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Rodney Stotts is a master falconer and the founder of Rodney’s Raptors, which strives to create transformative opportunities that connect youth to the environment and community. Kate Pipkin is a writer and editor in Baltimore who worked with Stotts on his book Bird Brother: A Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife. In this excerpt, Stotts recalls caring for four eaglets in 1994 and the impact the experience had on him.

“Yo, yo, yo,” I called, running up the metal ramp to the old pump house and flinging open the door. “The eagles are coming, the eagles are coming.”

Everyone laughed, and so did I. This was a big day for the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) and for all of us who had worked so hard to get to this point.

Bob Nixon had finally been given permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring four young eagles from Wisconsin to Southeast D.C. and place them in an artificial nest in a poplar tree on property owned by the National Arboretum. He was on his way from the airport, where he and a few members of our crew had gone to pick up the eagles. The rest of us were waiting at the pump house.

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