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American Eagle Foundation  A day in the life of Challenger the Bald Eagle and his feathered friends! 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

http://www.eagles.org/

Our red tailed hawk Dolly is enjoying the sunshine today here in Pigeon Forge, TN! Spreading her wings out helps keep her cool and it also helps her absorb more vitamin D! Dolly came to us after becoming entangled in a barbed wire fence. She suffered a severe wing injury that affected her ability to fly, but definitely not her beauty! #Dolly #Redtailedhawk #AEF #sunning

How many raptor calls do you recognize in this video? Of course, the primary sound is the hooting of our barred owl, Barry. However if you turn your sound up, you'll also hear the chatter of a bald eagle, a great horned owl, and the scream of a red tailed hawk! Many of our birds are very vocal, and at the American Eagle Foundation, their voices is our favorite music to listen to throughout the day! #AEF #barredowl #birdcalls #raptors #raptorsofinstagram #musictoourears

It doesn't take much to keep this guy entertained! George, our 32 yr old turkey vulture, enjoyed ripping up a paper towel he stole from one of his handlers at lunch time. Vultures have very strong beaks that allow them to rip and tear meat loose from carcasses. But apparently when no carcass is around, a paper towel is a good stand in! Don't worry though, George didn't swallow any of it. But if he had, it simply would have come back up later in a cast, which is essentially a little ball of indigestible parts of a bird's meals, such as fur and bones. #enrichment #aef #George #turkeyvulture #vulturesofinstagram

This week is Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge! Make sure to check out our booth at Leconte Convention Center this week! We had a huge WWW tour come visit us this morning and they loved seeing Challenger! #AmericanEagleFoundation #baldeagle #challengertheeagle #wildernesswildlifeweek

Beautiful days call for photos of beautiful birds! Meet Sir Lancelot, aka Lance. Lance is a gyr-saker falcon. This is a hybrid between the saker falcon- a darker colored falcon native to Europe and Asia- and the gyrfalcon, which is a lighter colored bird found in the northernmost areas of North America. Both species are popular choices in falconry, and are often hybridized by falconers in order to combine the best qualities of both species to create a more successful hunter. Lance was bred by a falconer, however early in his life he became prone to having seizures. Unable to be used for hunting, Lance found his permanent home at the American Eagle Foundation about seven years ago, where he continues to impress us daily with his beauty! #AEF #Lance #FalconsOfInstagram

American Eagle Day (officially on June 20th every year) is a day to celebrate Bald Eagles! Our American Eagle Day celebration at @dollywood will take place on June 17th, so make sure to check out eagles.org for details and a link to purchase your official t-shirt (must purchase before May 20th). #AmericanEagleDay #AmericanEagleFoundation #BaldEagles #eaglesofinstagram

As we all know, DC4, now known as Honor, was rescued from the nest on April 20th after its leg got precariously stuck in the rails of the nest. During its physical checkup at the Maryland Zoo, blood work was also performed to determine both the eaglet's overall health and sex. Now the results are in...Honor is a FEMALE! As for DC5, now known as Glory: over the next several weeks, if it becomes apparent that Honor is significantly larger than Glory, then we might be able to conjecture that Glory is a male (since female eagles are generally larger than males). If they remain similar in size, there's a chance that Glory could also be a female. It's important to note that without blood work, we will not know the exact sex of the second eaglet, but can only make an educated guess. #dceaglecam @dceaglecam #baldeagle #AmericanEagleFoundation #eaglesofinstagram

DC4 & DC5 have new names...Honor & Glory!! #dceaglecam

Eaglets are not the only babies being raised at the American Eagle Foundation! This wild robin's nest was found just a few feet away from our breeding aviaries where we currently have 3 eaglets being raised! These baby robins are about a week old and should fledge out of the nest in the next week or so! #AEF #babyseason #robins #noteagles #stillprecious

The #AmericanEagleFoundation's Non-releasable Bald Eagle pair Independence & Franklin, who live in Eagle Mountain Santuary at @dollywood have two eggs that could hatch this week! You can watch LIVE on eagles.org!

Let's talk feathers! We all know birds have feathers, but did you ever notice just how complex they are? Birds have 5 types of feathers: (1) Contour feathers. These cover the entire body and are what we usually see. (2) Down feathers. These feathers have little structure and function as insulation. (3) Semiplumes. These fill in between the down and contour feathers. (4) Bristles. These are found mostly around the beak and are very noticeable in this photo of our barred owl, Barry! (5) Filoplumes. These are hair-like feathers that are not usually visible, and are thought to receive pressure and vibrations during flight. Each feather has a specific shape, placement, and job on a birds' body. Who knew the biology of feathers could be so cool!?! #AllAboutFeathers #OwlFeathers #AEF #OrnithologyLesson #BarredOwl

This morning, AEF President Al Cecere and Challenger The Eagle got to meet with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to urge him to help us make American Eagle Day an official day! The folder the Secretary is looking at shows the 48 Gubernatorial Proclamations for American Eagle Day from last year, and over one dozen Congressional Resolutions. It doesn't matter what your politics are...I think we can all agree that our living symbol of freedom, the Bald Eagle, deserves a day to commemorate and celebrate its comeback, symbolism, and importance in our country. #AmericanEagleFoundation #washingtondc #baldeagle #americaneagleday @usinterior @secretaryzinke #challengertheeagle

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