The Suzanne & Walter Scott Foundation Bald Eagle Flight Training Center
Soaring Toward New Heights in Rehabilitation
The first several bald eagles flight-conditioned in the Alaska Raptor Center’s new Suzanne and Walter Scott Bald Eagle Flight-Training Center have been released successfully back to the wild, and several more are undergoing rehabilitation now. The new flight-training center is up and running, providing critical flight conditioning spaces for bald eagles, as well as offering outstanding opportunities for visitors to watch the birds regaining their flight abilities, without the birds’ seeing or hearing people.
Through a specially designed viewing corridor, visitors as well as rehabilitators are able to see eagles flying from tree to tree, swooping down to pluck a salmon out of the waterfalls, stream and pond, and preening their feathers after feasting on a fish dinner in our new enclosed rainforest area. Also, the new flight center’s flight conditioning areas include four convalescent mews, two vertical flight mews to test and condition for lift, and a clinical aerobic flight tube, where birds will have to demonstrate their stamina and maneuverability, before they can “graduate” to release back to the wild.
Feedback from our visitors this summer has confirmed this “amazing educational experience” reflects the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Seeing bald eagles regaining their flight skills and knowing they will be flying soon in the wilds of Alaska helps our visitors take home the hope that conservation of both species and their habitat is worthwhile work. And just by walking through our doors, our visitors help us with this important mission.
If you’ve not had a chance to visit us recently, check out these photos of the facility, and the first of thousands of birds we expect to heal in a new flight-training center that will help us serve our education, rehabilitation and research mission better and better!
Thank you to everyone who graciously has donated to this effort — your support allows us to continue accomplishing our mission of medical treatment, education and research.