Healthy bald eagle to be released Nov. 4 at Walker Lake in Jasper

Published: November 01, 2017
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A young, healthy bald eagle will be released back into the wild Saturday, Nov. 4, at Walker County Lake in Jasper, Alabama, by the Southeastern Raptor Center.

The noon release will be held at the Walker County Public Fishing Lake, an Alabama Birding Trails Site, which has had eagles nesting on it. The address is 4227 Walker County Lake Road, Jasper, AL 35501.

The raptor, case No. 2017-132, was delivered to the Southeastern Raptor Center, a division of the College of Veterinary Medicine, on June 11, and diagnosed with a “fracture of the right metacarpus,” said Dr. Seth Oster, an avian veterinarian. “It was also emaciated, dehydrated and covered in parasites.”

Center staff and volunteers rehabilitated the raptor and ensured that it is healthy to survive on its own in the wild.

The release, coordinated by the Southeastern Raptor Center, is in conjunction with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Center volunteer James Caglianon, a senior double major at Auburn University, will release the eagle as a thank you for his work at the center.

“I started volunteering in March 2015 after I heard about it from a classmate during a field trip for my class at the time,” he said. “It sounded exactly like what I wanted to do as I’ve always loved birds, especially raptors, and used to see them in the wild a lot growing up in rural Pennsylvania.”

The double major in the College of Science and Mathematics who plans to apply to enroll in veterinary medicine following graduation, said “my love of raptors, my passion for nature and conservation, and my interest in exotic animal medicine all intersected perfectly at the SRC.”

As a volunteer, Caglianon does a little of everything. “At some point or another I’ve done all of the various volunteer responsibilities such as preparing food, cleaning the aviaries as well as the enclosures of the inpatient birds, assisting with flight evaluations, and generally making sure everything stays in good shape and runs smoothly.

“My job can range from simply making sure the treatment room is properly stocked all the way to holding birds for the doctors to examine and treat,” he added. “I also train all the incoming volunteers to make sure they know the proper and safe way to do their jobs.

“I help the education department with their ticket booth for Football, Fans, and Feathers show every Friday before home games. Basically I help out with anything and everything they need.”

A complete record of the eagle’s care can be found online.

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