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The Eagle Has Landed at Cunningham Falls State Park!
Bald eagle from Alaska is latest addition to Scales & Tales program
THURMONT— It’s an incredible story of survival and determination. A 6-year-old bald eagle from the Juneau Raptor Center in Alaska has found her way to Western Maryland after having been hit by a car, rehabilitated, and then released back into the wild only to have her wing clipped by an airplane, leaving her unable to fly. But her story has a happy ending as this majestic symbol of America has become the newest addition to the Scales & Tales program at Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick County.
“It’s taken us six months to secure this amazing bird, but the wait as been well worth it; she’s really quite a survivor,” said Mark Spurrier, Scales & Tales Coordinator for the park. “As part of the Scales & Tales program, she will be an ambassador for bald eagles in Maryland and help educate the public on her species, its status in the state and its outlook for the future.”
The eagle has a 6-foot wingspan, weighs about 20 pounds and is nearly 3 feet tall from head to tail. Bald eagles from Alaska and points north are roughly 20 to 30 percent larger than those that reside in Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal waters. There are currently 383 pairs of nesting bald eagles in Maryland.
Scales & Tales is an environmental education program that gives citizens a chance to experience nature up close. Wildlife interpreters give presentations that can be adapted for all ages, and encourage public stewardship and appreciation for Maryland state forests and parks. Animals in the program are not named so that citizens think of them as wildlife rather than pets. None of the animals in the Scales & Tales program are able to be released back into the wild.
Funding from Soldiers Delight Conservation, Inc./Scales & Tales Fund and The Friends of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks, Inc. covered the cost of transporting the eagle from Juneau to Thurmont.
The Juneau Raptor Center (JRC) is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the treatment, rehabilitation and release of injured or sick wild birds. In 2004, 235 birds received care from the center. This included over 40 different species of birds, many of them bald eagles. In addition to the new eagle in Thurmont, the JRC successfully placed another non-releasable eagle in Ojai, Calif.
A service charge is required for Scales & Tales programs and displays. For reservations or more information about Scales & Tales including programs involving the new bald eagle at Cunningham Falls State Park, contact the park directly at 301-271-3676 or email@example.com or visit DNR Online, http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/snt.html.
March 7, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov