Florida Eaglet Released In Tennessee To Honor Fallen Army Ranger

 

For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2011

Pigeon Forge, TN -- The American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org) released a 14-week-old Bald Eaglet into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains Sunday afternoon (4-17-2011) to honor U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Ryan C. McGhee (http://for-ryan-from-mom.webs.com/) who was given the Purple Heart, Bronze Star (with V-Device) and other awards for helping save the lives of two of his fellow soldier in Iraq when they were pinned down by enemy gunfire. The majestic young eagle had previously been hatched and raised in Tennessee by AEF staff from an egg rescued from a stadium lighting tower nest in Sarasota, Florida (http://www.eagles.org/news/Articles/Florida-Eaglet-Taken-To-Artificial-Nesting-Tower-On-East-Tennessee-Lake.php).

"We are always happy to honor our soldiers and veterans who so bravely and unselfishly defend our nation's precious freedoms and the rights of others," said AEF founder/president Al Louis Cecere.

Ryan was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, GA and gave his life for all of us on May 13, 2009 from wounds sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces while conducting combat operations in Tikrit, Iraq.

The AEF allowed Ryan's mother, Sherrie McGhee, to name the eaglet in honor of her hero son, calling the eaglet "Ranger."

There were two "Gold Star Mothers" present for the release, as well as Cpl. Ryan's family and other guests. A special tribute ceremony preceded the release of the bird, which included a prayer given by AEF president Al Cecere, a song performed by entertainer/songwriter James Rogers, and a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace" performed by Garret Barnett.

The AEF is a non-profit conservation group that annually releases captive-hatched bald eaglets in East Tennessee to help repopulate the National Bird.

 

CLICK EACH IMAGE FOR HIGH-RES VERSION

1.

About to leave the hacking tower
Bald Eaglet "Ranger" surveys his world before taking his first flight

 

2.

Ranger taking flight
Bald Eaglet "Ranger" takes his first flight into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains

 

3.

Landing in tree
Ranger wears a patagial tag, coded to help identify him as he travels

 

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For more information contact:

Al Cecere, Founder & President
American Eagle Foundation
P.O. Box 333
Pigeon Forge, TN 37738
Phone: 865-256-0372
savetheeagle@aol.com
www.eagles.org

Video B-Roll Available
http://www.youtube.com/user/BaldEagleInfo?feature=mhum#p/u/0/itiRKJtJbvE


 

Florida Eaglet Taken To Artificial Nesting Tower On East Tennessee Lake

 

For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2011

Pigeon Forge, TN -- The non-profit American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org) has announced that a Bald Eaglet hatched from an egg rescued last December from a lighting tower nest at the Orioles' spring training ballpark in Sarasota, Florida was recently transported to an artificial nesting tower on Douglas Lake in East Tennessee (on Feb. 11, 2011). The eaglet previously had hatched from its egg inside an incubator and was fed with an eagle puppet at the AEF's United States Eagle Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. Before being taken to the release tower by AEF President Al Cecere, the youngster was given a physical check-up by University of Tennessee Veterinarian Dr. Mike Jones. The eagle conservation group anticipates that the symbolic bird will be released into the wild sometime in mid March at about 13-weeks of age. A second egg removed from the lighting tower nest was determined to be infertile (not viable). The Foundation is headquartered at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

 

CLICK EACH IMAGE FOR HIGH-RES VERSION

1.

Eaglet Examined by Dr. Mike Jones, U.T. Veterinarian and assisted by AEF President/Founder Al Cecere
Bald Eaglet is examined by U. T. Veterinarian, Dr. Mike Jones
who is assisted by AEF Founder/President Al Cecere.

2.

Bald Eaglet is examined by Dr. Mike Jones, U.T. Veterinarian
Dr. Mike Jones, avian specialist at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine,
examines the Bald Eaglet prior to its being taken to the hack tower.

3.

Eaglet in Hack Tower
Eaglet settles down on fresh pine needles in the hack tower.

4.

Eaglet enjoys a meal of trout
Eaglet enjoys a meal of trout.




To view videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1rI1doF494

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsugJ2UvZdk

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For more information, please contact AEF President Al Cecere at 865-429-0157 or SaveTheEagle@aol.com.

 


 

Florida Eagle Egg Hatches At Tennessee Eagle Center
Rescued From Ballpark Lighting Tower

 

For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2011

Pigeon Forge, TN -- The non-profit American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org) has announced that one of the two eggs that it rescued from a lighting tower nest at the Orioles' spring training ballpark in Sarasota, Florida has hatched, and the eaglet is being fed by an eagle puppet to prevent human-imprinting. On December 29, 2010, the eaglet had successfully hatched from its egg inside an incubator. The eagle conservation group anticipates that the symbolic bird will be released into the wild sometime in mid March at 13-weeks of age. The bird is scheduled to be placed in an artificial nesting tower located on Douglas Lake within a couple weeks. The second egg was determined to be infertile (not viable). The Foundation is headquartered at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

To view video: http://www.youtube.com/user/BaldEagleInfo#p/u/0/WP3eYD4xYSE

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For more information, please contact AEF President Al Cecere at 865-429-0157 or SaveTheEagle@aol.com.

Available "Photos" related to this story:
http://www.eagles.org/AEF_PressRelease/FloridaEggRecovery/

Available "Video B-Roll" related to this story:
http://files.hpvideo.com

Username: eagle
Password: broll

CLICK EACH IMAGE FOR HIGH RES VERSION

1.

Just Hatched!

Just hatched!

 

2.

30 minutes old

30 minutes old.

3.

Sitting up

Sitting up!

 

4.

Puppet eagle feeding eaglet

Florida Eagle Egg Hatches In Tennessee.
The non-profit American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org)
puppet-feeds a bald eaglet hatchling to avoid human-imprinting and prepare it for the wild.
The egg was rescued from a nest atop a ballpark lighting tower in Sarasota in December,
and recently hatched in an incubator at the Foundation's Dollywood headquarters in Pigeon Forge.
The symbolic bird is scheduled to be released into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in March.

Photo: by Al Cecere, Copyright American Eagle Foundation.

 


 

Bald Eagle Egg Recovery From Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida
by the American Eagle Foundation
December 14, 2010

CLICK EACH IMAGE FOR HIGH RES VERSION

1.

Eagle Nest 1
Bald Eagle nest on lighting tower at Ed Smith Statium in Sarasota, Florida

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission



2.

Eagle Nest 2
Abandoned Bald Eagle nest on cell tower near Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

3.

Eagle perched on light tower
Bald Eagle perched on lighting tower at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

4.

Eagle carrying branch
Bald Eagle carrying a branch to its nest on lighting tower at Ed Smith Stadium

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

5.

Eagle Soaring 1
Eagle soaring above its nest at Ed Smith Staium

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

6.

Eagle Soaring 2
Eagle soaring above its nest at Ed Smith Stadium

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

7.

Removing egg from nest
Rescue team approaches lighting tower eagle nest to remove 2 eggs

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

8.

Eggs in Nest Overlooking Ball Field
Bald eagle eggs inside nest on lighting tower overlooking ball field at Ed Smith Stadium

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

9.

Eggs in nest
Bald Eagle eggs inside nest on lighting tower at Ed Smith Stadium

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

10.

Putting Cover on Nest - 2 Eagles
Egg rescue team putting tarp cover over nest while eagles circle above

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

11.

Eggs in open incubator
Bald Eagle eggs in an open incubator after being removed from lighting tower nest at Ed Smith Stadium.
Inside incubator, in addition to the two Bald Eagle eggs, a hydrometer, various thermometers, and a bowl with water and sponges to create moisture can be seen.

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

12.

Al Cecere holding incubator while RV travels back to Pigeon Forge
American Eagle Foundation president Al Cecere holding incubator containing 2 Bald Eagle eggs while traveling back to Pigeon Forge, TN inside an RV

Copyright 2010 by American Eagle Foundation. All rights reserved.
Media may use with permission

 

 

American Eagle Foundation Recruited For Special Eagle Egg Rescue —
Right Before Orioles Flock To Florida

For Immediate Release:
Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

Pigeon Forge, TN - - The non-profit American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org) was recently recruited by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and an environmental consulting firm to participate in a special bald eagle egg rescue operation in Florida that has made the Orioles very happyÉthe baseball team that is.

In early February, the ball players from Baltimore plan to migrate to Sarasota for their 2011 spring training, but a family-minded eagle pair apparently wanted to reserve the best skybox in the ballpark ahead of time.

The "urban birds" recently built a new nest atop a 135-foot light pole located in the right outfield of Ed Smith Stadium where a $24 million renovation is aggressively underway with a tight spring deadline for completion. The construction activities include 150 workers and a fleet of noisy heavy equipment continuously moving about the sports complex.

Florida wildlife officials believe the same eagle pair fledged eaglets last year from a nest they had built on a cellular phone tower about a quarter mile away from the stadium site.

This unexpected new nest, had given construction crews, eagle experts, county officials and the Orioles valid reason(s) to be concerned, since federal/state laws and management guidelines, including the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act, prohibit disturbing the National Bird and their chosen nesting site.

State and federal wildlife officials worked closely with the Orioles and other interested parties to ensure there will be a happy ending for everyone involved and affected — including the majestic eagle pair and their yet to hatch youngsters.

Federal and state permits were issued to the Orioles and their consulting firm, Cardno ENTRIX, to remove the eggs and cover the nest with a tarp in order to prevent the birds from returning there again. The tops of other light poles at the stadium were also modified to discourage future possible eagle nesting.

"If the eggs had hatched in that location, the eaglets would have experienced substantial noise disturbance while in the nest from continued construction and regular baseball activities," said American Eagle Foundation founder/president Al Cecere. "They'd also potentially encounter serious hazards after fledging, especially when learning to fly and searching for food in that area, due to concentrated auto and truck traffic and masses of people attending on-going stadium events. This could put them at a high risk of being harassed, injured or killed."

AEF staff members, led by Cecere, traveled to Sarasota from Pigeon Forge last Monday in an RV with generators, incubators and other equipment needed to safely retrieve the fragile eggs and transport them to Tennessee. On Tuesday morning, the eggs were removed and taken to the AEF's United States Eagle Center at Dollywood to be monitored and hatched. Any chicks born will be raised with minimum human contact for eventual release into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

"Since it's early in Florida's eagle breeding season, the adult birds could still possibly lay a second clutch of eggs at a different more ideal nesting location Ð even the nearby cell tower nest," said Cecere. "So, eagle populations in both Tennessee and Florida could potentially benefit from removing the eggs early in the nesting cycle."

The female eagle had recently laid two eggs around Dec. 4th, when the pair was first observed by wildlife experts to be sitting tight to their nest. Bald eagles typically lay one to three eggs annually, usually a couple days apart, and the incubation period is about 35 days. As of 2009, there were about 1,340 active nests in Florida and 91 active nests in Tennessee.

"Over the years, our conservation group has hatched and raised many eaglets for release into the wild," said Cecere. "We're hopeful these eggs are viable and fertile and will hatch soon after we enter the New Year. If that happens, the eaglets could likely be released by early April."

Once hatched, the eaglets would either be fed by human-operated eagle puppets or by non-releasable eagle foster-parents housed in captivity at the AEF facility. At 6 weeks of age, the young birds would be placed in an artificial nesting tower overlooking Douglas Lake in East Tennessee, and would be released at about 12 or 13 weeks of age. Prior to their release, they'd be equipped with USFWS leg bands, tail-mounted radio tracking transmitters, and colored/numbered patagial ID tags on one wing that can easily be viewed from a distance.

"We've received a number of bird rescue calls over the years, but this is certainly one of the most unusual ones," said Cecere. "This is a special and worthwhile project to cap off our 25th Anniversary year."

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For more information contact AEF Founder & President Al Cecere at: 865-256-0372, SaveTheEagle@aol.com

Available "Photos" related to this story:
http://www.eagles.org/AEF_PressRelease/FloridaEggRecovery/

Available "Video B-Roll" related to this story:
http://www.youtube.com/baldeagleinfo#p/u/0/gV_BEwLsN0s

About the AEF:

Established in 1985, the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) is a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to the recovery, protection and preservation of the bald eagle and its habitat. The Federal and State-licensed organization conducts environmental, ecological and eagle-focused education programs, and operates the world's largest bald eagle exhibit and breeding facility. Since 1995, the AEF (www.eagles.org) has appeared coast to coast with its trained, free-flying bald eagle "Challenger" (http://www.eagles.org/aefsplash/), including at the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, Pentagon and various high-profile sporting events such as the World Series, Olympics, AFC Championship, Fiesta Bowl, Men's Final Four, BSC National Championship and NFL Pro-Bowl.

Tennessee had no successful bald eagle nests for 22 years between 1961 and 1983. In order to restore nesting, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, American Eagle Foundation, and their partners have released a total of 330 young bald eagles from 7 Tennessee hack sites from 1980 through 2010. The AEF has released 105 of these 330 bald eagles at Douglas Lake of East Tennessee from 1992 through 2010. Successful nesting resumed in Tennessee in 1983, and has gradually increased from 0 to at least 91, producing more than 160 young in 2010. Tennessee-released bald eagles and their offspring are also nesting in several other states, documented as far away as northern Ohio near Lake Huron.