Palm Coast, FL – A rehabilitated male eaglet, about 11 to 12 weeks old, was released at Princess Place Preserve county park in Palm Coast on Friday, and another eaglet took her first flight at the park on Saturday.
The male eaglet was found in Alachua County on March 31. He was taken to the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine and later transferred to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. “He was thin and full of parasites,” Shawnlei Breeding, EagleWatch Program Coordinator explains. “We knew there was a fledgling here about the same age, which is ideal.”
“We did find the newly released male about a half mile from the release site (on Saturday), high in a pine near the Intracoastal,” said Joe Dziak, with the Audubon EagleWatch Program. “He looked just fine – just getting a lay of the land around the preserve.” Dziak and his wife Judie have been monitoring the Princess Place Preserve bald eagles’ nest for two decades as part of the Audubon EagleWatch Program.
The male eaglet has been DNA tested to confirm that it is male, and officials are awaiting confirmation of the results. The Dziaks said they hoped that when the male was released, the other eaglet, believed to be female, would be encouraged to take flight. She is about 13 weeks old, and the average time for an eaglet’s first flight is 10-12 weeks.
The presumed female eaglet, born at Princess Place, is larger than the male, and the female eaglets are generally larger than the males, according to Julie Murphy, Public Information Officer for Flagler County. “She had been branching, so she had been going into some of the branches above the nest and flapping her wings a little bit, but she hadn’t flown yet,” says Murphy. “She took her first flight on Saturday.”
In featured photo: Dziak holds the male eaglet.
Photos courtesy Flagler County Community Information.
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