May 8, 2013. As Grandfather Mountain’s two new bald eagles continue to acclimate to their new enclosure, Habitat staff have selected the winners of the 2013 Eagle Naming Contest! Tony Sweet of Maryland’s submission of “Isis” is the winner for the female eagle’s name, while Emily Chapman of Beech Mountain’s suggestion of “Griffin” provides the namesake of the male.
Sweet, a photographer and occasional guest speaker at the annual Grandfather Mountain Nature Photo Weekend, said the name Isis was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Goddess. According to ancient Egyptian folklore, Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife. She was depicted in hieroglyphics as the mother of Horus, the god of war and protection who had the head of a hawk.
Chapman, a nine-year-old resident of Beech Mountain, favored the name Griffin after the mythological Greek creature that was featured in one of her favorite movies/books, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” It possessed the body, tail and back legs of a lion, while it had the head, wings and front talons of an Eagle.
“I heard about the male eagle’s prior injury,” said Chapman. Several Griffins were injured in battle over the course of C. S. Lewis’s epic children’s novel. “It was a combination of that and just liking the name.”
The two winners received four day passes to Grandfather Mountain as a well as a free Behind the Scenes Tour for their group upon their visit.
Griffin and Isis were moved into the new eagle habitat May 1 and their acclimation to the sights and sounds of the area has been a slow process. Currently, only the deer habitat, cougar habitat and underwater viewing area of the otter habitat are open to the public. Park admission is discounted at this time.
The Grandfather Mountain Facebook and Twitter pages are good resources for up-to-date information on the bald eagles and the status of the habitats opening.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. For more information about to the new bald eagles or Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com or call 800-468-7325.