Rescued Bald Eagle Released, Dedicated to the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund

From Martin Tyner, Founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation:
On Friday, January 27th, the eagle release was dedicated to the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund. An organization that helps underprivileged children receive hearing aids and other services, so that they may hear the sounds of music, their mother’s voice and their friend’s laughter.

Justin Osmond, Founder and CEO of Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and his father Merrill Osmond, lead singer and producer of the Osmond Family were chosen to release the eagle. At 3:30 Friday afternoon we invited everyone that would like to attend to meet us at Rush Lake Ranch, about 10 miles north of Cedar City along the Minersville Highway, to witness this beautiful eagles return to the sky.

The release site is about 8 miles from our rescue center. An old abandoned pioneer farm with a grove of large cottonwood trees. This is a favorite roosting site for the bald eagles that come down from Canada to spend the winters with us in Southern Utah.

There were over a hundred spectators that had come to watch the eagle release. As I got out of the car I pointed to the trees about two hundred yards away where there are three adult bald eagles, which had already arrived for their evening of rest in the large cottonwood trees. More eagles would be arriving soon. The largest group of eagles I’ve seen in that grove of trees at one time was 48 bald eagles in one sitting. This is the perfect place to release my newest eagle.

We gave Justin Osmond a moment to tell everyone about the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and the amazing service they provide to under-privileged children with hearing loss. We walked a few steps over to the black rock wall that surrounds the property. I removed the hood from the eagles head and instructed Merrill Osmond to push the eagle away from him as the eagle is released, then she will soar back into the sky.

When I said to Mr. Osmond, “release the eagle”, she immediately took to the sky, flew hundreds of yards to the southwest and then turned to the north and landed at the top of the giant cottonwood trees with her fellow eagles.

We now wait for the next phone call, to rescue a sick, injured or orphaned wild critter. But in the meantime I will continue to provide wildlife programs to the schools, scouts, eagle courts of honors and community events with my best friend, a golden eagle named Scout, a 28 year old Harris Hawk named Thumper and a prairie falcon named Cirrus.

If anyone would like more information about our wildlife rescue or wildlife educational programs please contact us at: info@gowildlife.org

Release of Great Horned Owl

This great horned owl was brought to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Inc. by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in November. It had been hit by a car west of Cedar City receiving a severe concussion which caused it to lose its vision and balance. Within a week of its arrival into our rehabilitation it was able stand and feed itself. Its vision was also returning but it still suffered from neurological and balance issues.

After two weeks in our care it was able to fly back and forth to the perches in its rehabilitation chamber. It was well on the road to a full recovery and after a month in rehabilitation it was released late in the afternoon on December 28 by Douglas Chang the president of the Las Vegas Chapter Audubon Society. Several spectators met up at the Rush Lake Ranch along the Minersville Highway, just north of Cedar City Utah for this release, but since the trees there were full of wintering bald eagles, we drove out to the Parowan Gap where the owl was released back to the wild.

Prayers on the Wings of an Eagle for T1D

A young eagle just learning to fly the end of June became separated from his parents. Unable to feed himself, and with the oppressive summer heat he was on the verge of death. After intensive care, fluids and feedings by Martin Tyner, rehabilitator and founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, the young eagle regained its strength and took his place back in the sky.
Saturday Evening August 8th, with family and friends gathered at the top of a mountain overlooking Cedar City Utah, Josh Terry released this eagle in memory of his daughter Kycie Jai Terry and to help raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes which took her young life.
This little girl captured the hearts of many Southern Utahans’ and people around the world when her undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes led to a brain injury in January. Her subsequent 111-day stay at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City raised awareness about the dangers of undiagnosed juvenile diabetes as support for the Terry family grew through the Kisses for Kycie campaign. She died at home Saturday morning, July 11th in the arms of her father.

Terry Family with golden eagle just before release

There is a common belief among many native people, that if you say your prayers with an eagle feather, the eagle feather will carry your prayers to God. An eagle has over seven thousand feathers. When we have an eagle ready for release, we will frequently seek out individuals or organizations that could use some extra prayers and allow them to release the eagle.
The Southwest Wildlife Foundation has two more young eagles at their rescue center that will also be released in the next few weeks.

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