For Immediate Release
NOTE: This news release was distributed on 7/26/2011. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.
Media Advisory: Wildlife Center of Virginia to Release Five Eagles at Berkeley Plantation on Wednesday
The Wildlife Center of Virginia will be releasing five eagles on Wednesday, July 27, at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County.
The program will start at 11 a.m. and is expected to last until approximately 12:30 p.m.
News media are asked to check in at the site. There will be opportunities to interview wildlife professionals including Ed Clark, president of The Wildlife Center of Virginia, the world's leading teaching hospital for wildlife veterinarians, and representatives from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Note that Ed Clark and wildlife biologists involved in the release will not be available for interviews until after the event as their primary focus will be the well-being of the birds.
More than 1,000 people have already indicated they will attend. Visitors are coming from 22 states and Canada.
Three of the eagles are known worldwide through the Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam hosted by WVEC TV 13 in Norfolk and sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Those birds were removed from the nest at the Norfolk Botanical Garden after their mother was killed by an airplane strike at nearby Norfolk International Airport.
The birds were taken to The Wildlife Center of Virginia where they were raised until ready to be on their own. WVEC TV 13 worked with the Center to set up an Eagle Cam at their site so fans could continue to observe the growth of the birds.
In addition to the Norfolk birds, two other eagles will be released on Wednesday. Both of those birds originated from the Tidewater and Northern Neck area. One was tangled in a net at the King and Queen County landfill. The other was found in a field in Hampton. After receiving care by The Wildlife Center of Virginia, both are ready to be released back into the wild.
One of the Norfolk Botanical Garden eagles will be outfitted with a transmitter that will track its movements. This data will be collected as part of eagle research the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has been conducting. The project initially began two years ago with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge staff wildlife biologist. The refuge is part of the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex, in the heart of Virginia's most concentrated eagle populations. The data gathered is intended to help wildlife biologists better understand the range area of Virginia's eagles and as an indicator of communal roosts. VDGIF Eagle Biologist Jeff Cooper will be placing the transmitter on the bird prior to its release.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Wildlife Center of Virginia
Norfolk Botanical Garden
(757) 441-5830 ext. 335