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

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 7

Here’s what to expect this week.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police ID man missing from cruise ship

Coast Guard suspends search efforts

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 10, 2022

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

A northern oriole used dietary carotenoids to make its feathers bright orange. (Courtesy Photo / J. S. Willson)
On the Trails: The colorful world of birds

Colors are produced by cell structure, which can scatter light rays, making… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 9, 2022

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

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022

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

Ice fog, a phrase in Russell Tabbert’s Dictionary of Alaskan English, is not uttered in many other places because to form it takes a sustained temperature of minus 35 F. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Alaska lexicon sinks in over the years

When my little Ford pickup chugged into Alaska 36 years ago this… Continue reading

Mimi Israelah, center, cheers for Donald Trump inside the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska, during a rally Saturday July 9, 2022. Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when Israelah, in town for a rally by former President Donald Trump showed a "white privilege card" instead of a driver's license and was not ticketed. (Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News)
Alaska officers violated policy in ‘white privilege’ stop

It’s unclear what policy was violated or what disciplinary actions the two officers faced.

Most Read