Arkansas Native Plant & Wildlife Center/ Lynn Greenwade
Local wildlife rehabber Tommy Young will release a male bald eagle on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. The eagle will be released at the vista overlook on Hickory Nut Mountain near Mt. Ida, Arkansas.
Young has been rehabilitating wildlife since he was a teen and is authorized by the US government to care for injured eagles. This eagle was received with a broken leg and has had a titanium pin inserted. Feb. 13 was chosen as this will be the 113th bald eagle cared for and released back to the wild by Young.
This event is suitable for families and all ages. There is no charge to attend. Donations are gratefully accepted, however, as this work receives no government funding and is supported solely by donations.
The event will be attended by various indigenous tribes for whom the eagle is an important symbol.
The location provides an excellent viewpoint to watch the newly released eagle for quite a distance. Inclement weather will move the event to Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2.
Directions to Hickory Nut Mountain Vista & Picnic Area, US Highway 270 in Mt. Ida:
The turn off for Hickory Nut Mountain is located about 13 miles East of Mt. Ida on your left, or 23 miles West of Hot Springs on your right, approximately 1.3 miles West of the Garland/Montgomery county line. Follow Hickory Nut Mountain Road as it climbs the mountain, taking the Left fork at 1.0 mile. At 3.5 miles is a sign on your left for the picnic area. The road ends at 4.2 miles at the vista overlook, where the eagle will be released.
About the Bald Eagle
“The bald eagle was chosen as a national emblem of the United States by the Continental Congress of 1782 and was given legal protection by the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940.
The bald and golden eagles and their feathers are highly valued by most Native Americans. Usually, the logo of an eagle feather is seen as a symbol of the Native Americans. They honor and respect the eagles for they are believed to symbolize certain characteristics such as honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom. Native Americans consider eagles to be the Master of the sky since they fly higher than any other birds and therefore are closer to God. It is also believed that because eagles fly higher in the sky for long periods of time, they carry prayers from ground to the Creator of the world.”