American Eagle Foundation
|Motto||Help Keep America's Eagles Flying Strong & Free!|
|Purpose||Humane care for Eagles|
|Headquarters||Pigeon Forge, Tennessee|
|Membership||more than 100|
|Funder & President||Al Louis Cecere|
The American Eagle Foundation was founded in 1985 by a group of wildlife experts and concerned citizens to help the bald eagle return to America's skies. The American Eagle Foundation started by providing assistance with private, state, and federal eagle rehabilitation programs. They expanded to offering full-service rehab care and facilities for the eagle. In 1991, the American Eagle Foundation began using permanently disabled eagles in their care for education programs. Since then, they have educated millions of people throughout the United States on conservation of the eagle.
The American Eagle Foundation is a full-service rehabilitation program specializing in bald eagles but also houses and rehabilitates other birds of prey. They offer rehab and release programs for injured eagles as well as housing and care for permanently disabled birds. Their facilities are located and sponsored by Dollywood and housed on the entertainment park's grounds in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
From 2000 through 2010, the American Eagle Foundation has released 101 captive-hatched and/or orphaned bald eaglets from its artificial nesting tower located on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. Many of these young birds were captive-hatched by non-releasable permanently disabled parent eagles at the American Eagle Foundation's Dollywood-based raptor facility. The American Eagle Foundation has participated in the release of hundreds of other bald eaglets in other locations in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The American Eagle Foundation is well known for using some of the eagles in its care to perform free-flights during the "Star Spangled Banner". The American Eagle Foundation found that people responded well to the sight of an eagle flying from one trainer to another. Since 1991, AEF eagles have performed over 8,000 free flights ranging from venues such as school gyms, all the way to Super Bowl and World Series games. Named in honor of the lost space shuttle crew, Challenger has performed free-flights at hundreds of events.
- "About the American Eagle Foundation" Eagles.org. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "American Eagle Foundation - Board, Staff, Advisory Team". Retrieved March 17, 2011.