New Eagle Arrives At Grandfather Mountain Eagle Habitat In North Carolina

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Griffin the bald eagle sits on a perch above Sitka, the newest addition to the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats.  Sitka arrived from the Alaska Raptor Center October 16 and is adapting to life in the eagle habitat with Griffin very well.
Griffin the bald eagle sits on a perch above Sitka, the newest addition to the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats. Sitka arrived from the Alaska Raptor Center October 16 and is adapting to life in the eagle habitat with Griffin very well.
- photo by Landis Taylor

A new bald eagle arrived at Grandfather Mountain Wednesday and was introduced to Griffin, the bald eagle who has been living in the habitat since May 2013.  The eagle came from the Alaska Raptor Center and has been named after the town where the center is located, Sitka.

The sex of the raptor is not currently known. The sex of a bald eagle is usually determined by the bird's size but because Sitka is between the typical size of a male and female this has not be determined.  A blood sample was drawn from the bird before it left Alaska and the test results should be announced in the next 10 days.

Sitka had suffered an injury to its right wing before arriving at the Alaska Raptor Center and was deemed unable to survive in the wild.  Before being released into the habitat at Grandfather Mountain; Lee Bolt, DVM of Sweeten Creek Animal and Bird Hospital in Asheville, N.C; performed a medical check on the raptor and said that it looked very healthy.  The age of the bird is not known but darker feathers on its head may indicate that it is around five years old.

Sitka's introduction to the eagle habitat and to Griffin is going very well.  As expected the raptor is showing some signs of stress and anxiety but overall the habitat staff members and Dr. Bolt couldn't ask for a better transition.  Staff members have observed both eagles flying to be on the same perch as the other bird.

The animal habitats at Grandfather Mountain were completely closed for an hour when the bird was being released into the habitat.  Limited access to the other habitat animals was available for park guests later in the day.  As eagles are easily stressed and Sitka will be very sensitive to the new sights and sounds of Grandfather Mountain, the habitat access will remain somewhat limited to guests for the next week or two.  While the pathway between the cougar habitat and eagle habitat will remain closed, guests should be able to access each habitat (deer, otter, eagle, black bear and cougar).

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest and participate in educational research activities.  

For more information phone 800 468-7325 or plan a trip at www.grandfather.com.

Asheville veterinarian Dr. Lee Bolt (right) conducts a health check on Sitka the bald eagle before it is released into its new home on Grandfather Mountain.  Sitka came from the Alaska Raptor Center and has a wing injury that prevents the bird from being able to survive in the wild.
Asheville veterinarian Dr. Lee Bolt (right) conducts a health check on Sitka the bald eagle before it is released into its new home on Grandfather Mountain. Sitka came from the Alaska Raptor Center and has a wing injury that prevents the bird from being able to survive in the wild.
- Photo2 by Landis Taylor

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Winter Workshop:  Jan. 29  - Fire by Friction Learn about tools and techniques for starting a fire with a bowdrill, or flint and steel at our next free  Winter Workshop , happening this  Thurs., Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m.  at Outdoor ... (click for more)

Cedars Of Lebanon State Park Receives Excellence In Innovation Award

Cedars of Lebanon State Park received the West Tennessee Excellence in Innovation Award at the 2015 Tennessee State Parks Management meeting last Wednesday.   Parks nominated for this award have demonstrated the ability to think outside the box to create new ideas for enhancement or improvement at their park. The innovative project must be long lasting or far reaching. ... (click for more)

Girl, 12, Stabs Boy, 13, Twice At Lookout Valley Middle High School

A female student stabbed a male student twice at Lookout Valley Middle High School on Thursday morning. It happened in a middle school classroom. Sheriff Jim Hammond the students are seventh graders.The girl is 12 and the boy 13. He  said the boy was taken by ambulance and went into surgery after the mid-morning stabbing.  He said the boy received a superficial ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)