Eagle Breeding

From 1992-2020

The past eagle breeding program hatched between 7-15 eaglets each spring.

Eagle Mountain Sanctuary was home to many of AEF's Bald Eagle breeding pairs.

AEF Breeding Aviary

AEF Headquarter's Breeding Aviary was home to four more Bald Eagle breeding pairs and one
Golden Eagle breeding pair.

AEF Breeding Aviary
AEF Breeding Aviary Parents and Eaglet

A non-releasable Bald Eagle breeding pair cares for a young eaglet.

AEF Breeding Aviary Parents and Eaglet

Past eagle breeding pairs at the AEF typically laid between 2-3 eggs each spring.

To ensure the success of the Breeding Program, all eggs were analyzed for viability.

Viable eggs were typically returned to the nest and the parents took over on the incubation process

For research purposes, eggs were measured in weight and in dimension.

To ensure the safety of the eggs laid by the breeding pairs, AEF artificially incubate some of the eggs. When the eggs hatch, they were given back to a pair of Eagle parents!

The first of three siblings makes it's way into the world!

Two freshly hatched and fuzzy eaglets stay warm and cozy inside a Lyon Incubator.

"Where am I?"

Eaglets that hatched in the incubation facility receive several feedings before being placed
with a pair of bald Eagle parents.

These eaglets hatched in a nest at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary.

One method AEF used in the recovery of the bald eagle was breeding of non-releasable eagles under human care, or the translocation of wild eggs or eaglets, and the subsequent hacking of eaglets into the wild.

American Eagle Foundation was a leader in the bald eagle breeding initiative for about 30 years. From 1992–2020, AEF released a total of 182 Bald Eaglets and 11 Golden Eaglets from its Hack Tower near Douglas Lake in East Tennessee. More than half of these eaglets were produced by bald eagle breeding pairs cared for by American Eagle Foundation.

American Eagle Foundation was one of the only organizations in the United States that conducted a large scale, successful eagle breeding and hacking program that resulted in a significant increase of bald eagles in Tennessee and beyond.

It was truly a privilege and an honor for our foundation to contribute to the wild bald eagle population though this program.

The Process (past)

The goal of our Breeding program was to yield as many healthy eaglets as possible annually and to allow all of our eagle parents to raise offspring each spring and summer. Our processes typically allowed our eagle breeding pairs to have the opportunity to raise 1-3 eaglets every year.

Ideally, when an eagle breeding pair laid eggs, they would be entrusted with those eggs throughout the entire 30-40 day process of incubation, hatching, and raising of eaglets, especially when they have a successful track record of incubation and hatching. After the eggs hatched, the eaglets were observed by AEF to ensure that they were healthy.

History and Success

Over the years, AEF has cared for over a dozen non-releasable bald eagle breeding pairs.

Current Bald Eagle Breeding Pairs:
Volunteer & Hero: reside at AEF Headquarters – retired from breeding
Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson: reside at AEF Headquarters – retired from breeding

 Past Bald Eagle Breeding Pairs:

  • Honor & Braveheart: (Braveheart passed away in 2023, and Honor now resides in the male section at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary)
  • Glenda & Grant (Grant slipped out of a hole created by a fallen tree and has not been captured but has been seen thriving in the wild, Glenda now resides in the female section at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary)
  • Franklin & Independence (Both passed away in 2021)
  • Freedom & Faithful Spirit (Freedom passed away in May 2020 from natural causes. Faithful Spirit now resides in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary)
  • Peace & Faithful (Peace passed away in 2016, and Faithful now resides in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary)
  • Eleanor & Mr. Roosevelt (Ellie passed away on Jan. 17, 2018 with no apparent injury. Roo now resides in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary)
  • President & First Lady
  • Liberty & Justice
  • Tennessee & Constitution
  • Crazyhorse & Juliette
  • Pilgrim & Mayflower
  • Old Glory & America
  • Dempsey & Twilight
  • Pilgrim & Twilight

Past Golden Eagle Breeding Pair:

  • Wankan-Tankan & Cheyenne (Wankan Tankan passed away Jan. 24, 2018 from cancer. Cheyenne was transferred to SIA to live out the rest of her life with other golden eagles.