Rehabilitated Juvenile Bald Eagle Release
Anyone that has ever visited a wildlife rescue facility, especially one for raptors and birds of prey, might be curious to know what happens once the animal is healed.
Recently a rehabilitated juvenile bald eagle was ready to be released by O.W.L. (a wildlife rescue centre). A ceremony was held during the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle festival, and I was invited to film the event. It's rather mystical to watch this juvenile, in first free flight, on a rainy day with a native drummer singing a tune.
Some can never be released due to the nature of their injuries. As adults they are kept on the range to train new arrivals on how to be, in this case, a bald eagle. In July 2005 the female offspring of the bald eagles nesting by the Jericho Youth Hostel at Locarno Beach in Vancouver had to be rescued.
She and her brother were exercising their wings on a branch of the Cottonwood tree when the branch broke. The female fell to the ground, injuring her wing, while the male fell to a branch below. The female was taken to the O.W.L wildlife rescue centre in Langley to be rehabilitated.
It took the male three days to climb back into the nest, during which time he wasn't fed. Adults will generally simply drop the food in the nest, if the eaglet can't get in to eat that's just too bad. People in the neighbourhood dubbed him "Chirp" because after that he kept calling for food every two minutes. The theory was that he was so deprived in those three days he would never shut up. I didn't mind because the constant calling always made him easy to find as soon as I got down to the park.
In October the female had been rehabilitated and - with a healthy wing - was released back in the park.