Renourished eagles take flight into the wild
A rehabilitated bald eagle flies into the wild at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, released by Nancy Stanton of Quilcene. -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Peninsula Daily News
SEQUIM –– Dozens cheered as a pair of juvenile bald eagles, rehabilitated after being found starving this summer, were released into the wild of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge over the weekend.
One bird was found in the wild by an Iraq War veteran fishing on the Quilcene River, the other by a Nordland couple who spotted the sickly eagle in their backyard.
They were nursed back to health by Cindy Daily of the nonprofit Discovery Bay Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center, who worked with the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center in Sequim and the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island to get the birds to eat again, rid them of parasites and train them to fly and hunt in the wild.
“It was a tremendous effort,” Daily said.
West Sound officials brought the eagles to the Dungeness refuge for Saturday's release in giant pet cages.
The first eagle was released by Nancy Stanton, who found one of the eagles in the rear yard of her and husband Richard's home on Marrowstone Island on July 30.
The other then took flight from Nathan Delapp, the Marine veteran who found the eagle while fishing in the Quilcene River on Aug. 17.
Delapp threw his T-shirt over the bird and carried it 3 miles back to his car to meet Daily.
“I can't believe how big he really was,” Delapp said Saturday after seeing the bird's wingspan when it was released.
Daily figured that the birds left their nest too early and then were abandoned by their mothers, who cared for the young eagles who stayed in the nest.
Anyone coming into contact with an injured bird can phone Daily at 360-379-0802, who then will provide further instructions for care.
Those further west on the Peninsula should phone the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center at 360-681-2283.
For West Sound Wildlife information, phone 206-855-9057
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 22. 2013 6:22PM