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Posted In: Birding

Wildlife Center to release bald eagle

@richmondoutside
June 6, 2012 10:58am

Tomorrow, the Wildlife Center of Virginia will be releasing a bald eagle not too far from here. If you’ve never seen an eagle release, it’s quite a show, and well worth the approximately one-hour drive this one would take to get to. I went to a bald eagle release the Wildlife Center put on last year at Westover Plantation. There were over a thousand people there watching four birds be set free after months of rehab at the center. Very cool stuff.

If you have the time and inclination, here’s the info on tomorrow’s release:

On Thursday, June 7, the Center will be releasing a bald eagle.  This immature bird – believed to be a three-year-old eagle – was found on its back near a road in King George County and was admitted to the Center on May 18.  Center veterinarians think it is likely that this eagle was hit by a car, although it sustained no fractures.  The eagle has been in the Center’s outdoor flight pens and has demonstrated that it is ready to go back out into the wild.   The eagle will be released by Ed Clark on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Warsaw. 

It is estimated that the bald eagle population of North America numbered about half a million before European settlement.  With the loss of habitat, shooting, and the effects of DDT and other pesticides, the U.S. eagle population plummeted.  In 1977, there were fewer than 50 bald eagle nests in Virginia.  Today, the bald eagle population in Virginia is on the rebound.  There are now more than 1,000 active bald eagle nests in the Commonwealth. 


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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