Tuesday, November 18 2008 @ 03:27 AM EST
Contributed by: jwnix
The Edmond Sun
EDMOND November 17, 2008 11:27 pm
— Can bald eagles swim? For more than 70 people who attended WildCare Foundation’s eagle release on Saturday at Arcadia Lake, that became the only question that mattered as they watched an 18-month-old eaglet soar into the sky, circle above the lake and land on the water.
Looking through binoculars and high-powered camera lenses, participants reported seeing the eaglet’s head and flapping wings above water. Rondi Large, WildCare director, assured the crowd the eaglet could float, but said the situation was “not ideal.”
The eaglet landed closer to the southern shoreline, opposite the release site, with strong northern winds carrying her south. As the crowd watched and worried, Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, and others announced that the Edmond Police Department’s Lake Patrol was on its way.
The occasion was to be extraordinary, a double release of bald eagles. A 7-year-old eagle was waiting in a large, covered kennel for her chance to be set free. Because this second bald eagle had more than six years’ experience in the wild, those responsible for her release expected she would know not to land on a lake.