Bald Eagle Returns Home - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bald Eagle Returns Home

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KALISPELL - A Bald Eagle finally gets to go home.

The Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center in Kalispell nursed the national bird back to health, and second graders from FairMont Egan school got to see the takeoff.

She was brought to the center back in February with an injured wing. Everyone's best guess is she hit a car. The fourteen-pounder is feisty. She managed to pierce a veterinarian's hand with her talons. So this really wasn't a tearful goodbye.

"We wanted to make sure she was able to actually launch and get lift so that's why we released her from the kennel and she did very well," explained Kari Gabriel, a volunteer with the Center.

The second graders got to see their school's mascot fly away. They've been learning about birds in school for a while now. They even got to handle real owl pellets.

"We dissected, we went though them and we found a whole bunch of bones and skulls in them," said Harlie Roth.

"Like rodents," added Lily Eash.

It's not so easy, breezy keeping the center going, though. Just for the mice alone, they pay $10,000 a year, and the whole operation is run by about nine volunteers. They take in birds from anywhere between the Canadian border down to Pablo, where they got a Steller's Jay.

They have about 20 birds in total: ten of them are used for education and they are rehabilitating ten others.

"We put jars in each classroom and people put money in the jars," explained Kyler Christy.

"And then we counted it all up," said Harlie.

They also sold cupcakes to come up with the more than $1,200 they donated to the Center Monday.

The only other closest bird rehab center to Kalispell is in Missoula.

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