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

Marion County Now Buffer Regulated For Thousand Cankers Disease

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture on Friday announced the discovery of Walnut Twig Beetles, which transmit Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), a walnut tree killing disease in Marion County. The county is now buffer regulated. Citizens in buffer counties can move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood within buffer counties, but not outside. Products can also be moved into ... (click for more)

Tennessee's 2014-15 Gun Season For Deer Starts Nov. 22

Tennessee’s gun season for deer an annual opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving which this year falls on Nov. 22, for 2014-15. For the fourth year, sportsmen will find one continuous season that will continue through Jan. 4, 2015. The continuous season replaced the previously two segmented hunting seasons that were in place prior to 2011. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Kiser Takes Witness Stand For First Time; Says He Did Not Kill Deputy Donald Bond

Marlon Duane Kiser took the witness stand at his post-conviction hearing on Tuesday to declare that he did not kill Deputy Donald Bond, who was gunned down at a produce stand in East Brainerd 13 years ago. Kiser had not opted to go on the stand when he was convicted by a Nashville jury and given the death penalty in 2003. He said he believes it was Mike Chattin, the man he ... (click for more)

Courtney Godwin, 25, Was Victim In Monday Night Fire In Hixson

Chattanooga firefighters battled a fully-involved structure fire in Hixson Monday night, and the incident involved at least one fatality.  Dr. Steve Cogswell with the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Courtney D. Godwin, 25. Dr. Cogswell said Ms. Godwin died from smoke inhalation.   The first call to 911 Communications was received ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Faculty Has No Business Being Involved In Hiring Decisions

This letter will hopefully bring some clarity to the recent situation created by the faculty of Chattanooga State Community College. It is based upon my tenure as a member of the faculty at Chattanooga State Technical Institute, the transformation to Chattanooga State Community College, and my service as the financial and administrative officer at Chattanooga State until my retirement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Conversations

I am not predicting this will happen but I have known it to occur – in the middle of the Thanksgiving feast there will come a lull in the conversation and you can save the day if you’ll immediately look at the person to your right and ask, “What is the smartest thing you ever heard somebody say?” It is an easy thing, because we all love wisdom, and the ploy comes to mind because ... (click for more)