The young sea eagle was released back into the wild by the rescue station from Pavlov in Havlíčkobrodsk. It happened on the morning of Friday, February 2, in a field near Horní Cerekva in Pelhřimovsk. Orel arrived at the station about six months ago as a cub in an emaciated state, and his rescuers from Pavlov were afraid that he would not survive.
Releasing the eagle back into the wild at Horní Cerekve.
| Video: Diary/Štěpánka Saadouni
The young raptor waits for its big moment in a special crate with its head covered by a falcon cap. “This is so that he doesn’t panic if he sees how big the audience will be at the start,” explains Jiří Kořínek, deputy director of the Pavlovsk station, who took care of the eagle.
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But the predator does not fly into the world empty-handed. Environmentalists from Pavlov placed a special solar-powered radio on his back, thanks to which they can track the eagle on its journey for several months.
The start time is short. As soon as Jiří Kořínek places the raptor on the ground and removes the cap from its head, the bird flaps its two-meter wings and disappears in the air within a second. To the joyful shouts of children from the local kindergarten, for whom the release of the eagle is an event, and the admiration of dozens of other onlookers.
Video: Releasing an eagle back into the wild at Horní Cerekve
Source: Diary/Štěpánka Saadouni
“The eagle was found as a cub near Cerekva last summer by three young people who were here on vacation. They went on a hike and found the bird not far from the road. We don’t even know their names to this day, but they behaved excellently. They wrapped the bird in a jacket and brought it to the town hall, and we called the station in Pavlov,” explains the mayor of Horní Cerekve, Milan Kunst, to Denik how the eagle came into the care of people.
The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a large species of raptor from the falcon family. It lives near water in a large area of Europe and Asia and feeds mainly on fish and birds. In the past, it completely disappeared from many areas of Europe, especially as a result of human persecution, but from the 1980s, its numbers began to rise again and it gradually occupied a number of original nesting sites. The sea eagle is the largest European eagle and the largest predator found in the Czech Republic. Its body length reaches 76–92 cm and its wingspan measures 190–253 cm. Some individuals can apparently have a span of up to 260 cm.
Source: Station Pavlov ops
Because the baby eagle was so weak and emaciated, they at the town hall thought it was a buzzard. “So when the conservationists from Pavlov arrived, they found out that it was an eagle and that they couldn’t fit it in the buzzard crate, so we had to go to the store next door for a big box,” adds Kunst.
The young eagle stayed in Pavlova for about half a year. As the director of the station Zbyšek Karafiát specifies, his care cost tens of thousands of crowns, because the eagle was weakened, emaciated and seriously ill. Two donors contributed to the purchase of a solar radio.
The ecologists had to take care of the eagle, but in such a way that it would not get used to people. “So feed and that’s it, no making friends,” says Karafiát.
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As he clarifies, the predator did not appear in the vicinity of Horní Cerekva by chance. His parents nested here. But the young eagle will not stay with Cerekva.
“We assume it will fly somewhere far away. Maybe over the border. Mainly somewhere where there is water and where he can find food. It belongs to the largest predators in the world. By the time he’s about four years old, he’ll be flying, and around the age of five, as an adult, he’ll choose a territory and find a mate,” adds the director.