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NORFOLK, VA BOTANICAL GARDENS EAGLE FAMILY

Created about 3 years ago

Description: Images of a magnificent eagle parents that successfully raised 19 eaglets to fly off to stake their own territory. The 3 eaglets scheduled to fledge in June, just lost their mother suddenly 4-26-2011 - struck and killed by a commuter plane at the Norfolk International Airport. Ironically, her first mate was killed there approx 1 year after they raised their first clutch of eaglets. Dad is a a wonderful father but cannot provide the vast amounts of food now needed for readiness in fledging and protect the eaglets from prey at the same time (large snakes and, in particular, osprey). The very difficult decision was made to remove them to the Virginia Wildlife Center in Waynesboro, VA where they have their own enclosure and older eagles learning to fledge, adacent to their housing. They have grown enormously in < 1 week and their "big clown feet and talong" are no longer hindering their balance as much as last week. Their pinfeathers are still coming in. The first 2 eaglets hatched are F and the 3rd is M. Females have a good 10 lbs on the male and a longer wing span... necessary for fully protectecting the eaglets from rain, wind, cold... we call it her "mombrella". This is the family in pictures. One eagle, Camellia is my adopted eagle and has a satellite transmitter... he made a bad and very embarrassing landing recently. The Norfolkl eaglets have been banded. A Native American Ceremony honoring the female was held today at the NBG. Her remains (she was about 15 but had a good 30-40 years left) will go to a repository in Colorado which has only eagle remains and the only persons allowed to possess even an Eagle Feather are Native Americans. It's a Federal Law.

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