The Thunder


During thunder storm in the great Smoky Mountains three baby eagles were born in the nest of the bald eagle parents Independence and Franklin .  E-3 hatched out on May 8, 2012, at 4:57 a.m.  It usually takes about 35 days for an eagle egg to hatch.  Eagles will lay their eggs in 3 - 4-day intervals but the Thunder Triplets were born within 30 hours of each other.   The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at Dollywood is hosting the eagle family, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

The Thunder Triplets can be viewed through live camera on the AEF website.  "Eagle nest watching has become an on-line obsession for millions of people who are intently interested in the rare opportunity to peer into the otherwise private lives of an All-American eagle family and to experience first-hand the success story about the hard-fought survival of their species," says American Eagle Foundation (AEF) Founder and President Al Cecere  He has dedicated the past 29 years to saving and protecting eagles.

The plan is for the little eaglets to be set free in about 13 weeks in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is operated by the American Eagle Foundation (AEF).

Independence and Franklin have both been permanently disabled due to gunshot wounds in the left wing. This pair of eagles are in their 11th year of captive breeding at Dollywood. They pair-bonded in 2002, and have already produced 27 eggs and eaglets  Most of their offspring have been released into the wilds of East Tennessee.  Independence laid 3 eggs last year.


Baby eagles like to be fed fresh fish in the morning, but will settle down for chicken as well. Baby eagles come out of their shells by usisng their "egg tooth". It will disappear shortly after birth.

The AEF eagle center is located on Dollywood property in view of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. It consists of the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary aviary exhibit, Wings of America birds of prey show and Eagles' Nest gift shop located on the park, as well as our national corporate offices and complex of eagle care, rehabilitation and breeding facilities located off park.



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