Category Archives: Notes

eagle beak

Beak Issues

SOAR has admitted two bald eagles in 2019 that have beak damage. Did you know that like our fingernails, the outer portion of a bird’s beak is made of keratin and is always growing. The keratin covers the bony structure of the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). The portion of the beak nearest

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D32

Still busy here, a few updates

Some businesses have peak busy times and slow times. The business of wildlife rehabilitation is a constant busy. (long post warning… but you’ll want to read clear to the end) Thirty raptors were admitted to SOAR from 1 September to 4 October 2019. The admits included 9 bald eagles, 3 barred owls, 1 broad-winged hawk,

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tree clearing

Food Storage Building

Construction projects always take longer than anticipated! Progress is being made on the much-needed food storage building at SOAR. The location for the food shed has been cleared of overhanging trees. The location leveled and graveled. A 12′ x 28′ storage building was brought in. The interior insulation and wall covering are about complete! Next

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Change of scenery

The hatch-year 2019 bald eagles in the nursery have moved to the 20’x60’ flight pen! D33, DN9, Allamakee, and Calmar moved on 23 July and can now “start their engines” so to speak. This flight pen is large enough to allow for those necessary short flights that build muscle, stamina, and skill in landing. (Would

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juvenile bald eagle before release

Q&A: raptor admits, releases, and more

When is SOAR going to release the Decorah area eaglets? How does SOAR evaluate patients for release? How do these birds fit back into the environment? First, we should talk about how sick and injured raptors get to SOAR! SOAR receives the injured birds (usually after several phone calls, text messages, and photos to assess

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HY18 bald eagle

Determining Gender in Bald Eagles

As part of ongoing data collection looking at bald eagles and lead exposure in birds admitted to wildlife rehabilitators in Iowa, SOAR started collecting beak depth measurements. A research paper from Garcelon et al (Journal of Wildlife Management 49(3):1985) is the basis for SOAR to use beak depth measurement for a gender determination. The Garcelon

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HY19 RTH

Black flies once again torment

Black flies are also called buffalo gnats because the very tiny fly (5-15 mm) has a humped thoracic region that might look like the hump on a buffalo / bison. Black flies are true flies (Order Diptera) and classified in the family Simuliidae. I learned, during the 2018 black fly season, from a University of

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D32

An update on D32

What an eventful week! On Saturday, the other eaglet – D32 that was rescued on Friday 7 June – from the nest near the Decorah Fish Hatchery was transported to SOAR. D32 had excellent care on Friday evening and Saturday morning from Raptor Resource Project board member and veterinarian Laura. D32 spent several days evading

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