August 24, 2009 -- "Sergeant", one of the
triplets raised by eagle parents "Franklin" and "Boni-Spae" at the
American Eagle Foundation was recently seen by a photographer
photographing eagles in Elk Creek, Lake Erie, Erie, PA. This eagle had
been released from AEF's Douglas Lake hack tower in East Tennessee
(foothills of Great Smokies) on 8/3/09. A positive identification could
be made because of the Patagial Tag (B9) which was attached to the eagle
before its release. The Patagial Tag will stay on for some time, but
probably will eventually work its way off or be torn off by the bird.
Non-releasable breeding bald eagles "Liberty" and "Justice" laid three
infertile eggs in early April 2009 at the American Eagle Foundation's
United States Eagle Center at Dollywood. Three other infertile eggs were
also laid by two other non-releasable bald eagle breeding pairs, for a
total of six eggs that did not hatch this season.
Two other bald
eagle breeding pairs hatched four eaglets (three by one pair and one by
the other). At about 6 weeks of age, they were transferred to an
artificial nesting tower (25-foot high hack tower) on Douglas Lake
located about 25 miles NE of Pigeon Forge. After becoming oriented to
typical bald eagle habitat on the lake for a few weeks, they were
released from the hack tower at about 12 to 13 weeks of age. They were
then already adult-sized and capable of making their first flight.
of the four bald eaglets was released on July 16 and the other three
were released on August 3, 2009. All four birds had marker tags placed
on their left wings. The wing tags had two 2-inch high orange digits
placed on them, ending in the number "9", which represents the 2009
The eaglet with wing tag "B9" was observed in good
condition on August 23, 2009 on the shore of Lake Erie near Erie,
Pennsylvania (see above photos). We urge anyone who sees a wing tag on
an eagle to report the tag number, location, and other pertinent details
to the U.S. Bird Banding Lab and their state fish and
During 1992 through 2009, the AEF has hacked
and released 101 young bald eagles. Forty-three had been captive-bred at
AEF's raptor facilities at Dollywood of Pigeon Forge, TN. After
reaching four to five years of age, bald eagles usually find mates and
tend to return to nest in the general region of their maiden flights.
However, if their mate has learned to fly in some other region, they may
compromise on the nesting region they select.
Eaglets hacked in
Tennessee have been known to nest as far away as northern Ohio.
Therefore, the AEF's hacking benefits sometime s spread over a broad
region of the eastern United States.
A golden eagle pair at
AEF's raptor center also hatched two eaglets in 2009, which will be
released in Idaho.