Golden Eagle Hit by Wind Turbine

In April we received a beautiful sub-adult male golden eagle that had been injured at the windfarm near Milford Utah. Its injuries were extensive with a severe concussion. Because of the concussion, it appeared to be blind in the right eye. It was unable to stand and we were afraid it may have had a spinal cord injury. Fortunately that was not the case.

After a week of intensive care, tube feeding fluids and medications the eagle slowly started to recover. Day by day we watched its progress from laying helplessly on its side to barely being able to stand, to walking around its chamber. Then one morning the eagle was sitting on a perch about two feet off the ground. That was a really great day.

His vision fully recovered and a couple of weeks later he started to fly to the upper perches in the flight chamber. After recovering to full health and strength I had the personal privilege to stand at the top of the mountain overlooking Cedar City and release that beautiful eagle back to the sky.

Frequently when we have an eagle ready to be returned to the wild we will seek out individuals or organizations that would like to participate in an eagle release and allow them to release the eagle back to the sky. On this occasion the organization I had contacted to participle in the eagle release did not return my phone call in a timely manner. The eagle was ready to go and as always is the case, the animal’s welfare comes first.

My Own Personal Eagle

Martin discusses his friendship with Scout the rescued Golden Eagle who is now one of our Wildlife Ambassadors.

Martin continues to travel throughout the west providing wildlife programs accompanied by his devoted companion, Scout.

In this Video: My Own Personal Eagle

A quote from Martin’s book, Healer of Angels:

“One of my greatest childhood fantasies was the desire to create a personal friendship with a wild eagle. I found myself with a love and fascination for these powerful creatures.”

Martin introduces Scout, a 17 year old rescued wild Golden Eagle. A farmer in Wyoming was threatening to shoot Scout so Martin went up to rescue him. Eagles are very special to him ever since first working with them back around the age of sixteen.

Martin noticed many characteristics about Golden Eagles like their intelligence, patience and personality. They could be silly, mischievous or serious. Mostly still, that they were wild animals and need to be respected as such.

It was a long dream of his to not only rescue and return Eagles to the wild, but to have a Golden Eagle for Falconry and to be friends with. It is a very rare opportunity to say that one of his dearest friends is a full grown wild eagle. The relationship he enjoys with Scout is a life’s work and has been an extremely complicated goal.

The first step to Eagle Falconer is to be a falconer. Martin lays out the first half of process:

  • take a very difficult written test at local fish and game office
  • get equipment inspected
  • do a two year apprenticeship
  • wait five more years before you can apply for a master’s license
  • get two years experience flying eagles before you can get a permit to fly eagles, you cannot fly eagles without a permit
  • a way around that is to work as a wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in eagles
  • apprentice under a eagle falconer

That is just the first half of the process. Falconry is one the most highly regulated field sports in the world. Eagle Falconry is especially demanding and time consuming. A good hawk will will catch more rabbits than a eagle.

Scout is his friend and his hunting companion. Scout is also a Wildlife Ambassador who accompanies Martin to educational programs throughout the Southwest. Scout truly helps educate the public about eagles and so is a marvelous teacher.

Martin is often asked how the friendship developed and how it works. He says is goes back to the very first days of the falconry training. After rescuing Scout, they returned home to Utah. The start of the falconry program is a process called “manning”.

Martin first goal was to show Scout he was a nice guy. They say together in a quiet dark place. Over time, Martin soothed and comforted the eagle and kept food near him. They sat for three days and nights until Scout felt comfortable enough to eat. He was then moved to a larger chamber outside where the process continued using food as a motivator. The way to a eagle’s heart is through his stomach.

Gradually, day by day, food is given from further and further away. First inside, then outside, using a whistle and holding food out for the eagle to come from a perch. After practice moving farther and farther away, the eagle was taken out the desert and let free. The hope would be the return at the sound of the whistle and the desire for food. A terrifying time for a falconer.

Scout is wild, flies free, hunts and can leave anytime he wants. He returns because of food and kind treatment. Scout is the hunter and Martin is his dog. Since Martin is a good dog, Scout keeps him.

They have been together fifteen years and share a daily routine that maintains their relationship.

The falconry process is the basis and development of their friendship.

Falconry, to Martin, is not a hobby. It is truly a life’s skill and life’s dedication.

About Martin Tyner

At age twelve, Martin Tyner started caring for the sick, injured and orphaned creatures in his home town of Simi Valley, CA. At age nineteen, Tyner was hired as curator of birds of prey at Busch Gardens, CA. He worked in the movie and television industry training big cats, elephants, primates, sea mammals and raptors.

Martin Tyner is a federally licensed falconer, eagle falconer, wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife propagator, and wildlife and environmental educator. He has been providing wildlife and environmental programs throughout the western United States, to schools, scouts and community groups for over forty years.

Martin Tyner is the founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit wildlife rescue, wildlife and environmental education organization. With the help of his golden eagle, Bud, they received a donation of 22.6 acres of beautiful, canyon property from Utah Power/Scottish Power for the development of a permanent wildlife rescue facility and a nature park for the children of Utah.

Golden Eagle Scout’s Project | World Class Eagle Flight Chamber

Martin has been caring for Eagles and Raptors for over 50 years! His recovery and rehabilitation efforts would be greatly improved by the construction of a large flight chamber measuring 100 by 50 feet. Such a World Class Flight Chamber would allow large birds to circle around and get the exercise they need before returning to the wild.

Additionally, an inner structure would allow for visitors to view the recovering birds in flight and provide valuable education for the public.

We welcome all who would like to Get Involved!

TV show Right This Minute helps educate

Deepest thanks to Right This Minute for sharing the story of the Five Golden Eagles rescued and released last summer. They did a wonderful job in telling the tales and spreading much needed wildlife education.

From Right This Minute:

The summer heat can be brutal for animals as well as humans. Especially for golden eagles. Martin and his wife Sue from Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah took in five young golden eagles this past summer who had been separated from their parents and couldn’t survive in the heat. Once they had been properly nurtured and fed, they were healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Hosted By: Nick Written By: Will H Found By: Dennis

The Six Golden Eagles Who Came to Dinner

The heat of the summer brought a lot of guests to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. For a good portion of July, counting our Golden Eagle Wildlife Ambassador Scout, we housed six golden eagles.

We’re glad to report five recovered and were released and Scout continues to educate.

1) Slot Canyon BLM 6/23 – 7/21
2) Bottom of mine pit 7/1 – 7/29
3) Utah Division of Wildlife Services – Red Cliffs campground/recreation area. Reported and picked up by UDWR on 7/1 and brought it to us 7/2 released 7/27
4) Utah Division of Wildlife Services – Hurricane area 7/09 – 8/6
5) Utah Division of Wildlife Services – Fillmore area 7/18 – 8/6
6) Scout Wildlife Ambassador

Golden Eagle Rescued from Slot Canyon

The release of this Golden Eagle will take place on Friday, July 21st at 11am at Brian Head Peak.

This eagle was rescued thanks to the efforts of Jim and Caitlin of Utah Canyon Outdoors and the Bureau of Land Management – Utah.

Even more thanks to Jim and Caitlin for their promotions of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc​ and raising funds of over $600!

Caitlin recounts the experience:

Since it was late at night when I dropped the eagle off at Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc I was too tired to tell the entire rescue story and I’d like to make sure to give credit where credit is due because there is NO WAY I would have been able to rescue the eagle on my own!

Friday afternoon Jim Clery had just gotten back to our shop, Utah Canyon Outdoors from a guided hike and showed me the photo of the eagle they had discovered in the canyon and told me it looked like it had been there for a few days. Worried about how much longer this animal could survive, I immediately called up to the Interagency office and told them the situation and asked if they could notify the wildlife ranger and if there was anyone that could respond, they said they’d find out and call back.

Just a few minutes later, BLM Ranger Michael Thompson calls and says he can help and asks if I can show him where the eagle was stuck. Absolutely, I’ll be ready in five. Done, and off we go.

We hiked in as fast as we could in the afternoon heat and entered the slot canyon from the bottom, not sure how far up the eagle might be trapped. Within a few bends of narrow, twisting canyon and a small up climb, I poked my head around the corner and SURPRISE! There he was. He seemed massive. Even in his poor condition he was as big as a turkey. We later learned he was born this year, only a baby.

I backed out of there and let Mike take over from here, he had previously handled an eagle or two while working as a ranger in Alaska and felt slightly more comfortable around talons the size of your pinky fingers… He threw the blanket over the eagle to settle it down and then swaddled it to protect himself from the talons.

Hiking out was a challenge as we tried to keep the blanket loose enough to not overheat the eagle too much while not getting ourselves in trouble with those talons – or that beak!

Once back at the truck we were able to get the eagle into the ‘suspect cage’ without harm to anyone and he was quite content to sit in there during the long drive back and look out the window with the A/C on. The one time he opened his wings a bit was when a raven flew by and caught his eye. It was pretty incredible to see this amazing animal so up close. I was praying inside with every fiber of my being that we would make it to Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc in time.

On the way back I had gotten a hold of Jim and told him the story and he gave the heads up to Martin Tyner of SWF in Cedar City that we’d be bringing him an eagle that night in bad shape. Jim also called our friends Nate & Kristina Waggoner in search of a kennel to transport the eagle to Cedar City and they jumped to help, bringing over a large kennel just as we arrived with the eagle.

It was a quick transition and soon I was on the road heading towards Cedar City, with little traffic I arrived at Martin’s house around 10:45pm. As soon as I arrived Martin burst into action and had the eagle out of the cage and into his arms with the grace and ease of scooping up a baby. I could immediately sense his deep knowledge and love of these animals and it instantly calmed my nerves and worrying about this eagle. He was in the best hands and if anyone could save him, it was this man.

I’ve attached a link to a video of the feeding & fluids Martin immediately gave to the eagle as soon as we got in the door. Afterwards he showed me the runs where we put the eagle in for the night and he let me peek in at a beautiful Great Horned Owl that was released yesterday at a solstice celebration in Parowan Gap. He also introduced me to Scout, his education Golden Eagle and hunting partner.

I sat with Martin and his wonderful wife Susan in their living room and they told me about their foundation, the work they do rehabilitating wildlife and their vision for Cedar Canyon Nature Center. I was humbled and inspired by their passion for their work and the wildlife they heal, their quiet kindness and absolute dedication to DOING GOOD in this world.

This experience has impacted me greatly and I’m humbled at being a part of saving a life like this. I encourage you all to go to and support their great work with a donation. The foundation is funded entirely on public support and donations, thank you for helping the rehabilitation and release of wildlife in Southern Utah!

The Bald Eagle That Would Not Quit

Our first short film of wildlife recovery

In January of 2015, a very, very, sick bald eagle arrived at the rescue center. Initially, wildlife rehabilitator, Martin Tyner, did not think the bird would survive. Over nearly two months, the bald eagle continued to fight and, against all odds, grew stronger and healthier.

This film features footage of examinations and feedings as the bald eagle recovers. During sessions with the bald eagle, Martin shares extensive information about wildlife rehabilitation and notes positive signs of recovery.

This film is closed captioned.

See more videos about Bald Eagles | Visit our Youtube Channel

Teacher’s Guide

The Bald Eagle That Would Not Quit Teacher's Guide

  • Summary of Short Film
  • Outline with Time Marks
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Enrichment Activities
    • – Research Suggestions
    • – Imaginative Scenarios
    • – Discussion Topics
  • Sample Test Questions


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