Photos and videos are available for download at the bottom of this release.
MAITLAND, Fla. - This morning, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey experts and special guests released the 600th rehabilitated Bald Eagle back into the Florida skies at 11 a.m. at Maitland Middle School. The eagle was rescued on March 11, 2018 by Audubon. After evaluation, injuries indicated that this eagle was likely in a territory fight with another eagle. The eagle had punctures all over its’ face and beak, significant wounds on the right and left wing, minor wounds on the feet, and lead poisoning. Staff initially treated for lead poisoning and coordinated wound care with Winter Park Veterinary Hospital. Once his wounds healed, the eagle was moved to the Center’s 100-foot Disney Magic of Flight barn for reconditioning to prepare for life back in the wild.
This eagle is a symbol not only of our nation but of the success of the Bald Eagle species recovery efforts by Audubon through education, conservation, and rehabilitation. At today’s release, Director for Audubon Center for Birds of Prey Katie Warner said, “This is wonderful. There’s no feeling quite like watching an eagle recover from the brink of death and return to the wild. With shrinking available habitat, today’s release serves as a reminder that we must continue to protect birds and the places they need.”
As the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey approaches its 40th anniversary this year, releasing the 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. Audubon continues to be 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.
Audubon also recently launched Restore the Nest, a special campaign to restore and repair its aging aviaries and clinical facilities at the Center in Maitland. Hurricane Irma caused significant damage and exposed weaknesses at the Center. The public can support Audubon’s important conservation work by visiting the Center in Maitland or going to FL.Audubon.org/RestoreTheNest today.
Photos. Please include appropriate credit for each photo.
- The injured Bald Eagle arriving at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in March. Photo: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
- Rehabilitated Bald Eagle being released by Mimi Ford. Photo: Bill Doster Photography
- Members of the release team including Katie Warner, director at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey; Mayor A. Dale McDonald, Maitland, FL; Dianna Flynt, Rehabilitation Supervisor at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey; Dr. Caitirine Hellenga, Winter Park Veterinary Hospital; and Mimi and Dick Ford, Audubon supporters. Photo: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
- Members of the release team including Audubon intern Caroline Rosendahl who rescued the eagle; Dr. Caitirine Hellenga, Winter Park Veterinary Hospital; Dianna Flynt, rehabilitation supervisor at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey; Katie Warner, director at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey; Dykes Everett, Audubon Florida board director & Audubon Center for Birds of Prey advisory board member; and Mimi and Dick Ford, Audubon supporters. Photo: Bill Doster Photography
Videos. Please include appropriate credit for each video.
- The rehabilitated Bald Eagle receiving his band at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey immediately prior to release. Video: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
- The release of Audubon’s 600th rehabilitated Bald Eagle. Video: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey focuses on the rescue, medical treatment, rehabilitation and release of Florida’s raptor birds including Bald Eagles, Hawks, Ospreys, Kites, Owls, and Falcons. Audubon treats more than 800 patients each year. Visitors to the Center learn more about conservation in Florida and get up-close and personal encounters with birds of prey. The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is located at 1101 Audubon Way, in Maitland, Florida. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.