Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted Sept. 22, 2021.
Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is a true Dollywood gem. It fits so naturally with the theme park mountainside, it’s easy to miss as you walk through Craftsman’s Valley. I encourage you not to, though! In partnership with the American Eagle Foundation (AEF), Dollywood is home to the largest population of non-releasable bald eagles. Learn more about Dollywood’s eagle program in this blog.
But there’s more than just what you see at the park in the sanctuary and the Birds of Prey show. There’s an off-site location that houses even more educational ambassador residents—eagles and beyond. I visited the off-site location and took some pictures as I spoke with some of the avian care team. I captured some moments during their training sessions and feeding time. [As an aside, feeding time is not for the squeamish!] Some of the AEF birds are quite famous—they even have their own social media pages with thousands of loyal followers. Check out these Instagram accounts!
I’m excited to tell you the American Eagle Foundation is growing. As they continue their work at Dollywood, they broke ground on a new state-of-the-art off-site facility yesterday. The new complex will sit on 57 acres and will be made up of several new buildings that will provide the birds there some much needed room to spread out. The property will include walking trails, gardens and interactive exhibits. Visitors will be invited to see the birds enjoying their spacious aviaries. Some rooms will even be large enough for the eagles to take flight and really spread their wings!