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Bird recovery center seeks donations for eagle chicks

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:26:57 AM MDT
Updated On: Jun 28 2014 10:42:25 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

A sporting goods store in Kalispell has come up with a way for folks to use their fishing skills to help out a pair of rescued baby bald eagle chicks.

Construction workers found the chicks last week the shore of Whitefish Lake.

They were severely malnourished after heavy rainfall washed away their nest.

We're told they are slowly recovering, but go through a lot of food.

"They'll eat better than a pound a day.  At this point they're growing," said Kari Gabriel of the Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center.

"The chicks were in a pretty bad condition, they were starving, they were wet, so the rain actually made the nest collapse and it was in pieces all over everything."

They're being treated at the Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center after being found malnourished.

The center takes in birds all the time, but they normally don't see chicks, which are eating through a lot of the supplies the center has.

"These guys have tripled the amount of fish we need so we're out of fish," Gabriel said.

So now they're looking for donations.

That's when Snappy Sport Senter owner B.J. Lupton decided to help out.

The store has a pond where kids can come and catch fish.

Now when kids catch their fish at the pond, they can donate it to the recovery center, which are desperately in need of fish for their birds.

"Now we can give kids the option to fish responsibly and, if they want to, donate their caught fish to the recovery program and nurture these chicks," said Lupton.

For now, the chicks will continue their recovery process.

Gabriel says they'll have their hands full at the center with these baby eagles.

"We're hoping we can release them probably in about four to five more weeks when they would normally fledge.  So we'll have to make sure they can hunt, we'll have to give them live prey, we're going to have to make sure they can fly, so we'll have to exercise them, so we have a lot of work to do in the next month," Gabriel said.

The Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center is always looking for donations.  For more information you can visit www.wildwingsrecovery.org .