Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Memoriam of Jean Keene..The Eagle Lady

I am so thankful that this lady lived to see her so Beloved Birds make it off of the Endangered Species list. This must have been a thrill for her.

Homer will never be quite the same without her and many eagles have a bit of life adjustment to make. I am grateful that she was allowed to continue to feed these birds however for her lifetime.

A brief quote from the Homer Tribune article

This winter was different from the previous seasons of her octogenarian years. Having survived several bouts of illness, she knew she wouldn't be heaving any boxes or barrels of fish donations over the bed of her blue Sierra GMC pickup.
"I can have a friend help bring the boxes to where I can throw it," Keene said. "I'm not as young as I used to be. I'll never be as strong as I was."
Keene had two spells in the hospital this summer and got around with the aid of a walker. Yet her blue eyes lit up as she talked about greeting the eagles she had devoted her life to carrying through winter for the better part of three decades, in an interview Nov. 12.
"I love eagles and all wildlife. They have a hard time in the winter,"

And some tales of the individual eagles whose life she made a direct difference to in Jean's own words.

"There's one pair I call Lloyd and Mabel, after friends of mine. They stay together on the Spit. It's unusual to see eagles stay together as a couple," Keene said.
"Another is a rehab bird, Betsy, that is 15 years old, at least. She hangs out and sits pretty close to me whenever I come out."
She encounters the wounded that might not otherwise make it through the winter, one-eyed or one-legged soldiers from battles Keene can only guess at. One was an eagle with its lower beak shot off. It couldn't eat fish in the usual way, so it needed a more liquid meal of egg clumps it could siphon up, as if using a straw, she said.
Keene reports the injured birds to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Usually they are picked up and taken to Dr. James Scott at the Bird Learning Rescue Center in Anchorage. One that Keene named Spirit Dance seared off its white head feathers after it ran into a cable. It was healed at the center, and then was returned to Keene to release it back to the wild.

My Tribute to Jean

Please allow me to use a song you have heard in my posts many times before BUT this time it is carried on the heartstrings of many and it is Dedicated to Jean from the Eagles ...especially those she cared for personally in so very many ways.

Click to play The Eagle Lady
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gloria said...

What are her birds going to do now.They will miss there caregiver and friend.I was so glad to hear the law would let her continue to take care of her one true love in life her eaglesWe hope there is someone they will let step into her shoes and keep helping these poor eagles for years to comeWe miss you Jean MAY YPU FLY FREE WITH YOUR EAAGLES

glo said...

Well she fought for and received permission from Homer to feed them until April 2010. Unfortunately she din't make it through this winter. I don't expect Homer to grant this permission to anyone else although I guess perhaps since the eagles have come to depend on her maybe someone will feed them some through this winter. I would like to see that happen for sure.

Cary Anderson said...

UPDATE: The Homer City Council has given permission to Jean's good friend and helper, Steve Tarola, to continue feeding the eagles through this winter. This certainly is good news and it is how Jean would have wanted it. Jean, may your spirit soar. --Cary Anderson

glo said...

Thanks Cary for adding that piece of info. I am sure that is exactly what Jean would have wanted. I am thrilled to read that news.