Bald Eagle That Was Shot Now Flies Free

An immature bald eagle recovered last fall with a shotgun wound was released back to the wild Saturday at Starved Rock.

The female bird named Peace was set free by members of Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center in Durand.

Hundreds of people gathered at the south shore of the Illinois River while rehabilitators and photographers gathered with the bird across the river on Plum Island. The scene mimicked a release of two rehabilitated bald eagles Nov. 12 at the island.

Bernice Wienke drove Saturday from Belvidere to see it.

“I’m a bird watcher. I was up there watching birds,” she said, pointing to the state park visitor center. “But I also came down to see the eagle. I can’t wait to go see the pelicans. I drove all the way down here just to see them.”

The eagle release was part of Starved Rock’s new weekend event, Pelican Days.

Chris and Cressy Powers and their son Nate of Chicago came to hike and got a bonus.

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