Jefferson is one of the few education birds that we know his age and a little bit of his history before he came to Soarin’Hawk. Jefferson had a band on his leg when he came to Soarin’Hawk as an education bird. He hatched in the spring of 2011 and was banded on 5/26/2011 at a site east of Flint, Michigan on the shore of Lake Erie.
Jefferson was found in downtown Wabash, Indiana on December 26, 2011. He was apparently shocked by an electric wire and fell to the ground. The shock caused a large area of skin on his left wing to die and also caused a subluxation of his left elbow. Only a month after he was found, radiographs revealed early arthritis in the elbow. He is non-releasable due to the elbow injury and was added to our education permit in the late summer of 2012. He will always be on Cosequin, a glucosamine supplement, for his elbow.
Eagles are difficult to train for education birds. They adapt to new things slowly, so their training takes years. It has been fun to watch Jefferson mature as he slowly develops his adult plumage, including his white head. When he was 5 years old, 2016, the feathers on his head were completely white. Jefferson loves to eat fish, especially when we can offer him live fish in the pool in his flight pen!