Injured golden eagle finds home in Yellowstone Park gateway community

A golden eagle is spotted in the snow north of Powell, Wyo., east of Yellowstone National Park. (photo ©Rob Koelling — click to enlarge)

A golden eagle is spotted in the snow north of Powell, Wyo., east of Yellowstone National Park. (photo ©Rob Koelling – click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

A golden eagle wounded along a Wyoming highway has found a new home at the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park, and her caretakers are asking for help in naming the bird.

The bird joins four other raptors already in captivity at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s Yellowstone Raptor Experience in Cody, Wyo. The educational program will use the golden eagle and a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl and a turkey vulture to educate visitors in live programs.

The female adult golden eagle had been feeding on road kill along Interstate 90 in northeastern Wyoming when she was hit by a vehicle, according to a statement released by the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

She was taken to a bird rehabilitation center in Gillette, Wyo., but had suffered irreversible muscle damage that will prevent her from flying well enough to survive in the wild.

“We are thrilled at this opportunity, and very mindful of the responsibility we are granted with this bird,” said Charles Preston, curator of the center’s Draper Museum of Natural History.

“She will be a powerful messenger for our mission to connect people with nature. She embodies great cultural significance, and she represents an especially sacred trust for our institution,” Draper said.

The center is sponsoring a contest on its website to name the eagle, with the winner receiving an autographed copy of Preston’s book, Golden Eagle: Sovereign of the Skies.

“The birds we care for are wild animals, not pets, and we strive to represent them as such,” said Assistant Curator Melissa Hill, who manages the raptor project.

Hill said the program has “ongoing raptor field research, so our new golden eagle becomes a direct connection to our long-term scientific research.”

Golden eagles can live for up to 40 years in captivity, and are among the most powerful birds of prey in North America. Their wingspan can measure up to eight feet. While they most often feed on rabbits and prey of similar size, they have been known to kill antelope or deer.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected].

 

Click here to enter our naming contest!

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