Glendale pupils 'adopt' bald eagle Student donations help support injured bird

February 07, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The only bald eagles Timmy Carter and his classmates at Glendale Elementary School have seen were in magazines or on television.

But that is likely to change once the students raise $100 to adopt one through the Maryland State Park Foundation and Department of Natural Resources' "Scales and Tales" wildlife program.

After the children raise the money, a handler from DNR will bring their eagle, a female found 1 1/2 years ago on the Eastern Shore with her left wing missing, and several smaller birds to the school.

The students began dropping loose change and dollar bills into glass jugs outside the school's office and in the cafeteria in December. The money will pay for one year of food and medical care for the eagle.

So far, they have collected $25 for Aquila, named for a constellation shaped like an eagle, after a school wide contest in September.

Timmy, 9, who submitted the winning entry, said he chose the name after flipping through an encyclopedia.

"I got a little prize for naming the eagle," he said. He received a certificate from Principal John T. Birus, an eagle pin and a POG with an eagle on it.

After the name of the eagle was chosen, the children were excited because they thought the bird soon would come to the school. But when it didn't appear, some children thought school officials were hiding the bird in a closet, Mr. Birus said.

"The eagle was not here, that's all we heard," he said.

When the eagle does arrive, the DNR handler will talk to the children about the care and scarcity of the bald eagle, a national symbol that almost became extinct.

"The focus of our program is where we get these animals, and weuse them to teach how each of us can be better stewards of our wildlife," said DNR Ranger William C. Trautman, director of Scales and Tales.

Nichole Houghtling, 10, said she has "an uneven feeling" about meeting her first bald eagle.

But Timmy said he is "looking forward" to meeting the bird.

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