Back in May, a family of eagles caught the attention of Bangor residents and bird watchers across the state when two adults fell ill and two eaglets were rescued from their nest.
The male adult was electrocuted after flying into a power line, while the female adult was treated at Avian Haven in Freedom, and eventually released into the wild. Both adults had ingested a toxin, biologists said.
The latest chapter of the eagle saga will play out on Friday, when the two eaglets — both of which have also been rehabilitated at Avian Haven — are released in Augusta.
Erynn Call, a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said in an email that the owners of Avian Have have determined that the eaglets are both ready to embark upon a new journey in the wild.
“This is the time of year when young eagles disperse across the state and find areas of abundant food,” Call explained. “Consequently, we’ve decided there is little value in returning the eagles to Bangor and instead will release them along the Kennebec River where food resources are known to be plentiful.”
Call said eaglets would face more severe challenges if released near Bangor.
“This will give these birds a jumpstart and lessen the chances of altercations with other eagles over limited resources,” she wrote. “There have been more eagle deaths and injuries along the Penobscot as compared to the Kennebec, where we know many birds congregate, based on telemetry data and direct observations.
“We suspect the Kennebec River, because of dam removals and better connectivity for fishes, provides better eagle foraging opportunities as opposed to the Penobscot,” she wrote. “It is our hope with the recent removal of the two lowermost dams on the Penobscot, that fish populations and the entire river food web within this watershed will rebound.”
The BDN will be on scene for the release and we’ll share photos, a video and a story as soon as possible Friday afternoon. Stay tuned!