On a cool, Friday afternoon in Prince Rupert, a group of volunteers went to the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Shelter to help release a bald eagle that had finished recovering from a injured wing.
Arnie Nagy, a member of the Haida Nation who has the most experience releasing birds, led the group into the large pen where they were being kept. He laid out the plan for how the group was going to capture the bird.
“After we get it in the net, we’ll cover it up with a blanket so he’ll calm down,” Nagy said.
After one of the volunteers netted the bird, it was put into dog carrier and transported to Rushbrook Floats for its release.
“We usually do it down here at Rushbrook because it’s very wide open, there’s lots of trees and lots of other eagles so he can get back in with the group and find a spot to roost,” Nagy said.
Once at the dock, the blanket covering the dog carrier was removed to allow the eagle to find its bearing. After a few minutes volunteers opened up the door, and the eagle soared off toward the forest and freedom. Nagy said it is extremely rewarding to be a part of the process.
“As a First Nations person I take a lot out of the water, the fish and other creatures when I go hunting and stuff, so you’re not always taking something out of the environment, you’re helping to put something back in,” he said.