Retired TWRA Biologist Bob Hatcher was laid to rest today (July 27, 2014) after a funeral service at Antioch Methodist Church in Nashville. The following is about about Bob and an eagle release a few weeks prior to his passing.
Tennessee’s leading wildlife advocates honor a man who who spearheaded the state’s Bald Eagle recovery efforts for decades.
This spring, three pairs of non-releasable Bald Eagles laid eggs inside the enormous aviary at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary on the Dollywood Park. Three eaglets grew up in two nests: Isaiah & Mrs. Jefferson raised their own two, and Hero & Volunteer skillfully fostered a baby eaglet when their own eggs were determined to be infertile. Franklin & Independence, the third pair, laid three infertile eggs and did not raise babies this year.
This is the story of how an injured eagle from the Spokane, WA area was rescued, rehabilitated, released, rescued again—before eventually finding a forever home at the American Eagle Foundation.
On April 24, 2014, the American Eagle Foundation released a one-year-old male Bald Eagle “Winfield” back into the wild.
“By itself, it’s a great, yet challenging, success story. We love seeing an eagle fly free again after being rehabilitated. This particular case, however, comes with an extremely amazing backstory that began in Alaska,” said AEF Founder and President Al Cecere.
Live long and prosper, eaglets. We wish you Godspeed and safe journeys.
Tens of thousands of people watched with joy and anticipation as the AEF’s high definition video cams streamed every minute of the birth of baby eaglets, Samson (Dec. 23, 2013) and Delilah (Dec. 20, 2013).
Since Tennessee’s Bald Eagle recovery efforts began in 1980, strategic partnerships have been crucial to accomplishing Bald Eagle conservation goals. Steve Ward, Manager of the Radnor Lake State Natural Area of Nashville, TN, recently invited the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) to partner with Radnor Lake this coming year to update their Bald Eagle display and to finalize the design of Radnor’s Bald Eagle aviary, which is already under construction and is expected to open in Spring of 2014.
On December 9th, Al appeared on Fox News to discuss the ramifications of this extension, stating: “I think this is appalling and outrageous. I don’t think this is good conservation policy. I think this is a lot of politics, and, believe me, I educate people on both sides of the aisle. I’ve been saving eagles for nearly 30 years. It took over 30 years to bring the Bald Eagle back from the brink of extinction.
In November 2013, the American Eagle Foundation announced the winners of its 2014 nationwide Bald Eagle project grants. AEF awarded $99,986 for projects within the grant limit of $100,000 for 2014. The following 8 winning projects are listed alphabetically (by lead agency), with most having multiple partners and cooperators:
On November 4, 2013, the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to “catch up” all the eagles inside Dollywood’s “Eagle Mountain Sanctuary” educational exhibit to perform annual physicals by University of Tennessee veterinarians and veterinary students. Also, the eagle nests were refurbished and grounds were cleaned inside the aviary in preparation for another season.
For the first time ever, the American Eagle Foundation placed satellite transmitters on two 13-week-old eaglets, Destiny & Thunderbird in order to document their travels.
In a small, tucked away corner of Sevier County near one of the most popular amusement parks in the country, a group of dedicated workers is helping our national symbol – the Bald Eagle.
On November 28, 2012, Al Cecere, Founder and President of the American Eagle Foundation, was honored on the GAC national cable network’s Great American Heroes TV show hosted by country music artist Trace Adkins. Al was recognized for his 30 years of dedication and accomplishments contributing to the rebound of our National Symbol, the Bald Eagle, through his passionate work at the AEF.
‘Volunteer,’ the bald eagle who escaped from Dollywood more than three weeks ago, is recovering from his adventures. He may not be able to talk about his experiences, but his body tells at least part of the tale. He was a bit dehydrated and probably weighs a bit less, but so far, his vet said he looks pretty good.
The American Eagle Foundation (AEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Contributions to the American Eagle Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
The AEF's tax identification number is 58-1652023.
Background photo ©Byron Jorjorian