Juneau Raptor Center board members Janet Capito, left, and Dale Cotton, talk about construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Raptor Center board members Janet Capito, left, and Dale Cotton, talk about construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Eagle roost getting a boost

Replacement educational display heading toward completion on Mount Roberts

By the time tourist season is in full swing, Lady Baltimore will have a sweet summer home to show off.

The non-releasable American bald eagle, who is blind in one eye and has an injured wing, spends spring and summer months in an educational display at the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway on Mount Roberts that is maintained by Juneau Raptor Center. By late April she’ll have a new $170,000 display as her seasonal home.

“She’s a good old bird,” said Juneau Raptor Center Vice President Janet Capito while showing the Empire the site of the new display. “She’s one of the best.”

The project received $120,000 of support from Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway, Duncan said, and it is being built by Silverbow Construction.

Juneau Raptor Center board members Dale Cotton, left, and Janet Capito, talk Mount Roberts Tramway’s General Manager Jim Duncan about the construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Raptor Center board members Dale Cotton, left, and Janet Capito, talk Mount Roberts Tramway’s General Manager Jim Duncan about the construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jim Duncan Jr., general manager for Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway, said he likes to say Lady Baltimore has worked hard and deserves the upgraded place.

Lady Baltimore’s exact age is unknown, but Capito said she was an adult — at least 5 years old — when she was found in 2006. In captivity, eagles can live to be more than 40 years old, she said.

The eagle was recovered in North Douglas after a gunshot had damaged her beak and caused her to suffer a wing injury and lose sight in an eye.

Juneau Raptor Center board members Janet Capito, left, and Dale Cotton, second from right, talk with Matthew Kenkle and Joseph Staran, right, of Silverbow Construction, about construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild.(Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Raptor Center board members Janet Capito, left, and Dale Cotton, second from right, talk with Matthew Kenkle and Joseph Staran, right, of Silverbow Construction, about construction on a new education display on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild.(Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capito said it’s unclear whether some of the injuries were suffered as a direct result of the gunshot, or because of an ensuing crash landing.

The act that injured Lady Baltimore is illegal, and violating the National Bald Eagle Act can result in a fine of $100,00, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“You can get some pretty hefty fines,” Capito said.

Dale Cotton, Juneau Raptor Center president, said Lady Baltimore has been a fixture in the educational display for about a decade and has taken to it better than other eagles.

“She likes it,” Cotton said. “She’s so calm.”

The old structure was about 15 years old and only featured one viewing window, Cotton said. It was falling into disrepair, and the decision was made to raze it in favor of an entirely new structure.

Capito, Cotton and Duncan filled in some specifics about the in-progress building.

Matthew Kenkle and Joseph Staran, right, of Silverbow Construction, build a new education display for the Juneau Raptor Center on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Matthew Kenkle and Joseph Staran, right, of Silverbow Construction, build a new education display for the Juneau Raptor Center on Mount Roberts on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The display will house Lady Baltimore, an adult bald eagle that is not releasable back to the wild. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Once it’s completed, Lady Baltimore, who cannot fly distances and tips the scale at about 40 pounds, will have 195 square feet to herself and access to windows that she will be able to look out, but which people will be unable to peer in.

The structure, which is being built around a tree, will be 22 feet tall at its peak.

It will feature three barred viewing windows for the public, and it will be more accessible to people with disabilities because of a new ramp.

The building will be capped by a see-through roof — the old display had an opaque roof — so Lady Baltimore will be able to look up and out of the enclosure.

Barred windows will help prevent over heating.

“She’s going to like this,” Capito said.

If you see an injured raptor

Juneau Raptor Center’s pager number is 790-5424.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


More in News

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Monday, Jan. 25

The most recent state and local numbers.

This October 2020 photo shows the illuminated Kennicott at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal. Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is now accepting comments on the proposed Alaska Marine Highway summer ferry schedule. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Public comment period opens for ferry schedule

A teleconference is set for Feb. 8.

Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé senior Cooper Kriegmont shoots during a basketball game against Ketchikan on Friday,  Jan. 22, 2021. Kriegmont scored his 1,000th point during the two-game series. (Courtesy photo / Lexie Razor)
Good to be back: Short run up leads to mixed results against Ketchikan

“It doesn’t matter what the outcomes were,.”

Cars zoom down the track at Saturday's Pinewood Derby. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the race to move a virtual format. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
The race must go on

Cub Scouts take the Pinewood Derby high tech.

n this April 9, 2014, photo, oil rigs stand in the Loco Hills field on U.S. Highway 82 in Eddy County near Artesia, N.M., one of the most active regions of the Permian Basin. President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and address climate change.  (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)
Biden to pause oil drilling on public lands

Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

In this July 13, 2007, file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Pebble developer files appeal with Army Corps

The Army Corps of Engineers rejected Pebble Limited Partnership’s application in November.

This August 2019 photos shows a redline at Treadwell Arena designed by Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan. The arena is adding new weekly events to its schedule, City and Borough of Juneau announced. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Treadwell Arena adds new weekly events

Hockey and open skate are on the schedule.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 22

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read