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Watkins' latest resident is a bald eagle

WATKINS GLEN—After just under five months of being in captivity for rehabilitation, the Department of Environmental Conservation released a bald eagle at Clute Park, Monday, April 13.
Mike Allen, DEC, released the eagle right on the water’s edge, saying there was a chance the eagle might not take off. The eagle, just over a year old, did fly though. However, it was not long before the eagle landed in Seneca Lake. Eventually floating to shore, she gave the DEC, Sheriff’s department and the Kindred Kingdoms Wildlife Rehabilitation staff a chase through the skate park. The eagle then made her way under the bridge and towards the marsh. By then the large crowd had mostly dispersed.
However, the eagle was attended that day by several children and even some area government representatives who wanted a closer look at the eagle.
The eagle was originally found Nov. 18 by Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Preston on County Line Road outside of Watkins Glen. With the help of Renee Hatch, animal control officer, the injured eagle was captured and given to Allen. Cheri Capparelli, a veterinarian for Rock Acres in Manlius, inspected the eagle and found she had suffered some tissue and muscle damage which prevented her from flying. The eagle was then given to Kindred Kingdoms in Pennellville, N.Y. The not-for-profit organization rehabilitates animals with only volunteers.
Jean Soprano, board of director member for Kindred Kingdoms, said at the eagle release that when the eagle came to them the tissue and muscle damage was in the right breast and wing. The eagle was always in enclosed spaces from when she was rescued to the day of the release. She started in a small indoor habitat, but eventually upgraded to a bigger outdoors habitat.
Soprano said the eagle was 11.56 lbs. when she was brought to them, and added she was probably still close to 12 lbs. Monday afternoon. Soprano explained the female bald eagle is usually bigger than the male of the species. Since she is still under five years old, though, she does not have the familiar white head people think of bald eagles having.
Allen explained she was released in Clute Park because eagles are fish eaters and Watkins Glen was even where the eagle’s parents were from. However, the eagle released was born on the northern end of Cayuga Lake. He explained the DEC did not release her there because she would not be welcome. Allen said that once eagle parents have a new nest full of eggs, the previous generation of eaglets are kicked out Her parents’ nest already had new eggs. The eagle should not be lonely though, he added; there are other eagles in the area.

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