HICKORY NUT MOUNTAIN – The weather looks to be perfect for bird watching Saturday as Tommy Young prepares to return the second Bald Eagle of the year back to the wild. The release will be his 114th Bald Eagle release and will take place April 3 at 2 p.m.at the Hickory Nut Mountain Vista.
He will be releasing a male Bald Eagle that was hit by a car in Howard County. The bird has been in Tommy’s care since January 3. Injuries included road rash, concussion, lots of broken bones. A titanium plate was surgically inserted across his pelvic girdle and a pin was placed in his tail bone. The surgical repairs were necessary to assure he could fly steadily.
The April 3 release should give him just enough time to return to his home in the North to find his mate.
Tommy estimates this Bald Eagle is around seven years old.
Tommy 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. The 13th of February 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 important work receives no government funding and is supported solely by donations.
The location provides an excellent viewpoint to watch the newly released eagle for quite a distance. Inclement weather will move the event to Sunday, April 4, at 2 p.m.
Hickory Nut Mountain Vista and Picnic Area are located just off Highway 270 east of Joplin.The turn off for Hickory Nut Mountain is located about 13 miles East of Mount 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.