2/19/13 UPDATE: The Golden Eagle Family is doing well. Heritage is still with us and is co-habitating well with Cherokee and Canyon even as a sub-adult. Yesterday we watched as Cherokee and even Canyon were "showing" Heritage how to place sticks properly in the nest - check out the Nest Building videos to watch! Nest building seems to be every eagle's FAVORITE enrichment activity, our Bald Eagles are also nest building and we suspect that they will once again diligently incubate a rock again this year, they are very good rock parents!
10/5/12 UPDATE: Sorry for the delay in updates everyone! Got some calls requesting updates, have answered some on FB - the hard thing about being not for profit is not having enough staff to do everything and at the end of the day we make sure our animals are taken care of first, and then we work on everything else. Anyway - the Golden Eagle Family is doing great. We are still waiting on the USFWS to get all of the technical stuff done for transferring the eaglet to St Louis. You might not see Heritage in the video all the time as we've been giving him/her some time in the flight cage to get some exercise with those beautiful wings while we wait.
Want to help Canyon and Cherokee as they raise their second chick? Why not adopt them? All money raised from our adoption program goes to the care of the amazing animals that call Hawk Creek Home! For more info visit our online store: http://www.hawkcreek.org/whitepages/store?page=shop.browse&category_id=52 Thank you for supporting our Golden Eagle Family!
The Parents: Canyon a 20 year old male golden eagle was hit by a plane in Utah. Cherokee, the female eagle is over 40 years old and is believed to have been hit by a car. Both are non-releasable and have spent most of their lives in captivity.
2012 Update: Hawk Creek’s Golden Eagle Legacy flew into her new life in the wild on January 15, 2012, but like her name, she leaves behind her a bequest of knowledge, inspiration and understanding for the community and friends of Hawk Creek. Hatched at Hawk Creek in May 2011 to captive golden eagle parents Cherokee and Canyon, Legacy was a wonderful surprise and her arrival was an amazing and inspiring event. Throughout the summer, she grew from a chirping, fluffy white chick to an awkward teenager. All too soon it was time to prepare Legacy for her mature life in the wild. In September 2011, Hawk Creek staff drove Legacy to the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri, for her version of eagle college so she could gain more strength for flight and hunting prowess. After proving her skills by hunting live prey, our very large golden eagle was deemed ready for release. We always knew that Legacy was a phenomenal example of raw power, just like her mother, and it was proved when the USFWS attempted to put a leg band on her—only to discover that she was so large the largest band that they make for eagles didn’t fit her powerful legs! A small crowd gathered in a sunny field in January to witness Legacy's launch, cameras ready to record the event. Dr. Stacey Schaeffer, a veterinarian at the sanctuary, held Legacy tightly before boosting her into flight, and the assembly smiled and cheered her on as they watched her rise powerfully toward the distant tree line, never looking back, prepared for her new wild life. At Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, we were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness the marvel of Legacy’s arrival and young life. We are thrilled to announce that if you missed being a part of Legacy’s story, this year Cherokee and Canyon have done it again! They are currently raising her sibling that hatched May 10, 2012! Make sure you follow our new chick’s journey this summer. These unexpected wonders reinforce our connection to all wildlife, and remind us of the importance of our mission to educate our children about their role in the stewardship of the planet.
Throughout Legacy’s early life, Hawk Creek worked in conjunction with the World Bird Sanctuary, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
LEGACY'S STORY Golden Eaglet, 2011: Never say never – this is a lesson that working at Hawk Creek teaches you with utmost clarity. Most of us that have been here awhile are hardly ever “surprised” by the things that happen here, we’ve come to expect the unexpected. Even our most unflappable staff however was struck speechless at our most recent surprise – a golden eagle chick! The chick was hatched by our two resident golden eagles Cherokee and Canyon, and was unexpected to say the least! Cherokee is over 40 years old and has never laid eggs until 2009 when we moved her to our newly built Walk With the Eagles™ enclosure – she obviously approved of her new home! Due to her advanced age and the fact that we frequently take both eagles offsite for educational programs we weren’t surprised when her 2009 and 2010 clutches were infertile and we assumed the same would hold true for this year’s eggs. However it seems that Cherokee had other plans and she proved us wrong with the hatching of one healthy eaglet in May 2011. The staff was speechless upon discovering the tiny chick, and many were moved to tears as we witnessed the formidable Cherokee balling up her powerful talons to avoid accidently hurting the chick as she walked on the nest and the way she gently fed the chick the tiniest pieces of meat. Canyon, the 20 year old male, has been diligently protecting his family and bringing them food, however Cherokee has decided that he isn’t allowed to sit on the chick to keep it warm so he is only allowed to do guard duty! (Canyon did split the incubation time.) The chick will remain with its parents until its full grown, in August a staff member will drive the eaglet to the World Bird Sanctuary where it will join another young eagle for conditioning before being released during fall migration. Before release both chicks will be fitted with a USFWS band. Even though Cherokee and Canyon can no longer fly wild due to their injuries, their chick will soon be soaring free across our skies!