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Allow me to introduce Sequoia. She was hatched in British Columbia in mid-late April 1988, in a nest on Swanson Island off the Johnstone Straight (north of Vancouver Island, near the town of Port McNeill). The area was targeted as a collecting site for bald eagles for relocation to California as part of an endangered species recovery effort.
Sequoia was removed from the nest on June 30 by the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary Association, when she was approximately 8 weeks old, and flown with 11 other eaglets to the Big Sur coast. There she was fitted with radio transmitters and a US Fish and Wildlife Service band, and placed in a nest-tower (which is now used to release California Condors). Ventana’s re-introduction program allowed for the gradual release of the eagles, with their ultimate freedom coming on July 29, 1988. Sequoia and the other eagles migrated north (as they do from central and southern California). Sequoia stayed for a few days in the Bay Area, in the East Bay watershed lakes (Calaveras, Del Val, and San Antonio reservoirs), then headed north and toward the coast.
One day, Sequoia was found by George and Marie Browne on their ranch near Ferndale, CA, on October 7, 1988, and taken to the Arcata Animal Hospital. She was the victim of a small caliber bullet that nearly removed the number 2 toe on her right foot and scattered lead throughout her pelvis. Seven days later, she was returned to Santa Cruz for veterinary treatment, and deemed non-releasable because her tail was paralyzed.
The San Francisco Zoo accepted Sequoia as a goodwill ambassador for their bald eagle breeding program. She has been on the cover of magazines, in nature documentaries, and to countless educational programs throughout the state.
In October 2012, Sequoia became a goodwill ambassador of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Year-round she is taken to events and makes frequent public appearances at the Junior Museum & Zoo. During the winter and spring she is flow free for the public in Byxbee Park in the Palo Alto Baylands. She's now 24 years old and hopefully will live many many more years. The record lifespan of Bald Eagles in captivity is 56 years.
Thank you John Aikin, Executive Director of the Palo Alto Museum and Zoo for this information and for letting me get some shooting time with Sequoia!