The bald eagle is perhaps the most majestic and beautiful creatures that has ever taken to the skies. Its elegance and glory knows no ends. That is why in 1782 it was named the national bird for the United States of America. For all of the majesty that the bald eagle brings to the nation at large, every now and then even they need some help along the way, especially if an injury occurs. That is exactly what happened this past Saturday, May 27th when the Raptor Center at Auburn University released a newly healed eagle back into the wild at Pyne Road Park.
The Southeastern Raptor Center at Auburn University is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of raptors all across the southeast. They take in injured birds, rehabilitate them to survive once again, and then when the time is right, release them back into the wild. They even have birds that cannot survive anymore in the wild that will permanently stay with the center. This is a very important task, as many of these birds are endangered and must be cared for and preserved for many years to come. They did just this at the ceremony this past Saturday afternoon.
The old baseball field section of Pyne Road Park was packed that afternoon, with over 100 people in attendance. There were representivies from the Raptor Center, the DNR, and the Army Corps of Engineers. These men gave an informative and enlightening presentation on the bald eagle, even going into detail on how many nests are active currently in the state, a number which hits over 200 nests. In fact, the bald eagle population is doing well in Georgia, with numbers hitting an all time high this year.
This particular eagle was discovered, hurt, in South Georgia back in the beginning of the year by a DNR officer. The raptor center was called in to retrieve the animal. After they received the bird, they went through months of rehabilitation. After it was determined that there was no permanent damage to the bird and its injuries were mainly soft tissue damage, it was treated back to health. That afternoon, the bird was retrieved from the car and released back into the wild, where it soared majestically over the lake, with parents, kids, and visitors all alike watched it fade away over the horizon.