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

Appalachian Trail Produces Deer Poacher And Lost Dog

TWRA wildlife officers working along the Appalachian Trail in the Cherokee National Forest near Butler charged a hunter with violations related to illegal deer hunting, then rescued a lost family pet in the same area.  Carter County Wildlife Officer Dennis Ward has documented illegal ATV tracks on Iron Mountain for several years, and while scouting out the area this year, ... (click for more)

Low Water Levels Increase Boating Hazard

With the statewide duck season set to open, winter angling opportunities and those recreational boaters withstanding colder temperatures to continue enjoying their sport, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reminds boaters of  increased hazards in areas with low water levels. Above average temperatures and below average rainfall throughout the year has affected water ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man that agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drugs buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Among The Worst In U.S.

Bobby Bragan, who was the first manager of Major League Baseball’s Braves when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, had a great view on statistics: “Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.” I am about to make you uncomfortable with some lousy statistics. Earlier this ... (click for more)