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Film celebrates bald eagle restoration

Published September 07. 2013 09:00AM

HARRISBURG A few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that the 30-year restoration in Pennsylvania has been so successful that the symbol of our nation may be removed from the threatened-species list.

Now the public will have the opportunity to view the success of that project with the showing of the PGC documentary film "Pennsylvania Bald Eagles, Celebrating 30 Years of Restoration." A full schedule of the showings, which will be updated as needed, is available on the agency website at

Regionally, three shows are scheduled: Saturday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m. at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Visitor Center, 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton; Sunday, Sept. 29, Noon at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center, 100 Museum Road, Stevens; and Thursday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., at Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, 176 Water Company Road, Millersburg.

In 1983, when the PGC launched what would become a seven-year program to restore bald eagles, only three nests remained statewide. That represented a total of six adult birds, all of which were located in Crawford County, in the northwestern corner of the state, along the Ohio border.

Now, 30 years later bald eagles have become a common sight throughout much of Pennsylvania. So far this year, 268 nests have been counted statewide, prompting the PGC to consider a proposal to remove bald eagles from the state's list of threatened species.

"Pennsylvania Bald Eagles, Celebrating 30 Years of Restoration" brings full circle the amazing story of the bald eagle in Pennsylvania. This film follows the bald eagle through its drastic decline and successful reintroduction to the present time, when the population once again is thriving.

Commentary throughout the film is featured by some of the leading authorities on bald eagles. PGC endangered bird biologist Patti Barber, wildlife diversity section chief Dan Brauning and wildlife conservation officer Ronda Bimber are among those heard talking about the past, present and future of the bald eagle.

Wildlife rehabilitators Carol Holmgren, Sue DeArment and Maryjane Angelo are shown working to restore the health of injured bald eagles. One is a 25-year-old bird that as an eaglet was plucked from a Canadian nest and brought to Pennsylvania as part of the PGC restoration program, and all the rehabilitated eagles are returned to the wild.

"The bald eagle's recovery in Pennsylvania has been nothing short of remarkable, and this film does an incredible job of telling that story" PGC executive director Carl Roe said. "It celebrates a victory for wildlife conservation and will leave residents feeling proud to be Pennsylvanians.

"People have an indescribable connection with bald eagles. To see the bald eagle's tale of triumph laid out in this manner simply is a thing of beauty."

Roe said the film was received warmly at its first public screening during a recent PGC board of game commissioners working meeting. After seeing the film many of those who were there remarked on how moving they found it to be.

"Pennsylvania Bald Eagles, Celebrating 30 Years of Restoration" was filmed and edited by PGC videographers Hal Korber and Tracy Graziano. It has been entered in the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and after making its tour around the state, will be made available to the public online.

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