Officials release 3 eagles at Michigan power plant

Mike Householder
Associated Press

Hampton Township — Three eagles nursed back to health at a raptor rehabilitation facility on the grounds of a Michigan power plant have been released back into the wild.

Sandy Miner of the nonprofit Wildlife Support Team and others opened the birds’ cages on Monday and allowed them to fly free on the grounds of Consumers Energy’s Karn/Weadock Generating Complex near Bay City.

Two of the three quickly soared out of sight, while one, a juvenile female, flew into a nearby tree and surveyed the scene for a while.

That bird was rescued in September by the U.S. Coast Guard, which received a call from a boater who reported that an eagle was swimming in the Saginaw River.

Petty Officer William Peters was among those who rescued the bird, which he and others with the Coast Guard dubbed “America.”

Peters was on hand Monday to watch America’s return to nature.

He says the eagle’s condition “was a complete turnaround from what it was when we picked it up.”

The other two eagles were found elsewhere in Michigan. One of the three tested positive for West Nile virus.

All were cared for at the plant’s raptor rehab pen, a facility believed to be among the largest in Michigan.

Miner says “all three of them are very special birds.”