Annual Eagle Fest event held

McGwire the bald eagle, smiling for a picture at Saturday’s event.

Despite the slight chill in the air, there was a good crowd in attendance at the annual Eagle Fest on Saturday.
Held a the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam, the event naturally featured eagles. In addition to spotting scopes set up to view wild bald eagles in their natural habitat, the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) of Valley Park, MO brought in a pair of education birds for multiple presentations.
This year’s birds were McGwire the bald eagle and Killi the golden eagle. Showing off the eagles were WBS handlers Jade Dickinson and Nicole Dimond.
The pair gave some background on the birds and plenty of information about both species.
McGwire, weighing in around nine pounds, just turned 20 years old. He was originally found in a sporting store parking lot, begging for food. It is believed that he had been illegally taken from the wild and imprinted on humans. It was also discovered that he had not received proper nutrition resulting in eye issues. So he was taken to the World Bird Sanctuary, where he became an education bird.
Killi, who weighs around 16 pounds, is in her 20s. She had been hunting a rancher’s sheep, so a falconer caught her, tried to retrain her to hunt proper food and released her. It wasn’t long before she was hunting sheep again. For her safety, and that of the sheep, she was recaptured and taken to the World Bird Sanctuary.
For more from Eagle Fest, please see this week’s print edition.