Juvenile Bald Eagle Release

Juvenile Eagle

Apparently there was a tiny little article in the newspaper about a bald eagle release taking place today at Clute Park.  Luckily, the officer at our building’s front entrance told me about.  Since I don’t normally bring my camera with me to work, I had to ask my parents to drop off my camera bag, which they did.  Jenna, my coworker/friend, and I headed down to the lake, arriving just before noon.  We found a large crowd of camera wielding people.  There was everything from point and shoot cameras to SLR’s to news cameras.  We noticed the truck and headed in that direction.  The explained that they’d be removing the bird from the crate in order to band and tag it.  They needed everyone to move back and be quiet.  The procedure took approximately 10 minutes.  Once banded, they carried the bird towards the lakeshore.  Before releasing him, the man talked a little bit about the bird.  One fact that was interesting to learn was that an eagle’s bite is equivalent to 1,000 pounds of pressure.  Ouch!

As they released the eagle, he flew off quickly and seemed to be doing very well.  It actually gave me goosebumps!  Then he started to circle back around.  He wound up landing in the lake close to the shore.  He sat, just floating, for about 10 minutes.  As the tide slowly brought him closer to shore and he began using his wings to swim to shore, which was pretty cool.  He made it to shore and just sat for a minute.  The DEC man grabbed a net and approached.  I guess he thought the bird may not be ready to fly off afterall.  Just as he was going to net him, the eagle took off again.  He appeared to fly towards the bridge and road, which was worrisome, but we think he wound up under the bridge.  We’re not sure.

We had to leave and head back to work.  First we had to pick up Jenna’s lunch at the deli.  She said she heard inside that the DEC and animal control had left the lake shortly after we did.  They must’ve thought it was safe to leave the eagle since it has no real predators, other than humans.

Eagle 3

I’m so glad we were able to see this incredible event…and to think I almost didn’t go!

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