On Saturday, the Skegemog Raptor Center will be hosting their first in-person bird release.
“When we’re able to give a bird a second chance, it’s a really good feeling,” said Skegemog Raptor Center Executive Director James Manley.
The center has had the bald eagle in its care since late July.
“We believe she was engaged in a territorial fight with another eagle based on the injuries,” Manley said. “Her wing was very inflamed and also very infected.”
The rehabilitation center is still new to the grand traverse county community. This will be the center’s fourth bird release.
“As we move forward we’re hoping to do a public center where we’ll also display birds and education birds,” Manley said.
Manley says a lot goes into raptor rehabilitation, including an exercise called conditioning.
“We have to tether a bird and then we have to get them in top physical shape and involves us going out into a field and flying them,” he said.”The first couple are usually a little shaky depending on how long the bird has been injured, and then we just slowly build up the amount of flights we do and how much tension we’re putting in the line.”
Manley says the releases are always a great experience for the public.
“We really like to offer that to the public so that they can enjoy it, especially the kids,” he said. “It gives them a chance to just see the wildlife and be able to engage in nature.”