Bald eagle spotted in SummerGrove

by Wes Mayer

A bald eagle made an appearance in Newnan on Monday, and a SummerGrove resident was able to snap a photo before it flew away.

“The only thing I ever see here are red-tail hawks, herons, ducks and geese,” said Kenny Tipton, who moved to Newnan six months ago. “I was really surprised to see an eagle. It was just kind of neat to see one on the day of the National Championship.”

Tipton said he was talking on the phone when he looked out the window and saw the bird’s white head and tail feathers. Tipton, who said he does nature photography here and there, grabbed his camera and was able to photograph the eagle before some smaller birds chased it away — his home in the SummerGrove neighborhood is right on the water, Tipton said, so he guessed the eagle was looking for a meal.

Tipton graduated from Auburn University in 1989, and said he has seen the Auburn “War Eagles” fly numerous times over the stadium, but this is the first time he has seen a wild eagle in Georgia. He took it as a good sign for Monday night’s BCS National Championship game between the Auburn University Tigers and the Florida State University Seminoles.

Florida State ended up beating Auburn 34-31 after an action-packed fourth quarter.

“It was a great BCS game, and even though Auburn didn't win, they played like true champions,” Tipton said on Tuesday. “Congrats to FSU for a game well-played. I still love the fact a bald eagle flew over my house.”

According to a report posted in April on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resource Division’s website, after a survey conducted in 2013, 166 occupied bald eagle nesting territories were recorded in Georgia throughout 57 counties. Of these nests, 124 were successful, and 184 young were fledged. Chatham County — Savannah — had the largest number of nests with 25.

In addition to the sighting in SummerGrove off Lower Fayetteville Road, there have been bald eagle sightings in western Coweta along areas of the Chattahoochee River.

According to the report, the public is encouraged to let the department know about any eagle nests they see — these reports often lead to nests not monitored before, and the department works with landowners to help protect eagle nests on their property. Eagle nests may be reported by phone at 478-994-1438 or online at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/eaglenest.



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