At rest: This bald eagle is one of several members of an eagle family that is frequently seen in the Williams area. He rests in a snag Jan. 12, as he views the world from an eagle’s point of a view.
“Both of these birds needed attention and care,” says Susan MacVean, a biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The male bird was found six months ago, after he was hit by a car on Highway 64 between Williams and the Grand Canyon. Bald eagles often eat other animals that have been run over by cars, and biologists believe the eagle may have been in the road for that reason. This particular bird had an identifying band on its leg, which showed that it came from an area near Yellowstone Park.
The female bird did not have any injuries, when she was picked up along Highway 180 about a year ago. She appeared sick and was treated for several possible illnesses.
On Dec. 17, both birds were released into the wild by Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists and the rehabilitator who cared for them. The release took place on Anderson Mesa southeast of Flagstaff.
“The release went well,” says MacVean, “The birds appeared healthy and ready to be back in the wild.”
Every winter, hundreds of bald eagles migrate south from the northern United States and Canada to warmer climates. People in the Flagstaff area may spot eagles in several places, including near Mormon Lake and at Upper and Lower Lake Mary. Eagles can also be found at several lakes in and around Williams.
“This time of year, remember to be on the lookout for these birds on our roadways,” says MacVean. “Be ready to stop, honk the horn, and give the birds an opportunity to fly away.”
Those who would like to learn more about eagles can attend the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s annual bald eagle workshop, which is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 26. Call the department’s Flagstaff office at (928) 774-5045 for more information.