Highlight of Saturday in the Park at the Lost Island Nature Center was the release of a bald eagle into the wild. The female, weighing 11 pounds, was found late March or earl April in the West Bend area. Conservation officer Steve Henderson was called and found the eagle floundering in the mud along the river.
The eagle was taken to SOAR (Saving Our Avian Resources) and was found to be suffering from lead exposure. Over months of rehab in a 100-foot flyway, the eagle was released back into the wild.
Kay Neumann, Executive Director of SOAR, said the eagle had lead exposure, but not to the extent that she would die. At the SOAR?center, the eagle was released into a 100-foot flight area to bet her muscles back into shape. She had no broken bones.
TAKING FLIGHT -- A female bald eagle was released back into the wild during Saturday in the Park at the Lost Island Nature Center. The eagle was found in Palo Alto County late March or early April and taken to SOAR Center near Carroll for rehabilitation. Steve Henderson boosted the eagle into the air. She spread her wings and took flight, then circled the crowd watching from below as if to say goodbye. --Jane Whitmore photos
This female missed out on her nesting site this year, which was probably in Canada, said Newmann.
SOAR received 17 eagles since the first of this year, 14 with lead poisoning. Only two could be saved and released back into the wild.
SOAR is a non-profit raptor rehabilitation, education and conservation organizations. They promote "get the lead out" -- hunt and fish lead-free.
Conservation officer Steve Henderson said the eagle was found in the West Bend area by the river.
"She was in the mud and couldn't get out of the water," said Henderson. "She was in pretty rough shape."
The eagle was in good shape Saturday. She spread her wings and took to the air, then circled the Nature Center as she went on her way.