Today was a big day in this young eagle’s life. We’ve been so busy, none of us realized that today was the one-year anniversary of Decorah’s hatch. Seldom do we know this much about our education birds.
In addition, Terrie was at SOAR working on her “eagle hours.” (See the start of this training info where the requirements for working with an education eagle are explained.) The biggest news of today was that Decorah is now wearing eagle anklets and jesses! Kay got Decorah out of his room and weighed him — 8 pounds. Once again, new tail feathers are coming in…
Terrie reported that, “Kay very carefully handed Decorah to me so I could hold him still while she put anklets and jesses on. First Kay hooded him; he fought very hard when she did this. Kay almost put a leash on him to see how he would do on the fist but decided to try that another day. She let me carry him back to his room, a bit awkward and I had to stop twice to make sure I had a good grip on him. As Kay said, it’s way different than holding a red-tail!” Seems that Decorah is quite strong and a bit feisty.
Both Kay and Terrie proclaim the day a success (no one was hurt!). Decorah was both trainer and trainee! With the size of this eagle, proper technique is very important. Kay is very particular in how her sub-permittees handle any bird — you learn the proper technique with the smaller raptors and carry those skills through as you work with larger and larger birds.
Terrie will try to go back out to SOAR soon to try Decorah on the fist or at least have Kay try him on the fist. He will be very unsteady since he can’t open his right wing. Kay has no idea if the tail feathers that are growing in will stay.