BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — One of East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) eagles laid her first egg of the season on Monday night, shortly after the ETSU Eagle Cameras captured a so-far unnamed male at the Bluff City nest.
Francis is the female of the nest in Bluff City, and the oldest bird between the two nests ETSU monitors, according to Dr. Fred Alsop, professor at ETSU’s Department of Biological Services.
“Bluff City is always a little bit ahead on the egg laying, and our older female there, Francis, produced her first egg of the season last night some time around 8 o’clock,” Alsop said.
Dr. Alsop told News Channel 11 the department is expecting a second egg at the Bluff City nest within the next few days, and possibly even a third after that. He says Francis is hard at work incubating her egg.
“So, if you are watching now, she is sitting tight on that egg,” he said. “And about 35 to 37 days from now, we expect the first one to hatch, and the others will hatch shortly after that.”
The female eagle at the Johnson City nest is named Jolene, and Alsop said she likely laid the first eggs of her life last year.
“With Jolene, our new female, who probably laid her first eggs in her life last year in the Johnson City nest, she was about three weeks behind the birds in Bluff City,” Alsop said. “So maybe she’ll be a little bit earlier now that she’s got a nesting cycle under her belt, but who knows? We’ll watch and see.”
The ETSU Eagle Cams entered its seventh year of live-streaming the beloved wild eagles in 2023, and the program is financed through donations. The public can access both eagle cams by visiting ETSU.edu and searching ‘eagles.’