It is normally particular to see a rehabilitated eagle just take to the sky. And for Anne Richardson, Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia, the launch of a significantly resilient bald eagle at Rappahannock River Valley Countrywide Wildlife Refuge this thirty day period was particularly significant. Her tribe has robust connections to both of those eagles and the location.

Patient 21-1023 was the sufferer of a tornado. A storm wrecked its nest just before the fowl experienced fledged. Julie Wobig, a wildlife volunteer from Williamsburg, drove to Northumberland County the working day soon after the storm to seem for survivors. There experienced been two chicks in the nest. Wobig swiftly located 1 chicken.

It experienced severe accidents and did not survive. Wobig discovered client 21-1023 on her second day of hunting. Given that the bird was wounded, it was taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) for therapy. There, the hen was taken care of for storm injuries and for lead poisoning, which is common in that area. Because eagles will scavenge other animals, they are susceptible to poisoning from guide ingested from fishing deal with and guide shot from shotguns. Just after procedure, and some indoor flying observe with other eagles, it was time for this resilient eagle to be set free.

The launch took put at Fones Cliffs, inside the refuge. Chief Richardson attended, as the refuge sits on land that was after Rappahannock Tribe territory. When Captain John Smith explored the region in 1608, he uncovered 14 villages along the north facet of the river. According to Richardson, “We have identified ceremonial quartz crystals at this spot, indicating it was a position of religious importance to the tribe.” Her folks imagine that eagles are messengers from the creator.

Richardson did not understand how considerably she would be moved by the occasion. “Our tribe occupied that land,” she claimed. “When that bird unfold its 6-foot wingspan, and lifted off, you could feeling its independence. It had returned. It is like our tribe had paralleled the lifetime of this eagle. We experienced been hurt and almost produced extinct. Now we have arrive again, and we even have a woman chief, like this impressive female eagle. The eagle arrived back again and we have occur back.”

Rappahannock River Valley Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is an perfect site for releasing eagles that have experienced from guide poisoning. Lots of hunters in the space voluntarily use non-harmful shot, and upcoming polices will forbid the use of guide shot during managed hunts in the refuge. For this eagle, it meant becoming introduced just 20 miles from its initial nest. You can locate out a lot more about the WCV at wildlifecenter.org, and the tribe at rappahannocktribe.org.

-Kendall Osborne