Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bald Eaglets Released Into Foothills of Great Smokies Named By Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus

BUSINESS WIRE --Two 14-week old bald eaglets named Hope and Tennessee by Hannah Montana TV stars Miley Cyrus and her father Billy Ray were released by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) from an artificial nesting tower located on Douglas Lake in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. A group of Mileys fans was on hand to help set the eagles free.

The birds flew majestically while discovering their newfound freedom right after the nesting tower door was opened by several of Mileys East Tennessee fans, said AEF founder and President Al Cecere. This is yet another step in our efforts to fully bring back eagles to our nations lands, waterways and skies."

The young eagles named by the Cyruses were hatched from non-releasable parents earlier this spring at the AEFs United States Eagle Center at the Dollywood family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Five other captive-hatched eaglets were also released.

A song titled Wake Up America appears on Mileys new record album (Breakout) that expresses the singers feelings about protecting our Earth and Americas natural resources:

The Earth is calling out
I wanna learn
What it's all about
Everything I read
Is global warming,
Going green
Wake up America
We're all in this together
It's our home
So let's take care of it

To date, 313 captive-hatched and translocated bald eaglets have been released in Tennessee since the early 1980s - with 95 eaglets released at the Douglas Lake location.

There are presently an estimated 77 successful wild nests in Tennessee that fledged about 135 young last year. The state had no known occupied eagle nests in the early 1980s.

Although the bald eagle was delisted from Endangered Species Act protection in June 2007, Americas living symbol isnt out of the woods yet, said Cecere. The birds fight for future survival will be an on-going process."

According to the AEF, it will cost millions of dollars to monitor and protect eagle nests on private lands nationally for the remainder of this decade and beyond.

The conservation group hopes to raise an initial $10 million from the general public for its American Eagle Fund endowment by 2009 - to help monitor and protect the bald eagle for future generations.

A special United States Mint commemorative eagle coin set that went on sale in January 2008 has already raised over $6 million for the Fund, and could potentially raise over $10 million by the end of the year with the publics support (www.usmint.gov). The coins celebrate the eagles successful recovery to America.

Its the responsibility of every American to participate in keeping this precious national treasure flying strong and free forever, said Cecere.

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