Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eagle Releases at Sauk Prairie's Bald Eagle Watching Days!

Hello everyone! What an exciting day we had today! We were invited to the 25th Annual Sauk Prairie Bald Eagle Watching Days where REGI's Executive Director, Marge Gibson, was able to release 3 Bald Eagles in front of a crowd of several hundred eagle lovers. It was wonderful to see that so many people came out to celebrate these special moments with us!

There were so many wonderful things to do at the Bald Eagle Watching Days; it was a great day for everyone who attended!

Photo above: You couldn't ask for a more beautiful location to release these gorgeous birds. All along this stretch of the Wisconsin River we could watch other eagles fishing and gracefully flying overhead. There were plenty of gulls and ducks for birdwatchers to gander at while the eagles were taking breaks from fishing. It was wonderful watching the resident eagles knowing that soon the eagles that were rehabilitated at REGI would soon be joining them in the wild once again.

Photo above: Marge gives the crowd of several hundred people a look at this magnificent Bald Eagle before he flies back to the wild where he belongs. Marge joked that as we were all watching this eagle in awe, the eagle was likely doing the same to us! Not many eagles see such a large gathering of people as these eagle saw today.

Photo above: Marge and the eagle take a moment to prepare for the release. Hopefully as she leaves Marge's hands it is the last time she will ever be touched by a human again.

Photo above: At this very moment, the only thing I could hear was the sound of several hundred people gasping. It is a wonderful sound which goes perfectly with the majesty of a flying eagle.

Photos above: There she goes! It must be an amazing feeling for her to be back in the wild where she belongs. We wish her the best, and we hope she never has to come back to us!

Photo above: A Native American Blessing is given to each of the Bald Eagles just moments before they are released. What an honor. This is a juvenile Bald Eagle who was admitted during the summer of 2011 as an orphaned eaglet after tornados ripped through the state. She and 21 other eaglets were raised by one very dedicated and patient foster father eagle. Although she is fully grown, she will not get her white head and tail until she is about 5 years old. This eaglet has had lots of practice flying in the huge flight building here at REGI, but she is about to take her first flight in the wild!

Video above: Click above to see the juvenile Bald Eagle as she takes her very first flight in the wild!

Video above: Click above to watch the video of the third Bald Eagle flying to freedom. This eagle was admitted in 2011 after being hit by a truck. He sustained a wing injury which has healed perfectly. He is now back in the wild!

A special thank you to each of the rehabilitators here at REGI for providing these birds with the best care possible. Months of dedication are required for each patient and these fine people would be the first to tell you that it is so worth it! A thank you goes out to rehabilitator, Alberta Halfmann, who stayed back at REGI to care for all of our current patients and resident birds. She held down the fort so the rest of us could participate in this wonderful event! We also send a thank you to our wonderful volunteers, Denny Stenstrom, for building wooden transport boxes for this event in record time; and Douglas Dittel, Adam Evans, Kristi Mohr, Steve and Evie Fisher, Greg and Marlene Toon, Megan Ackley and her family, and everyone else I've forgotten to mention for helping with handing out information at this event.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this past year. Each and every one of you helps to make releases like this possible and we truly couldn't do it without you!

I'm going to try to come down off of "cloud 9" after this wonderful day! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Karissa Mohr
Wildlife Educator


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