Kids Pitch In To Feed Rescued Eagle Chicks - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Kids Pitch In To Feed Rescued Eagle Chicks

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KALISPELL -

A new partnership means some baby eagles won't go hungry.

Snappy Sport Senter lets kids fish for free, and Saturday morning anglers can choose to give up their catch to the birds.

It started Father's day weekend. One boy wanted to give his fish to the birds, and a volunteer for Montana Wild Wings, a group devoted to healing our flying friends, wanted to give other kids the same option.

"We try to teach catch and release and sportsmanship and conservation and taking care of an environment and fish and wildlife, so it's kind of a natural," said B.J. Lupton, the Snappy Sport Senter's owner.

This Saturday, between eight and ten in the morning, kids twelve and under can feed their fish to two eagles. These eagles are just about five weeks old and fell out of a nest on Whitefish Lake. All the rain in the Flathead toppled the nest and a construction crew found them wet and starving.

They've been at the Wild Wings Recovery Center for ten days.

"We've not ever had baby eagle chicks, so this is really new for us. When we get an injured bird of prey in, it's typically either a fledgling, meaning they're just leaving the nest, or they're an adult and they've had an accident flying," explained Kari Gabriel, the spokeswoman for Montana Wild Wings.

One of two things could happen. There's still a chance they could go back to the nest and pick up where they left off. The parents are still flying around the area. If that doesn't work, though, volunteers are going to have to teach them how to hunt. This second option could take weeks.

"These guys are eating about 400 grams apiece ever day so it's hard to keep up with the fish," said Gabriel.

Until now, Wild Wings depended on donations from fishermen and different FWP fishing projects around town. Both Wild Wings and Snappy Sport Senter say they want to keep up the partnership every Saturday morning, as long as there is interest and eagles to feed.

Gabriel says she doesn't see any reason why the two eagle chicks couldn't make it back into the wild eventually.

 

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