Thank you to all who entered the contest to name our new bald eagle
On May 11, 2016, this female bald eagle arrived at the Center of the West to join our Draper Museum Raptor Experience. At just three years old, she does not yet have the pure white head and tail feathers that bald eagles are known for, but in another two to three years she will have her adult feathers.
Our bald eagle resides in an enclosure in our Braun Garden and will be on exhibit year-round, helping us provide quality educational programming along with our other birds. We conducted a naming contest for this beautiful boy…
And the winning name is: Jade
Thank you to all 205 folks—including several staff members—who submitted entries to our Bald Eagle Naming Contest. Our judges have completed their deliberations and selected the name Jade for our Draper Museum Raptor Experience’s female bald eagle
Why we chose this name: Jade is the state gemstone for Wyoming, both beautiful and valuable, and our bald eagle is certainly both beautiful and valuable as well. He is truly a gem to us and to the many visitors who are delighted and moved to visit him in our Braun Garden and know she is part of our program. Since he cannot live in the wild, having her here with us, receiving the best of care and helping us teach those who see him about bald eagles specifically and raptors in general, is the next best thing.
If you haven’t met Jade yet, we invite you to visit him in her exhibit enclosure in the Braun Garden, and join our mobile perches in the garden at 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. any day for “Eagle Encounter” to get to know him better.
As with all the birds in our program, this bald eagle suffered an injury that makes it impossible for him to ever be released back into the wild. He suffered permanent damage to her right wing (we believe he was hit by a vehicle but it’s impossible to know for certain). Visitors may notice her flying very short distances within his enclosure, but he cannot fly well enough to be on her own.
He was treated for his injuries and cared for by the Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) in Antigo, Wisconsin. REGI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to caring for injured or orphaned native bird species and public education on wildlife education issues. They treat between 600 and 800 avian patients annually.
We’re excited to have this bald eagle because:
- We now have a representative of both species of eagle (golden and bald) in North America.
- We can point out the differences between bald and golden eagles—a very common question at our programs—using live birds. These are very different species not closely related, yet they are often misidentified.
- As he is on exhibit year-round, guests who miss one of our scheduled raptor programs still have the opportunity to see a raptor up close.
- His addition helps us continue to provide quality educational programming without having to increase the burden on the birds that have been with us for years. Several of our birds average more than 350 educational program appearances annually!
A few fun facts about bald eagles:
- That majestic scream you hear in the movies when a bald eagle soars by? …that doesn’t belong to the eagle, that’s a red-tailed hawk! Bald eagles cackle instead.
- Bald eagles are partial migrants, meaning that not all of them move southward for the winter. Interestingly, some bald eagles that spend the breeding season in their southern range move northward when the breeding season is over.
- Bald eagles build massive nests. Because they reuse nests for many years and continue to add nesting material each year, a bald eagle nest can be ten feet high!
- There was once a bounty on bald eagles in Alaska because it was believed that they competed directly with anglers. The bounty was eventually removed. Today, bald eagles are protected by state and federal laws.