Eagle Physicals & Habitat Cleanup – Fall 2016
November 10, 2016
During the first week of November, Dollywood annually closes the park to install Christmas decorations. This offers us the perfect time to complete yearly physical exams on all the Bald Eagles that reside at the park along with implementing any repairs and upgrades to their enclosures.
At this time, the AEF crew gathered at the park to catch all 19 Eagles and bring them down to the park bird barn where the Veterinarians from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine performed physicals. Each Eagle received a complete physical exam, which included obtaining weights, blood samples, and giving yearly vaccinations. They were then placed in holding rooms for the next two nights to allow the crew to work on the inside of their aviary.
The nests are given a complete check-over so any damage observed can be repaired. Each nest is also refurbished with a fresh layer of pine branches placed on the exterior of the nest, and soft pine needles used as nesting materials are then placed inside the nest. Perching branches are replaced and the ground cover is cleared and freed of any potential hazards. When all repairs were completed, the Eagles were carried back to their respective enclosures just in time for the park to reopen.
Michelle Bauer – Avian Operations Coordinator
Cam equipment, including wires and cables, was examined to see what repairs should be made, along with what needed to be replaced.