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

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID / NIH)
CBJ reports 26 new COVID-19 cases

None are in the homeless population.

Blank Unemployment Benefits formq
State cites tech woes for delay in increased jobless aid

Payments had been expected this week.

This is a police car.  It has always been a police car.
Police calls for Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

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

The site of the future Glory Hall at the corner of Teal Street and Alpine Avenue in the Mendenhall Valley. Co-located will be the Southeast Community Services Center, forming and integrated campus, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Trust donates $150K to Juneau community services center

The structure will be a hub for many of Juneau’s community-oriented nonprofits.

This is a police car.  It has always been a police car.
Police calls for Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

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

Hand sanitizer and declaration forms for out-of-state arrivals to the Juneau International Airport on Oct. 12, 2020. An update to the state's travel mandates and to the way tests from the airport are processed, out-of-state arrivals must now register both with the state's traveler website and a private lab's website. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
City announces new requirements for out-of-state arrivals

Updated travel mandate changes process.

This is a police car.
Police calls for Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

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

First Student employees load meals on school buses so the meals can be distributed to Juneau youths. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau School District)
School district updates meal pickup schedules

The break and holiday meal schedule is coming.

Most Read