bald eagle released
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

Freedom Flies: 600th Bald Eagle Makes Majestic Return to Florida Skies

Bald Eagle being released. Photo: Bill Doster
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

Freedom Flies: 600th Bald Eagle Makes Majestic Return to Florida Skies

This summer, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey released its 600th rehabilitated Bald Eagle back into the Florida skies with the help of long-time Audubon supporters Dick and Mimi Ford. Audubon rescued the eagle in March after injuries likely sustained from a territory fight with another eagle. The eagle had punctures all over his face and beak, significant wounds on the right and left wing, wounds on the feet, and lead poisoning. Audubon quickly treated him for lead poisoning and coordinated care with Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, a partner animal hospital. Once his wounds healed, the eagle moved to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey’s 100-foot Disney Magic of Flight barn for reconditioning to prepare for life back in the wild.

As the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey approaches its 40th anniversary this year, releasing its 600th eagle is a fitting tribute to the crucial role Audubon has played in the recovery and continuing success of the species. While Florida’s population of eagles has recovered significantly since the pesticide-induced decline that reached crisis proportions in the 1960’s, loss of habitat in Florida’s natural areas adds increased pressures to the state’s eagle population.

How you can help

Volunteer Your Time With the Eagles - Audubon is a leader in eagle care and education with more than 250 volunteers monitoring eagle nests statewide as part of its community science program, Audubon EagleWatch. Learn more about Audubon’s EagleWatch program at FL.Audubon.org/EagleWatch.

Help the Center Prepare for the Next 600 Eagle Patients - Audubon recently launched Restore the Nest, a special campaign to restore and repair its aging aviaries and clinical facilities. Hurricane Irma caused long-lasting damage and exposed weaknesses at the Center. You can support Audubon’s important conservation work by visiting the Center in Maitland or making a gift at FL.Audubon.org/RestoreTheNest.

 

 

This article was featured in the Summer/Fall 2018 edition of the Naturalist. Click here to read the entire magazine.

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