Cascades Raptor Center

Resident Raptor - Bald Eagle

Aeolus, Mckenzie, Denali & Celilo

Aeolus Closeup
Aeolus  Came into rehabilitation in Klamath Falls after colliding with a fence or power line in June of 1996 resulted in the loss of circulation to the tip of his right wing, and subsequently the loss of the wing tip itself. By the substantial but incomplete white on his head and tail, as well as his yellow eyes and almost totally yellow beak on intake, we estimate him to have been hatched in 1991. He was fully mature in 1997.  Sponsor Aeolus

Aeolus

McKenzie  An adult female, collided with a cell phone tower guy wire in the summer of 2001 near Spokane WA, with resulting serious damage to the right wing. Exposed bone and tendon as well as feather follicle damage caused the loss of most of the secondary flight feathers (which are attached to the ulna). She was transferred here as an education bird from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, in November 2001. By the few brown streaks in her otherwise completely white head and tail, as well as her yellow eyes and yellow beak, we estimate her hatch year as 1996.  Sponsor McKenzie

Denali Denali  Means "the high one." She was born on Kodiak Island off the Alaskan coast and was rescued on the ground with a wing injury when she was less than a year old. She was taken to the Bird TLC in Anchorage, where they tried months of physical therapy, including cold laser treatments, but Denali was unable to fully extend her right wing. She joined Wind Over Wings in Clinton CT in May of 2000. At that time it was assumed she was a year old, based on eye, beak and feather coloring. Denali is a wonderful, curious bird. She eagerly learned to step up on a glove in preparation for a life in education. She came to CRC in December 2007, when health issues required her primary handler to reduce some of her load. WOW picked CRC as their number one choice for Denali's new home, where she would get excellent care and the attention she deserves. Working as an ambassador for her species Denali has given thousands of people of all ages an up-close, personal experience with one of nature's most majestic animals, inspiring them to be good stewards of the wild world.  Sponsor Denali

Celilo Celilo  This bird (who was originally suspected to be male but whose recent blood tests have shown 'he' is a 'she'!), was found with a fractured humerus in the right wing, very close to the shoulder, in Nebraska in early 2002. She was just beginning to get her white head and tail, so was probably about 4-5 years old. She was sent to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center for evaluation but was found to have poor extension of the wing so could not fly. She was placed with an education organization in Rapid City, South Dakota, which closed in 2010, and then was transferred to CRC in November 2010.

When Celilo came to CRC, she was 'named' by her new community. Nearly 400 people submitted 560 names for consideration. The winning name, 'Celilo', was submitted by Nola Nelson of Cottage Grove, in honor of the historic Native American settlement along the Columbia River a gathering and trading place for tribes from as far as Alaska, the Plains, and the California coast for thousands of years. A uniquely Oregon name, Celilo was one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in North America for some 15,000 years. Its village and way of life, centered on salmon fishing along Celilo Falls, was drowned by the dams built along the river during the 1950's. This name represents resilience and triumph over setbacks, and is meaningful to Native Americans, for whom the Bald Eagle is a very sacred bird; for the United States whose national symbol is the Bald Eagle; and for Bald Eagles themselves, as they have struggled to rebuild their populations since the devastation wrought by the pesticide DDT in the last century. (Celilo is glove-trained.)  Sponsor Celilo




Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Courtesy of Barbara GleasonThis majestic bird of prey, our national symbol, has a distinctive adult color scheme - white head, white tail, dark brown body, yellow eyes, and massive yellow beak. As with many other raptors, the female is larger than the male and the sexes look alike. It takes four years for immature birds to develop the characteristic adult plumage pattern, so identifying young birds can be confusing. Juveniles resemble Golden Eagles in being generally brown, but they lack the golden head, and their legs are only feathered halfway to the foot. Immature birds of both species are brown with areas of white; young Golden Eagles have areas of white on the tail and the base of the flight feathers, while young Bald Eagles show more variable patterns of white speckling. The Bald Eagle has a relatively large head, and long, straight-edged wings; young birds have broader wings and longer tails than adults. This eagle flies with slow, shallow, powerful wingbeats, and soars with wings held out flat.

Notes

Size - Length: 27 - 35" • Wing Span: 71 - 89" • Weight: 4.4 - 13.6 lb.

Status - State and federally protected, both under the Migratory Bird Treat Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Act; downlisted from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and scheduled to be taken off the list entirely, possibly this year.

Habitat - Wherever there is good fishing and foraging - near rivers, lakes, and seacoasts. They can also be seen in other areas during times of migration, following mountain ridges to catch thermal updrafts. In their wintering areas, they often form large communal night roosts.

Diet - These eagles primarily eat fish and waterfowl, but they are opportunistic foragers, and will eat a variety of food. Dead fish, carrion, and some mammals form part of their diet. Piracy is a favored technique also - letting other birds such as Osprey catch fish, then taking the meal away from them. They often hunt flocks of ducks or geese by herding them, then selecting one bird to tail-chase. Hunting from a perch is also common.

Call - Eagles are quite vocal around each other, giving soft kak kak kak kak sounds when chattering together, as well as various chirping whistles. Juveniles tend to have harsher, more shrill calls. Although usually quiet in flight, they will sometimes give a kya...kya...kya....

Nesting - Build large stick nests in the broken tops of old-growth trees, or on rock outcrops - usually with a waterfront view. A pair will return to the same nest year after year, lining it with greenery and building it up to giant proportions. Bald Eagles sometimes put on dramatic displays of whirling, talon-locking aerial combat and courtship during breeding season.

Most Common Problems - Birds with an eagle-sized wingspan are at great risk of electrocution on powerlines. Other common injuries include collisions with vehicles and powerlines, poisonings, and gunshot wounds.

   




Range - Found in North America from central Alaska and Canada south to Baja and northern Mexico; southern populations are depleted. Most leave the inland northern breeding grounds to form winter concentrations, especially along areas like the Chilkat River in Alaska, the Klamath Basin in Oregon, and the upper Mississippi River valley.
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