Six miles is the closest Wadasé Zhabwé has been to the aviary since February 9, 2016. While we would love have her stop by and visit, we know from her telemetry that she continues to do well on her own. Recording flights nearly a mile high and speeds in excess of 50 mph, her telemetry data still proves to be as invaluable today as it is reassuring.
Looking at the telemetry data as a whole since her release you can see she has stayed in the central portion of the state. Although she has ventured further to the north and south in that third portion than to the east or west, she has never left the state. She continues to move along the North Canadian River in an area north of Highway 62. Her average distance from the aviary since we last saw her is less than 17 miles. We are hopeful her telemetry will remain on for an extended time after learning of another bald eagle that was released as a juvenile and has been wearing the same telemetry for nearly eight years. For more information about Wadasé or the other eagles at the aviary, check in frequently with our blog and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's Cultural Heritage Center Facebook page.
The CPN Eagle Aviary has one special new resident, but before introducing you to him, we’d like to tell you the whole story. This has been such an incredible journey to watch. To start, we will introduce you to Kyla.
The eagles at the aviary each have their own unique story about how they ended up with us and Kyla is no different. She has come full circle while she has been here.
Kyla, a female bald eagle, came to the aviary from Kyla, Montana, after spending most of the first two years of her life improperly housed. Two months after we opened the aviary doors in 2012, we got a call from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in Region 6 after law enforcement confiscated several eagles. We transported four eagles - two to another aviary and Kyla and Gracie to ours.
Spring in Oklahoma can certainly live up to the old saying that it comes in like a lion. However, we were fortunate that most major storms seemed to pass by the aviary or dissipate before they ever arrived. This spring rain, unlike last year’s record-breaking rainfall, was just barely above average and was spread out enough so that we did not flood here. Last spring we missed out on seeing so much of the beauty that is spring, but not this year. This has been a productive season for the wildlife that surrounds the aviary.
Hummingbirds usually begin to arrive at the CPN Eagle Aviary the first week of April. We mainly see ruby-throated hummingbirds, although during migration seasons we have been fortunate to have black-chinned and rufous hummingbirds stop by our feeders as well.
This year, we saw our first ruby-throated hummingbird on March 30. We had a mild winter and that may have contributed to their early arrival. We usually put out partially filled feeders the last week in March, especially if the weather has been nice, and make sure to change out the nectar every three or four days so they can enjoy fresh food when they return.
Most ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the winter in Central America by flying all the way across the Gulf of Mexico. Although, some northern birds stay in North America along the Gulf Coast, parts of the southern Atlantic coast and at the tip of Florida. After such a strenuous trip, the feeders are surely a welcomed sight, especially during the first of spring when flowers are just beginning to bloom.
On May 10, we welcomed several new creatures to our family at the aviary.
Thanks to a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the partnership between seven Oklahoma tribes, 100 painted lady butterflies were released and caterpillars were given away to participants in order to encourage habitat restoration for monarchs in Oklahoma.