Winter eagle releases
Each winter when the weather turns cold and the local rivers and lakes start to freeze, bald eagles congregate in areas that still have open waters. Some of these locations are reliable from year to year, including along the Mississippi River at Colvill Park in Redwing, Minnesota. Each year, dozens of juvenile and adult eagles gather at this spot along the river where they are still able to hunt for fish.
This benefits us and our clinic patients, as each year we receive many young eagles who were injured during the first year of their life, sometimes even while they are in the nest. These birds miss out on the opportunity to learn from their parents and hone their hunting skills. Thankfully this winter gathering of eagles gives these young raptors a second opportunity to learn these essential skills. They can watch and learn from the adults along the river, or they can steal from the other birds. Adult bald eagles are often very tolerant of juveniles and will defer to them when they try to steal food. This gives these young birds a safety net as they learn to take care of themselves once returned to the wild.