and never returned to the nest.
Administrators of the page say that it does appear Shima has been replaced by the new eagle but stress that this is not atypical for adult bald eagles.
“We have all watched the challenges and comings- and -goings of other intruders at this nest over the 6+ years we have been live-streaming from this site,” the post reads. “Even though Bald Eagles are among the bird species that pair for life, just as with married humans, sometimes the pair bond is broken. This can be because of the death of one of the mated, bonded pair, as we saw when Noshi was replaced by Boone, or because of failing health of one of the pair members, or by a successful replacement of a pair member by an outside intruder.”
Watchers are encouraged to enjoy watching Boone and the new female as they make the nesting site their home.
A naming contest, similar to the one that christened Boone, will be held soon for the female if she is in fact chosen by Boone as his new mate.
You can view the Johnson City nest by clicking here.