On April 27, members of the Boy Scout Troop 366 of Oxford encountered a large, injured bird on their hike to Camp Agawa in Lake Orion. They didn't know exactly what it was, but they knew they had to get help. The Scouts hiked double-time to camp and told Scout leader Bill Cowles, 43, of Oxford about the fallen bird.
A rescue mission ensued, as two of the older Scouts - Tyler Eshelman and Stephen Beglau - led Cowles back to where the bird lay on the ground, underneath some power lines.
"Since we're Boy Scouts, we practice stewardship of the outdoors," Cowles said, putting the Scouts' actions into perspective. "And I guess that would be a pretty good way of taking care of the outdoors, is our national emblem."
While the two Scouts held the eagle's attention, Cowles sneaked up behind it and caught the bird in his heavy-duty Carhartt jacket. He positioned the wing at the eagle's side and wrapped it snugly in the jacket. Cowles carried the eagle back to camp, where he learned that Linda Bianco, a licensed raptor rehabilitator from Rochester Hills, was on her way to help.
Bianco has been rehabilitating injured raptors, which are birds of prey such as hawks, falcons, eagles and owls, for eight years. She was amazed at the level of deference the Scouts had for the bird.
"They were so incredibly respectful of my space and the bird's space, and the need for no stress on the animal, that I was so impressed with how they cared for this bird when they first got it," she said.