Updates from SOAR
We have two updates from SOAR. To see video of DN9 and D33, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SOAR-Saving-Our-Avian-Resources-422229164528389/. To learn more about all of their patients, go to https://soarraptors.org/patients/.
New wrap, new roomie
Last week, D32 had his (this is still an educated guess on gender) wrap changed on the right leg. Why still a wrap? Just like a human who has had a broken leg bone, supportive material is still used for several weeks after the cast is removed (think walking boot). D32 still needs a bit of support as he moves about the 10×20’ enclosure. New roomie? Yes, he’s sharing quarters with our best “model eater,” education bald eagle – Decorah (FKA D20).
Releasing the eaglets
A soft-release at SOAR is still the plan for the hatch-year 2019 bald eagles once each is ready for release. Supportive care can be provided to the eaglets at SOAR. A soft-release is one where after the ready patient is used to eating and navigating in that flight pen, the hack window / door is then opened and the bird can leave when ready. This flight pen is then left empty, with the window open, and food available until Kay (SOAR executive director) is sure that the released birds are not returning. These birds can also indicate they are not ready by not leaving. Appropriate food (i.e. a roadkill deer) can also be left at the pond on the property and at a feeding station just outside the pen opening to give them an extra chance at getting food after they leave. A soft release is more like leaving the nest. The soft-release option with the new 20×60’ flight pen was included for just this reason.
Not only can SOAR provide supportive care, as needed, and is less stressful on the young eagles. Right now at the Decorah Hatchery there is an unrelated male observed at the nest. SOAR / Kay certainly does not want to put other eagles into that situation and have the eaglets get chased off.
If you’ve not read, check out these posts on the website:
Q&A: raptor admits, releases… https://soarraptors.org/…/qa-raptor-admits-releases-and-mo…/
Determining Gender in Bald Eagles… https://soarraptors.org/…/determining-gender-in-bald-eagles/