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Eagle Release–Part V: Free Again

After finally being convinced he was free to go, this immature bald eagle made repeated passes directly over the crowd. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered Hope.netWe've heard it enough times that it's become sort of a running joke. "Hey, Mr. Quarterback. What are you going to do now that you've won the Superbowl? I'm going to Disney World!". Well last Saturday, 4 rehabilitated bald eagles did win a "Superbowl" of sorts when they were released back into the wild. Find out what they did as they took to the wing.

Before releasing the first adult male, Marge Gibson informed the crowd that it is not uncommon for the birds to dip down and touch the water as they make their flight to freedom. Think of it is a "High-Five" to Mother Earth (Marge also mentioned later on that eagles are actually pretty good swimmers, a "factoid" we forgot to include in our earlier post). In other words spectators, "Don't freak out if he's heading for the water in an apparent crash!".

As part of the "release ritual" with each bird, Marge gently turned their head toward the river and what awaited them when they took to the air. This first adult male didn't seem to have any question about where he was going as he took pretty much a straight line to perch, somewhat awkwardly, in a tree on the opposite side of the river.

After release, this bald eagle spread its wings above the Wisconsin River to begin its second chance at life.
By the time Marge had returned from the van with the next bird for release, however, he had made his way to the river and was very obviously loving every minute of it!
"Splish, splash I am takin' a bath!".

Having been perched in a tree only a matter of minutes, the lure of the open water was just too great to resist. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered
Am I clean? Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered
"Oh, yeah. I am BACK and AVAILABLE!". Looking good, buddy. We wish you the best.

The 3 remaining birds may not have made quite as remarkable of an entrance into their new lives, but they were no less beautiful in their flight. May the rest of their lives be long, healthy and a joy for those of us who feel that thrill every time they catch our eye.

After release, this immature bald eagle makes a bid for a nearby tree. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered
Soaring hi above the crowd, this just released bald eagle is a beautiful sight for the crowd below. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Featherd
After release, this immature bald eagle makes a bid for a nearby tree. Photo by Lisadawn Schram/Feathered
With repeated passes above the crowd, this just released immature bald eagle seems to be offering its thanks to Marge Gibson and the staff of REGI for its second chance at life.

Godspeed friends.


  1. Unknown said...:

    Beautiful Ken and Lisadawn. Great photos and thanks for putting it to words. I had an update today by a reporter friend that saw all of the 4 together near his property. Each eagle is slightly different in appearance and feather pattern. Because he has photos of the released birds he knew their patterns. All four are still together, which is what we hoped for and are eating Gizzard shad as fast as they can talon them into their mouths. Love to hear great news. Thanks again,

  1. Unknown said...:

    That is great news, Marge! We're happy to hear that they are doing so well and that they are all still together. Don't you love it when a plan comes together? ;) We really appreciate you sharing the update.
    Best wishes
    Ken & Lisadawn

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