Orphaned baby bald eagle nurtured by foster parents, to be set free in Lewis Co. Wednesday

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- A once-tiny, orphaned bald eagle is to be returned to the wild in Lewis County, Wash., Wednesday after six months of care from eagle foster parents at a rehabilitation facility in southern Oregon, KPTV in Portland reported Tuesday.

Starbuck weighed just 2 pounds when she was found by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service workers in Morton, Wash., KPTV said.

The agency contacted Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center in Grants Pass, Ore.,  about caring for the animal.

Wildlife Images staff stabilized the baby bald eagle by regulating its temperature and increasing its ability to accept food before presenting her to foster parents.

The center's resident bald eagles, Squeaky and Haggis, were moved into the site to begin the lengthy introduction process. Cameras were installed in the outdoor enclosure to monitor the relationship between the birds.

Workers said they weren't sure if the older eagles would accept the baby, but before long, the foster parents were seen feeding Starbuck "to abundance."

Starbuck was protected, fed and nurtured for six months. The little bird had trouble standing at first, due to an iron deficiency, but she now weighs 11 pounds and is fully grown.

KPTV said Wildlife Images is releasing Starbuck back into the wild close to the location where he was found, at the Blue Creek Boat Launch on the Cowlitz River in Lewis County, Wash., at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.