Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WIngs of Wonder Releases Eagle at Sleeping Bear

eagle release
photo from
from,"Eagle Released at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore," Nov 30, 2008

A large crowd gathered at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore parking lot, on a nippy Saturday (Nov 29). Everyone wanted a glimpse of the eagle that was about to be released. Rebecca Lessard of Wings of Wonder carried a cardboard box to the front of the crowd. When she revealed the eagle there was a gasp. The bird was a large female with a long beak and claws. Rebecca explained that the eagle would not show any white for another couple of years.

The eagle had been brought to Wings of Wonder from Montmorency County in October. The two-year-old bird was very ill, but what she had was never determined, except that it was not West Nile Virus.

With hand feeding and care the bird healed quickly and eventually joined the other eagles at Wings of Wonder in the largest cage. They seemed to sense that their new friend needed special attention, and let the weak bird eat first.

Soon she was healthy and she "wore out her welcome," said Rebecca. She and another eagle developed a rivalry, and it was time for this one to be released. People were given the opportunity to take pictures, a warning was issued that the bird might not immediately fly straight away, and then she was released.

The crowd counted down. The eagle "flew low, straight away from the crowd and was lost to sight by most of us. Then suddenly, she gained altitude and rose into the sky with an absolutely fluid, magnificent grace. She headed toward the dunes and water, but when she got over a stand of trees she must have found a thermal and she simply rose and fell in circle upon circle as we all watched in wonder. And then, she was gone into the wild."

See Wings of Wonder
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