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NASHVILLE -- When it comes to human types wanting to know what to call Hamilton County's best-known romancing avians -- two bald eagles at Harrison Bay State Park's Bear Trace golf course -- course superintendent Paul Carter has the answer.
Carter said Thursday he is calling the eagles Elliott and Eloise. The names come courtesy of Carter's 8-year-old daughter, Hannah.
"She's well familiar with them," Carter said. "They came in last year and we got to watch them all last year."
The eagles, who are nesting at the golf course for a second winter, hatched two offspring in 2011. Having found a good spot, they returned to the course.
In hopes the birds would come back, officials set up two cameras with private help. Earlier this month, Harrison Bay launched a webcam featuring live feeds of Elliott and Eloise in their lofty tree nest.
This week, the webcam's real-time video of one of the eagles -- it was unclear whether it was Elliott or Eloise -- captured the attention of a state Senate panel as members listened to a presentation on Tennessee's state parks and natural areas.
Carter welcomes the attention from the webcam, but to protect the eagles and avoid golf course injuries for two-legged visitors, he said "no one is allowed to come out and look at the eagles except on a guided tour."
After the eaglets hatched last year in mid-March, the park offered ranger-guided tours on Tuesday mornings.
Those are expected to resume around the same time this year, although Carter noted "we might start a little bit early," given the attention.
Those interested should sign up at the A-Frame Office Building, located on the park's main road, he said.
Carter said he hopes to have an infrared camera running soon to show the eagles at night.
The webcam and website are sponsored by Friends of Harrison Bay, the U.S. Golf Association and Tennessee State Parks.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...