When this bald eagle chick, named Starbuck, first arrived to the Wildlife Images Rehabilitation Center in Oregon last April, she was so frail that it was unclear if she would make it. Orphaned at just a few days old, the eaglet stood little chance of surviving on her own, let alone ever leading a normal life.
But fortunately she wasn't without the care and attention of two doting parents for long.
After care staff successfully stabilized Starbuck, feeding her until she reached a healthy weight, they passed the baby bird to two locals who were far better equipped to raise her: the center's resident bald eagles, Squeaky and Haggis.
The staff wasn't sure at first how the adult eagle pair would react to the new arrival, but any doubts they may have had were soon quelled. Although Starbuck's foster parents have spent most of their lives in captivity, deemed unfit to return to the wild themselves, they embraced the young bird as if she were their very own.
"Success was celebrated by the staff when the foster parents were observed feeding Starbuck to abundance," writes WIRC.
That "abundance" quickly showed. Over the months that followed, Starbuck grew and grew ...