Friday, October 28, 2011
Another good one
Today I again went out to release a golden eagle, this one is PATCH, an adult female who was hit by a vehicle back in June. I was joined by Susan Osborne (photographer), Gretchen Wood (the lady who originally found the bird), Lynne Bama and Richard Gruber who live nearby and are very into birds.
Not the textbook release I was hoping for, she was caught in the wind and made a very short flight with a bad landing. She started climbing up the steep hill with me in pursuit to make sure she was okay. By the time we both got to the top she was fine and I was winded. She then gave me one more look and flew off to the top of another, farther hill.
The most amazing thing is that after about an hour another adult golden landed near her. They conversed for some time and when he flew off PATCH started to follow but decided not to fly at that time. She finally flew over the hill and landed again. At this time Gretchen, who had been keeping vigil on her to make sure she was okay, followed and moved towards the bird. Again, the look, and PATCH finally took to the air and started soaring above the valley. It was an amazing sight and altho it took a long time for her to leave the area she did it with strength and determination.
You can see just how huge this bird is when you notice she goes from my shoulder to my knees. She came in weighing almost 10 1/2 pounds and left at a bit over 13 pounds. A very big girl.