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Wildlife shelter releases eagle at Bloedel Reserve
To celebrate the 77th anniversary of National Wildlife Week, the West Sound Wildlife Shelter released a bald eagle Tuesday at the Bloedel Reserve.
Ed Moydell, executive director of the Bloedel Reserve, was given the opportunity to hold the bald eagle and release her the very moment her hood was removed.
The eagle was the third to be released in as many months.
The Bainbridge Island-based shelter sent a bald eagle back to the wild last month off the deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark after the vessel sailed to Anderson Island. And in January, workers from the shelter set free another bald eagle that had finally healed from a fight with another eagle.
The eagle released earlier this week came to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter in September with injuries from a fight with another eagle in Burien, shelter officials said.
The 17-year-old female eagle was first treated at PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood and transferred to the Bainbridge shelter for flight conditioning and an evaluation to be sure the eagle would be able to fly well enough to survive.
According to experts at the shelter, eagles and other raptors are flying athletes and need to be in top condition in order to survive after release.
Many raptors have come to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter following medical treatment elsewhere to be conditioned utilizing the facility's C. Keith Birkenfield flight enclosure located on the shelter property. The state-of-the-art flight enclosure and the waterfowl enclosure were both constructed on the shelter property as part of the Take Flight Campaign in 2009.