Swiney presents program to Four Seasons Garden Club
Published: 3:50 PM, 03/19/2013
Source: The Herald-News
The Four Seasons Garden Club met on Tuesday, March 5, at Paint the Town Pottery in downtown Dayton. Nine members attended and four members brought their husbands. Hostesses Linda Blevins and Jamie Smith-Ridley provided refreshments.
The guest speaker was Bernie Swiney, area manager of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. With 32 years of experience at the Yuchi Refuge in Rhea County, he shared his knowledge of eagles and other birds that migrate through East Tennessee. He described some of his past experiences in helping to increase bald eagle populations by raising eaglets in elevated cages called hacks, built near the Tennessee River. The chicks were obtained from Alabama, Illinois and Canada and caged from the age of six weeks until 12 to 13 weeks of age when they were able to fly. Today, the bald eagle population is no longer threatened with extinction and there are 18 to 20 nesting sites within 10 miles of Dayton. They have a life span of 29 years or longer.
Golden eagles also nest in this area but not in trees or near the river, as the bald eagles do. Their nests are very difficult to spot on remote bluffs and rocky areas. Many other birds migrate through here, including most of the warblers, so Rhea County has abundant opportunites for bird watching. Swiney recommended a specific website for birding information: www.allaboutbirds.org. It is a comprehensive bird guide provided by Cornell University that identifies 586 species using photos, videos and bird song recordings.
Four Seasons Garden Club vice president Marcia Crews led the business meeting following Swiney’s talk. Some members attended the District 3 Spring Meeting in Chattanooga on March 14. The club’s next meeting will include a visit to the Green Thumb Nursery in Hixson, Tenn. on Tuesday, April 2, for a program on container gardening.