Shay, a southern female Bald Eagle, was one of the first eight eagles to call the CPN Aviary their permanent home. She was the first of those eagles released into the enclosures when the aviary opened in June of 2012. She is our oldest female at this time and is a dominant presence in her enclosure acting almost as a mother figure for the younger eagles. She was given the Potawatomi name Nétem-danes: First Daughter.
However, Aviary Directors, Jennifer Randell and Bree Dunham, had the opportunity to meet Shay long before the aviary was open. In the fall of 2008 they began a portion of their hands on training at Sia: The Comanche Nation Ornithological Initiative, and became acquainted with her there. She was found in Florida grounded and unable to hunt. She was taken to the Florida Audubon Society Rehabilitation Center for treatment where it was discovered she had been shot in the wing and would not be able to have full use of her wing again. Upon intake Shay was listed as an adult female of 5 years of age because of her large size and full white head and tail. After 6 months of healing she was added to the facilities education permit and remained there several years before being transferred to Sia in 2005. As construction of the CPN Aviary was nearing completion the decision was made to transfer several of the Eagles from Sia that Jennifer and Bree had become close to over the course of their training there. Shay was one of those Eagles. During their training they discovered that she loves to be misted with the water hose when refilling water, washing down the enclosure or watering the plants. She will run and jump to her perch batting her wings and vocalizing almost demanding to be sprayed. No matter the weather, freezing cold or sweltering heat, she will spread her wings open wide and begin beating them in the mist with such force she can hardly hold on to the log where she is perched. She has the staff trained very well.
In the fall of 2015, Shay will become the first Bald Eagle at the CPN to undergo cataract surgery to restore her vision that has been declining since 2013.