BARRINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — Instead of throwing a bon voyage party for two orphaned American eaglets, rehabbers are making them work for their supper so they will be ready to return to the wild.
As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Dawn Keller, founder of the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, says the two baby eagles that were blown from their treetop nest in may will return to the wild in early November in Starved Rock State Park.
To prepare them for the change, they will be fed what they get in the wild.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
“Juveniles scavenge primarily in the first couple of years, so really what we want them to be able to do is find dead food, and so we’re trying to offer them a wide variety of food,” Keller said.
The assortment includes quail, mice and fish, and Keller is hiding the food within the eaglets’ enclosures so they will learn to scout around for nourishment.
“We want to hide the food, and make sure that they know how to find it,” she said.
The bald eaglets hatched on the grounds of the Mooseheart Children’s Home in Kane County, and survived a storm that tossed them from their nest about 80 feet up. But the eaglets’ parents rejected the new nest and stopped feeding them in the new place.
Keller says the eaglets’ release at Starved Rock will coincide with the return of migrating adults, which she is hoping will provide hunting examples for the Mooseheart Eagles who will be seven months old when they return to the wild.