Eaglets preparing for release from hack tower

Eaglets preparing for release from hack tower

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 2 at 8:45 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Three eaglets have been living in a hack tower for several weeks now and it’s almost time for staff to open the doors.


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The eaglets are living in a 30-foot tall hack tower, or a tree fort as some call it.  They’re learning how to survive on their own.

There are three eaglets in the hack tower.  One eaglet hatched at the Carolina Raptor Center early March to parents Savannah and Derek.  DNA testing indicated the eaglet is a female and was named Kinsey.

The other two eaglets were rescued and are about the same age.  They have not been DNA tested.  Officials at the Carolina Raptor Center hope all three will all be able to learn to fly together.

One of the eaglets has been flapping its wings a lot lately.

“This is what they do to build up flight muscles in preparation for fledging, when they leave the nest,” said Michele Miller Houck of CRC.  “They seem to be exercising daily, which indicates that they are getting more and more ready to be released.”

After careful evaluation by CRC staff, the doors will open to the hack tower.  But don’t expect the eaglets to take flight right away. 

“The procedure is to open the doors before dawn one day so that they won’t get spooked and leave,” Houck said.

Sooner or later the eaglets will realize the doors are open and they will venture to an outside perch.

They might take short flights, but the hope is that they will come back to be fed every day for about a week as the staff continues to feed them.

The three eaglets are getting fed about 1500 grams of fish a day.

“There doesn’t seem to be much leftover every day and the smaller Kinsey now has all her feathers so it is hard to tell them apart,” Houck said.

The birds were banded on April 26 so essentially no additional human contact is needed before they are released.
 

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