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First egg laid, November 19th, 2021
Second egg laid, November 22nd, 2021
First Pip on 12/25/2021
First Eaglet HH3 hatched on 12/26/2021 and Second Eaglet HH4 hatched on 12/27/2021
About the Names:
The executive committee pored over every entry and is excited to announce that the eagle's names are Harriet and Mitch after Underground Railroad crusader Harriet Tubman and General Ormsby M. Mitchel, who founded the Town of Mitchelville on Hilton Head Island.
Both eagle namesakes have a story unique to Hilton Head Island and important to our history; Harriet Tubman spent time in the Beaufort County area as a nurse and a spy for the Union Army. After she co-led the Combahee River Raid, which freed 756 people, 100 of which she led to freedom on Hilton Head to settle in the newly founded Mitchelville.
General Mitchel was the catalyst for the creation of Mitchelville, which gave the formerly enslaved population of the area true agency, before the Emancipation Proclamation, right here on Hilton Head Island. Fort Howell, a Hilton Head Island Land Trust property, was built to protect Mitchelville, and it is probable that both Harriet Tubman and General Mitchel walked the grounds of this historic land prior to the Fort being built!
"It was important for us to honor the history of Hilton Head Island and two icons in American Freedom, with Freedom being synonymous with the eagles," said Robin Storey with the Hilton Head Island Land Trust.
"Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park is excited about this important event that connects the nature of our area to the rich history of our Island. We look forward to following the exploits and hatchlings of Harriet and Mitch!" said Ahmad Ward, the Executive Director of the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park.
Reminder to Viewers:
This is a wild Bald Eagle nest, and anything can happen. While we hope that all eggs hatch and grow to be healthy and successful fledges each season, things like sibling rivalry, predators, natural disasters as well as territorial disputes can affect the wildlife. Nature may be difficult to watch.
About seeing the nest at night: We have an IR camera using infrared lighting that is imperceptible to the eagles. If you were to visit the nest site in person at night, it would look completely dark.
Eagles are wild birds and anything can happen. This Eagle Cam does not interfere or intervene and allows nature to take its course. This live stream is intended to educate the viewers by showing nature in an unguarded fashion. You will see nature at its best, and possibly its worst. You will see life being started and sustained, in very natural ways. It is nature at her finest.
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2/26/2022 7:00 pm HH3 Update: To our Eagle viewers, HH3 is in critical condition and dehydrated which is to be expected after such a fall, so The Birds of Prey Avian Center has started all necessary medical treatments. More information is expected tomorrow after further diagnostics and assessments. They will be investigating all possible causes. As more information is available, we will share with our viewers. HHI Land Trust
2/26/2022 10:30 pm HH4: We are aware of HH4 falling and The Birds of Prey has been contacted with the update and Russell has HH4 and will take in the morning if survives tonight. We will have an update in the morning. Prayers please.
2/27/2022 11:00 am HH3 and HH4: HH4 made it through the night and has been delivered to the Birds of Prey Center. Both HH3 and HH4 are in quarantine and will receive great care and continued testing. At this point, the focus is Avian Flu but various options are being investigated. There has been a small team of volunteers to look for Mitch and Harriet. The Birds of Prey team have been amazing with texts and emails to me into the middle of the night and early morning. We will continue to provide updates as received. Robin
2/27/2022 2:15 pm: Harriet and Mitch have been spotted and appear well.
2/27/2022 6:00 pm: It is with a heavy heart that I share tonight's update. We received an update from the Birds of Prey Center this evening. It is not the news we wanted to hear, unfortunately. HH3 did pass away today and HH4 is still alive but not doing well. There are more questions than answers at this point in time. Please don't speculate and give us the time to find the answers which we will share when available. We will be monitoring the adult eagles as closely as possible. The Birds of Prey Center have brought in specialists from various organizations on this case including the Clemson University Vet School.
2/28/2022 6:00 pm: HH4 Update. Our news, once again, is difficult to share. HH4 did pass away today and both eaglets have been sent to Columbia for testing. The tests will take several days as there are different levels and types of testing. We will continue to monitor the adult eagles and share test results when available. I can't express enough how great the Birds of Prey Center has been with their help and guidance and the care and concern of the eaglets. We have learned a great deal and experienced nature with its glory and reality of the challenges they face.
3/5/2022 10:30 am: We have received the initial, but not final results, that the eaglets cause of death was the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza ("HPAI") commonly seen in wild birds. Once we receive the final results, we will post an update.
Final cause of death was HPAI EA H5N1.