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Eagle injured in April to be released at Lake Lou Yaeger
Description
Last April, at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield, IL, a female Bald Eagle was injured, in what was viewed as a territorial fight with a male Bald Eagle. While the male Bald Eagle did not survive, thankfully the female Bald Eagle was able to be transported to the Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center in Dow, IL to recover from her injuries. The female bald Eagle has made a full recovery and will be released back to her native territory at Lake Lou Yaeger. The release is scheduled for Saturday, January 20th at 11 am from Marina # 1 (for GPS use 4943 Beach House Trail) and the public is invited to attend.

This past fall, a group of Friends of Lake Lou Yaeger members (F.O.L.L.Y.) spent a day at the Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center in Dow. F.O.L.L.Y. members worked alongside Tree House Wildlife Rescue Center volunteers to help refurbish the flight cage that was needed to help the injured Eagle get back into flying shape. The staff at the Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center was able to get the female Bald Eagle found on the grounds at Lake Lou Yaeger into the flight cage several weeks ago and now feel that she is strong enough to be released.

The female Bald Eagle and her nesting partner has called Lake Lou Yaeger their home since late 2004. In November of 2004 a group of approximately 70 Bald Eagles visited the lake, and out of that group, this nesting pair made the Lake their home, and have had hatchlings each year. Even without the female present in 2017 and the help of some fisherman who would toss fish by the bank near the nest, the male Bald Eagle was able to successfully raise three hatchlings. Since 2004, the pair has built eight different nests around Lake Lou Yaeger, and a majority of these nests have been in the southern end of the Lake. It is understood that it is somewhat unusual behavior for Bald Eagles to construct multiple nests in an area for they typically reuse the same nest for many years. Of the eight nests that have been built, only three have had been used for multiple nesting years. The nest used in 2017 was another new nest and in the proximity of other nesting sites.

Bald Eagles typically mate for life and start mating after reaching three years of age. Prior to reaching mating age, Bald Eagles are void of the distinctive white head and tail feathers. As they move into adult hood they start to get mottled look of white and brownish-black in the head and tail feathers. Their life span in the wild it typically stated as 25 to 30 years.

At this time, it is unknown if the pair will mate and have a brood in 2018, only time will tell. The male has recently been seen on the lake with several other Bald Eagles. However, at the end of the day, he has been spotted by himself perched in a tree near last year’s nest site.

The public is invited to attend the release of the female Bald Eagle at Lake Lou Yaeger’s Marina #1 (4943 Beach House Drive) on Saturday, January 20th at 11 am.

Andy Furman
Friends of Lake Lou Yaeger
Photo courtesy Litchfield Tourism