Spirit is a female Bald Eagle hatched in captivity at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1992. At seven weeks of age, she was sent to a Bald Eagle hacking project just outside Nashville. Hacking is the gradual release of a bird of prey into the wild from an artificial nesting tower. She was released at twelve weeks of age, but there were problems.
Although she was a full-sized eagle, ready to leave the nest, her first jump from the hacking tower was not very graceful and she suffered a hair-line fracture in her collarbone. She was immediately taken to the American Eagle Foundation (formerly the Foundation to Protect America's Eagles) for rehabilitation.
After the fracture had completely healed, she was once again released into the wild from the Nashville area hacking tower. This time, she would follow the hack tower attendant when she heard/saw him or her coming to feed the other eaglets still in the tower. Also, she landed in the yard of the people who lived next to the hack site. Spirit kept a close eye on their dog which was confined to a pen.
She eventually flew off and out of Tennessee. Weeks later, she was found sitting on a lady's trailer in Statesboro, Gerogia where she remained for three to four days. Georgia wildlife officials and a local falconer retrieved Spirit from the wild after she grabbed the lady's dog in the hindquarters. Spirit, simply defending herself, was on the ground at the time when the dog quickly ran up to her barking.
Spirit was found to be very hungry and getting weaker, so she was taken to the falconer's for temporary care and then later transferred to the AEF for rehabilitation.
After close observation during the rehabilitation period, Spirit was determined to be a human imprinted bird; she did not realize she was a bird, but rather thought of herself as a human. This phenomenon occurs during a period of time when the bird is still in the nest and learns its identity. Unfortunately, this leaves the bird non-releasable and unable to survive in the wild.
Spirit has been in the care of the American Eagle Foundation since January 22, 1992. In 2010 during her bi-annual physical, a cataract was found in her left eye. She had laser surgery and now once again she has sight in that eye. Her name is very appropriate,since she is probably the most "spirited" eagle living at the AEF facility. She is a demonstration of the beauty of our great nation's majestic symbol.
Spirit has been in the care of the American Eagle Foundation since January 22, 1992. In 1994, the staff of the AEF began training Spirit for educational programs. Spirit is a large thirteen-pound female. Her name is very appropriate since she is probably the most "spirited" eagle living at the AEF facility.
She is a demonstration of the beauty of our great nation's majestic symbol.
With A $250 Donation, You Can Adopt Spirit!