OK, so it wasn't THAT dramatic. But Alice flew for the first time in her life this past Sunday, with much assistance from flight instructor Dale Scobie of Spring Grove, MN.
Alice broke her wing when she fell from her nest at only three weeks of age. Her wing damage is permanent, leaving her unable to fly or live in the wild, hence her job working at the Houston Nature Center. So she has never flown....
Several people were quite concerned that flying in an airplane would be anything but fun for Alice. Marge Gibson, Alice's rehabilitator, has transported Bald Eagles in small aircraft before, and they spent the whole time looking out the window. It seemed likely Alice might like it too, so we did a trial run taxiing around on the runway to make sure Alice would be OK with it, and it didn't phase her one bit.
Again, the weather was sunny and nice, but this time the runway was clear and we were good to go.
I think Alice was a bit stressed by the noise and commotion of getting airborne (she had her beak open just slightly), but once we were up, she took it like a drive in the car. No big deal one way or the other.