Bald Eagle Flies Free
October, a 2 year old bald eagle arrived at the Center.
had been found at the side of the road in Warsaw, Missouri, by a
Missouri Department of Conservation agent. The original
diagnosis was concussion - the eagle was probably hit by a car.
The bird spent two weeks recuperating and was ready to be
first-hand story from the team lucky enough to handle the
Well, at last
the big day had arrived! The eagle was ready to be returned to
the wild. FOLNC
members Daranya Rasa, Michael Sandy and Kevin Hogan were given
the privilege and honor of bringing her back home to Warsaw,
We picked up the bird from LNC
Rehabilitation Hospital on the morning of Saturday, November 5th
and transported her in a large cardboard box. The box allowed
her movement without injuring her feathers or wings, and the
darkness of the box kept the bird calm during the two-hour
discussed the best location in Warsaw for the release. It was
imperative that the eagle be released
in a safe area away from busy roads and not too close to water.
Warsaw is where the impounded Osage River slows and forms Truman
Lake. It may sound strange that we did not let her go at the
water's edge, but we knew that when she came out of the box that
she would be disoriented and would need a safe place to rest and
regain her bearings. We did not want her first flights to take
her over large bodies of water until she had had a chance to
settle back into her familiar surroundings.
choice was the protected land of the Missouri Department
of Conservation's Lost Valley Fish Hatchery where large open
fields and mature trees would offer her the protection that she
would need. We checked in at the MDC Hatchery Headquarters and
introduced ourselves to the staff. They were very happy to have
the eagle back home and offered suggestions of suitable release
areas nearby. We decided on a large secluded prairie away from
people and the road. Before leaving the MDC headquarters, we
left Lakeside Nature Center's phone number in case they needed
to contact us.
arrived at the prairie, we set the box
down gently on its side, being cautious not to speak and making
sure that we were standing behind the box so as not to startle
the eagle when the box was opened. After a few quiet moments,
Daranya carefully opened the folded flaps and backed away.
Slowly the bird walked out and looked around. It seemed like
minutes passed before her massive wings opened and, with strong
graceful strokes, she left the ground. Her flight was majestic
and powerful. She chose not to land in some nearby trees but
flew over them and out of our sight. It was truly breath
taking! We all realized what an amazing thing we had just
seen. To be on the safe side before leaving, we took a drive
around the area, but she was nowhere in sight. She had needed
people when she was hurt, but not anymore! Good luck beautiful
by: Kevin Hogan, FOLNC Volunteer
Photo by: Michael Sandy,
Check out the
pictures of the eagle release.
To learn more about bald eagles