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Eagle Release–Part I: The Arrival

Marge and Don Gibson of Raptor Education Group Inc arrive at Sauk City Bald Eagle Days 2013 to release 4 rehabilitated bald eagles back into the wild.

Lisadawn and I had the good fortune to make the 3 hour trip to Sauk City on Saturday to experience the magic of Bald Eagle Watching Days first hand. Very high on the list of "attractions" was the release of 4 bald eagles that had been rehabilitated by Raptor Education Group.

When we arrived at VFW Park we were just 2 in a sea of people gathered to bear witness to this special event. As luck would have it we arrived at nearly the same time as the guests of honor. I'll admit to feeling a little like paparazzi, but it's not every day that one of the celebrities rolls up to the red carpet covered in feathers! Across the loud speaker came the words, "The Eagle Has Landed".

Marge Gibson of Raptor Education Group Inc walks through the crowd at Sauk City Bald Eagle Days 2013.  This eagle was rehabilitated at REGI after being hit by a vehicle and was released back into the wild at this event.

Marge Gibson soon stepped from the "REGI Mobile" carrying this beautiful adult male bald eagle . There were thousands of people attending this event and all eyes and cameras quickly turned in their direction as they made their way through the crowd.

A rehabilitated male bald eagle just minutes prior to being released back into the wild. Photo by Lisadawn Schram

One of the things that made an incredible impression on us was just how absolutely calm this eagle was in Marge's arms while surrounded by thousands of people packed in elbow to elbow. As Marge pointed out during the event, this is a completely wild bird that has had very little human interaction even during his recovery. Once treated, all of the birds are isolated from Marge and her staff and only observed via remote cameras in order to avoid "imprinting". This is critical in order for them to maintain their "wild independence " once they are released.

Marge Gibson of Raptor Education Group Inc craddling a rehabilitated bald eagle just moments before release it back into the wild at Sauk City Bald Eagle Days 2013. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered Hope.Net

Stop back tomorrow as we continue our retelling of this very special event.


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