AEF Releases Ten Young Bald Eaglets in 2015
For nearly 15 years, the AEF has been releasing captive-bred and translocated Eaglets in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains from its Hack Tower on Douglas Lake. In 2015, we experienced yet another successful breeding and hacking season with the release of 10 young Bald Eaglets!
On June 9th the AEF released two young eaglets translocated from the Wildlife Sanctuary of NW Florida. At 13 weeks of age, none other than Jack Hanna traveled to East Tennessee to lift the hack tower doors to the siblings’ freedom (patagial tag numbers J5 and V5).
On July 7th, 4 Eaglets were released. “Proudman” (Patagial Tag K5) was raised by “Hero and Volunteer” at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary and was release in honor of the Wilber family. “Liberty” and “Justice” (Patagial tag numbers F5 and E5) were raised by “Peace and Faithful” at AEF headquarters. “Hammon,” a rehabbed Bald Eaglet found in Tennessee was released in honor of the Bauer family.
On August 4th, the American Eagle Foundation released two 13-week-old Bald Eaglets into the wild to honor the 4 Marines and Navy Sailor who were slain this summer by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center. For the past 6 weeks, these Eaglets have been residing in the AEF’s artificial nesting tower (called a hack tower) located in a secluded cove overlooking Douglas Lake in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. They have been cared for with minimum human contact while growing to full size and waiting to gain their freedom. The first Eaglet to take flight was rescued from a nest in the Medina, Ohio area and was brought to the AEF to be released. The second Eaglet was produced and hatched by the AEF’s non-releasable Bald Eagle breeding pair “Peace” and “Faithful” and took its first flight just a few minutes afterwards.
The AEF named the Eaglet from Ohio “Semper Fortis,” which means “Always Strong” and is the unofficial motto of the U.S. Navy. The Eaglet hatched at the AEF center was named “Semper Fi,” which is the official motto of the U.S. Marine Corp and means “Always Faithful.” Both eaglets are wearing wing patagial tags, “N5” and “Y5,” respectively, tail-mounted tracking devices, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service leg bands.
“As Americans, we must all find fitting ways to honor our fallen military men and women and to bless their families,” says AEF President Al Cecere. “Releasing these two Eaglets is our special way of paying tribute to these five men who have loyally and courageously served our nation.”
Here is a link from a local news station that covered this bittersweet event.
On the morning of August 8, 2015, the 13-week-old Eaglet that AEF Chatters came to know as “Little E” was released into the wild (Patagial Tag L5)! The American Eagle Foundation decided to name it “Miracle” as it truly overcame the odds. Little E and its Sibling, as eggs, were found on the ground in a breeding enclosure in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. Although we believed the eggs may had missed a vital incubation period, they were immediately taken to the AEF’s incubation room….and they hatched about 35 days later. The Eaglets were fostered to two different breeding pairs who both accepted the Eaglets as their own! For 6 weeks “Little E” was watched by thousands of viewers across the globe on our Eagles.org “Independence and Franklin” Live Eagle Nest Cam.
WWII Veteran Frank Lowe was honored at this release. Chief Hospital Corpsman Frank Lowe, born December 17th, 1919, joined the Navy in 1939 and was assigned to Fleet Marine Corpsman School and landed in Guadalcanal in 1944. During the Korean War, he landed at Inchon and was at the Chosin Reservoir. He retired in 1969 after 30 years of service.
On August 12th, Miracle’s sibling, “Hope” (Patagial Tag T5) was released into the wild. As eggs, Miracle and Hope were found on the ground by AEF Staff and immediately taken to our incubation room….they miraculously hatched several weeks later and given to foster parents — Hope was raised by Wankan Tankan and Cheyenne, a pair of non-releasable Golden Eagles. Hope didn’t even wait until his nesting room door was halfway open before he took his first flight. Hope was released in honor of Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe’s late wife, Pamela.