Eagles Receive Early Mother’s Day Gift; Name an American Eagle Contest to be Held
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2003
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., May 9 — Four non-releasable female eagles cared for by the American Eagle Foundation at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, have received some early and very special Mother’s Day gifts. The stately moms are named Liberty, Cheyenne, Boni Spae and Twilight, and they all have been blessed with recently hatched bouncing baby eaglets.
Three of the loving mother birds are Bald Eagles and one a Golden Eagle. Twilight and her mate, Pilgrim, became adoptive parents just yesterday, so that breeding pair Boni Spae and Franklin can focus on raising just one baby, instead of two.
Twilight’s eggs were infertile, but Boni Spae had twins. Cheyenne & Wankan Tankan had two young, but are very experienced parents.
Liberty & Justice have been producing young for eleven years now, and their beautiful baby and intimate nesting activities can be viewed from a “live” video camera on the Internet at the Foundation’s WWW.EAGLES.ORG and WWW.NESTINGEAGLES.COM websites.
All five majestic eaglets are scheduled for release into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains this July when fully grown at twelve-weeks of age. “It’s amazing love and dedication in action. The parent eagles did a tremendous job protecting their eggs and youngsters during the recent heavy thunder, wind and rain storms. They provided an awesome and flawless body shield,” said Al Cecere, president of the American Eagle Foundation. “It was a real on-line TV drama in the Liberty and Justice nest. All of us watching them on the webcam from our computers prayed for a happy ending.”
Supporting members of the non-profit organization are being offered a chance to participate in a “Name An American Eaglet” Contest. On July 4, 2003, one lucky member will be awarded the regal right to name the young bird hatched by Liberty and Justice, plus the rare privilege of being on hand to witness its release into nature. The winner of this special honor will be selected through a random drawing. Anyone becoming a member on-line by July 1, 2003 will be eligible to enter.
Last year’s winner was Our Lady of Lourdes School from Long Island. They named their eaglet “Ground Zero,” and a few of the students and teachers attended the release last summer. The Foundation’s breeding eagles can also be annually adopted on-line, which makes a great gift for anyone, especially for mother’s day, birthdays, and those serving in the Armed Forces. Through the miracle of the Internet and video technology, people around the globe will be able to keep a close eye on this majestic American Eagle pair and their youngster until June 6th. More than 80,000 schools from across the United States have been invited by the Foundation to tune into the fascinating “nest-watch” adventure and enjoy the special learning benefits it provides.
“Everyone is welcome to drop by and visit our website. It’s a great opportunity to witness the wonder of God’s magnificent creation,” says Cecere.
“You’ll see these faithful mates tending to daily nesting duties and displaying their affection. You may even get a chance to see them tenderly caring for and feeding their newest pride and joy. It’s a heart-warming perspective of our National Bird.”
On June 7, 2003, the Foundation plans to remove the eaglet from its parents’ nest and place it in an artificial nesting tower over-looking a secluded lake cove in East Tennessee. In mid July, after spending about six weeks in the tower, the bird will be released into the wild and tracked with a radio transmitter to help monitor its progress.
Two video cameras keep a close electronic eye on the eagles from different vantage points, and can be viewed during daylight hours, Eastern Standard Time (USA). One camera provides high bandwidth video-streaming images and the other is for low-bandwidth viewing. The “live action” images are provided in “real time” through Microsoft Media Player. Archived footage can be played using RealPlayer.
All eagle breeding pairs are housed at the American Eagle Foundation’s education, breeding and rehabilitation center based in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at Dollywood. The birds live in captivity and can no longer survive on their own because of permanent physical disabilities caused by gunshot injuries to the eye, foot and wing. However, the young that they hatch and rear are released into the wild to assist eagle repopulation efforts in the Southeastern United States.
The Foundation is widely recognized as a national leader in Bald Eagle conservation, recovery and public education. Established in 1985, it is dedicated to the care and protection of the Bald Eagle and its habitat. The Foundation has educated millions of people, hatched and released dozens of eaglets into the wild, and rehabilitated numerous injured eagles and other birds of prey. “For the benefit of future generations, we must all do our part to keep America’s eagles flying strong and free into the twenty-first century and beyond,” says Cecere.
Photos & Video footage are available of the Liberty and Justice eaglet upon request.
SOURCE American Eagle Foundation