Today has been anticipated for many weeks. I drove six hours to Gillette and the release site so my two baby golden eagles, TUMBLER and HOBBIT, could begin the rest of their lives. Thanks to Nichole of ICFI, little TUMBLER was saved. And to James Hobbs, WGF, who brought me HOBBIT after she came out of her nest a bit early.
The Cloud Peak crew was also there as they own the coal mine where TUMBLER was found. Neither bird was anxious to come out of their crates but with some encouragement they finally made that leap of faith. Naturally they went two different directions. Nichole assured me there are lots of rabbits and prairie dogs living there. Even an active eagle nest in some distant trees so these two will have company.
HOBBIT making a break for freedom. The photographer wasn't quite sure about being so close to that huge flying bird, everyone else was cheering.