Rehabilitated Eagles Soar at Missouri Capitol

1 decade 3 years 3 days ago Monday, December 05 2005 Dec 5, 2005 Monday, December 05, 2005 2:54:16 PM CST December 05, 2005 in News

The World Bird Sanctuary released the birds Friday at the Capitol.

"You know, taking about six months. But they're both in good shape. They're both younger birds," said Walter Crawford, executive director of the sanctuary.

After the young eagles recovered from bullet wounds, the sanctuary determined they were healthy enough to return to the wild.

Crawford says his organization will do whatever it takes to save what used to be an endangered species.

"Wow, this is a magnificent creature. Let's protect it," he said.

Now Missouri has the second-largest winter population of bald eagles.

"My way of returning our nation's symbol to the sky. Take a bird out and people will stop," added Crawford.

"Beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous, just gorgeous," said spectator Scott Langston. "It was fantastic."

The sanctuary treats 300-400 birds a year, at an average cost of $500 per bird.

Crawford said this is the perfect release spot, "State Capitol here and bald eagle here."

But this spot along the Missouri River also is one of the bird's natural habitats.

The World Bird Sanctuary says there are approximately 6,000 recorded bald eagles in Missouri. About 30 visitors watched Friday's release.

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