Lady Baltimore is a non-releasable American bald eagle kept by Juneau Raptor Center. A new shelter was build for the eagle at Mount Roberts Tramway, but permitting delays mean it is still empty. (Courtesy Photo | Kathy Benner)

Lady Baltimore is a non-releasable American bald eagle kept by Juneau Raptor Center. A new shelter was build for the eagle at Mount Roberts Tramway, but permitting delays mean it is still empty. (Courtesy Photo | Kathy Benner)

New wildlife shelter still missing its famous occupant

Here’s what’s keeping Lady Baltimore from her new home

Move-in day is still on the horizon for Lady Baltimore.

A new shelter built this spring at the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway for the non-releasable American bald eagle is waiting for the Juneau-famous raptor. The eagle’s move has been put on hold pending some changes to the shelter and permitting approval from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

[Eagle roost gets a boost]

“I tried to talk to them about maybe placing another bird in there, but until those issues with Lady Baltimore are met, we can’t even put another bird in there,” said Juneau Raptor Center President Dale Cotton. “If we put her up there without permission, we could have all of our permits yanked from us.”

Beth Pattinson, migratory bird permit specialist for Alaska for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, did not return calls or an email seeking comment.

Cotton said the main sticking point is a requirement that the new mew — a raptor’s shelter — must contain a ramp so that Lady Baltimore can access the lowst branches of the tree inside the mew when she is older and less able to fly.

Lady Baltimore’s exact age is unknown, but raptor center volunteers have 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.

“The mew does not have a ramp in it, we have different perches at different heights,” Cotton said. “We have to tweak them a bit more. We have to figure out about the ramp.”

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 File)

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 File)

The shelter was also built with a different make of rolling door than what was initially included in plans for the project, Cotton said, and the raptor center needs to share enrichment plans.

Enrichment in this case means things included in an exhibit that keep a bird busy and engaged, Cotton said.

For example, she said food may be placed in an egg carton, and a raptor would then need to figure out how open up the carton or rip through it to access the food. It’s like loading up a Kong with peanut butter for a family dog.

“It’s something to keep them occupied and help them out,” Cotton said.

She did not have a timeline for when Lady Baltimore may be at the tramway or for when changes to the mew will be made.

However, it’s something that will be discussed soon.

“We have a meeting planned later this week to discuss it with our program committee,” Cotton said.


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


More in News

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

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

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

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

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel Winfree gets a standing ovation from the Alaska State Legislature as he enters the House chamber Wednesday to deliver his final State of the Judiciary speech. Winfree is stepping down next Monday when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Chief justice bids lawmakers a fervent farewell

Daniel Winfree, in State of Judiciary days before retirement, warns about mixing politics and courts

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, stands in the well of the House Chambers with other Democrats, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to hear Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., deliver remarks shortly after becoming the new minority leader on Jan. 6. The speech came after a nearly weeklong stalemate by Republicans in electing a speaker after they won a narrow majority in November’s election. (Screenshot from C-SPAN video feed)
Peltola learning the House party is over

Distractions and inaction replace honeymoon headlines as Alaska’s new rep joins minority.

Most Read