WATCH: Think Wild releases rehabilitated Bald Eagle back to Central Oregon wild

BEND, Oregon — Central Oregon wildlife hospital Think Wild released a Bald Eagle back into the wild Monday after spending weeks nursing it back to health. Think Wild says this is the first adult Bald Eagle it has rehabilitated and released to the wild.

Think Wild said it learned on Nov. 3 about the eagle near Tumalo Reservoir. The bird was described as lethargic and unresponsive. The eagle was in a tree, but it was so non-responsive that a Think Wild volunteer was able to climb the tree the bird was in and capture it.

“Upon admission, staff confirmed the head droop and lethargic, minimally responsive behavior in the adult Bald Eagle. The eagle was also thin and dehydrated with debris in the mouth with labored, raspy breathing. Staff conducted a test for lead poisoning which was subclinical. Because Bald Eagles are known to prey on waterfowl, staff considered possible infection with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and kept the eagle in quarantine for 10 days to avoid potential pathogen spread to other Think Wild patients,” Think Wild said in a release.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Baby beaver found weak, dehydrated makes recovery at High Desert Museum

After more than three weeks of hand-feeding, hydration and daily anti-inflammatories, the eagle regained its strength and was able to fly again.

Think Wild released the bird back into the wild Monday at Tumalo Reservoir. You can watch the release in the video above.

Here is the full press release:

Bend, Oregon — On November 3rd, Think Wild, Central Oregon’s wildlife hospital and conservation center, received a call about a lethargic, unresponsive Bald Eagle in a tree near Tumalo Reservoir. Think Wild dispatched a rescue and transport volunteer, Corky Luster, to assess the situation. Although perched in a tree, the eagle’s head and wings were drooped, and the bird was barely responsive to Corky’s approach. Corky climbed the tree to capture the eagle for transport to Think Wild’s wildlife hospital for care. 

Upon admission, staff confirmed the head droop and lethargic, minimally responsive behavior in the adult Bald Eagle. The eagle was also thin and dehydrated with debris in the mouth with labored, raspy breathing. Staff conducted a test for lead poisoning which was subclinical. Because Bald Eagles are known to prey on waterfowl, staff considered possible infection with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and kept the eagle in quarantine for 10 days to avoid potential pathogen spread to other Think Wild patients. 

During the time in quarantine, the eagle received daily anti-inflammatories, oral hydration, and hand feeding since they were not initially self-feeding. Within a week at Think Wild, the eagle’s body condition and mentation gradually improved and they began to show interest in food. By the end of quarantine, the eagle had gained 800 grams – a 25% increase – and symptoms were mostly resolved. At that point, HPAI was eliminated as the cause, so staff moved the eagle to a flight enclosure to rebuild flight stamina and undergo live prey and flight tests. 

On Monday, November 27th, Think Wild staff released the Bald Eagle back to the wild at Tumalo Reservoir. A small group of volunteers and donors joined to observe the release. According to Wildlife Technician Savanna Scheiner, “The eagle’s flight at the release surpassed even what we’d observed in the flight enclosure at Think Wild. We were able to witness the eagle gain and maintain lift, then soar over the release attendees for several minutes after taking off. We are confident that this eagle will be able to thrive back in the wild.”

This is the first adult Bald Eagle that Think Wild has rehabilitated and released to the wild. Like with many injured wildlife who are found days or even weeks after injury, Think Wild staff were not able to determine the exact cause of the eagle’s poor condition upon intake, although it is possible that the eagle ingested a toxin like rodenticide. Lead, blood, and fecal tests can only provide so much information, and not every injury is as obvious as a barbed wire entanglement or car strike. Fortunately, the large raptor responded well to care and is soaring the skies above Central Oregon for another chance at life. 

Bald Eagles are large raptors native to North America. They typically nest in forested areas near bodies of water, eating primarily fish and waterfowl, as well as scavenged carcasses. Previously declining populations of Bald Eagles have recovered in the past several decades, with an estimated 4% population growth each year between 1966 and 2019. Bald Eagles are protected in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Act. Bald Eagles are susceptible to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). If you come across any bird of prey with neurologic or lethargic behavior, it’s important to alert Think Wild or ODFW so we can offer care and monitor the prevalence of HPAI in Central Oregon. 

Weather Discussion

Tuesday has been cold. After a frosty start, freezing fog lifted and dissipated for most of Central Oregon. In areas that had persistent overcast, temperatures stayed cold. Many of us had highs in the 40s and there were some 30s. For many of us, temperatures ran from 4° warmer to 7° cooler than 24-hours ago by this afternoon. This puts us near/below normal (Avg. Bend 44/26) for late November.

These next few days:
Tonight will bring more areas of freezing fog with cold temperatures. More sunshine is expected with some in and out clouds for Wednesday. Where there is no fog (and where AM clearing occurs) highs will rebound into the 40s. Where fog lifts and clouds linger, it will be colder with highs in the 30s. This calmer weather pattern will continue through the next 24-hours or so and our next cold front will begin to impact parts of Central Oregon by Wednesday night. This will mark the beginning of an active weather pattern that will continue through this weekend and into next week with several big changes on the way.

Overnight temperatures will drop well below freezing, through the 20s and into the teens for some. Expect areas of freezing fog and a gentle breeze. 

Wednesday will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy and dry with a light breeze. Highs in the 40s with some 30s possible. A few sprinkles/flurries are expected in areas of fog with mountain snow staring overnight, in advance of our next cold front.

The rest of our 7day planner:
Our calm weather pattern with cold nights, chilly days, no precipitation and a light breeze will come to an end, Wednesday night
Our next cold front will mark the beginning of an active weather pattern. This system will move through the Pacific Northwest Thursday. By 11pm Thursday as much as 1-foot of new snow is expected in the Cascades with 4″-8″ for Bachelor and Hoodoo. Some light totals in our lower elevations. A lot more snow is expected Friday and Saturday with some totals in our lower elevations as back-to-back cold fronts move through the region with periods of clearing between systems. 
This active weather pattern will continue through the weekend, followed by some clearing early next week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon through Saturday PM. Heavy mountain snow of 10″-26″ expected above 3,500 feet. 
There is also a series of Air Stagnation Advisories (NWS) and Air Quality Alerts (OR-DEQ) for most of the state. Periods of poor air quality are expected until (11am Thursday) our next cold front moves into the Pacific Northwest.

Tune in tonight for the latest headlines in news and your most reliable forecast on Central Oregon Daily News. That’s tonight at 5 & 11 on ABC and at 6, 7 & 11 on CBS.

Meteorologist Dorrell Wenninger

▶️ Taller Christmas trees costing a little more than last year

Prices for taller Christmas trees have seen a bump compared to last year. Buyers looking for trees between 8-10 feet could expect to pay $10 more than the last holiday season.

“The taller trees are more expensive this year. The shorter trees haven’t been raised that much. It’s just that supply and demand of the taller tree,” Luke Buerger with Candy Cane Christmas Tree Company in Bend said. 

Shortages plus high demand have led to the increases. But for some, the price hike is barely noticeable.

“Prices may have gone up a little bit, maybe $10 at the most for this tree. Maybe a little bit of a rise but nothing exceptional,” Christmas tree buyer Dale Navish said.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Christmas tree permits for Deschutes, Ochoco forests now available

RELATED: Santa Claus visits Good Morning Central Oregon to talk about Bend Christmas Parade

It seems the new prices haven’t driven away any customers, either. 

“I think that we’ve sold about 175 trees. We sold out almost a week’s worth of trees in two-and-a-half days,” Owner of T & T Christmas Trees in Bend Tina Russell said.  “I’d say we sold out five days faster than what we sold last year and we haven’t hit our busy streak. We’re also noticing that the last three years, because of shortages, people are coming earlier and earlier.”

Both tree lots recommend customers get their trees early this year as both have sold out nearly every weekend they’ve been open.

Another option is to purchase a Christmas tree permit from the Deschutes or Ochoco National Forests and cut one down yourself.

▶️ $55,000 in scholarships this year are life changers for St. Charles staff

The St. Charles Foundation announced Monday it has awarded more than $55,000 in health care scholarships to its caregivers in 2023. The scholarships fund secondary education and training for current St. Charles staff.

For some St. Charles employees, a scholarship can be the difference between continuing their schooling or having to drop out.

“It’s a big deal for me because it helps me make sure that I can afford to go to school and I can afford to stay in my home as well,” nursing assistant Amanda Davis said.

For caregivers like Davis, who works at St. Charles in Madras, receiving a scholarship is a life changer.

“My home life has been really rough with the last year,” Davis said. “I actually had to take a pause on school fall of last year and I ended up losing my financial aid because I had failed the class because of everything I had gone through. And just with this scholarship and just that extra help really is important to me, and it makes me so happy.”

RELATED: COCC nursing partnership helps solve staffing issues at St. Charles

Each scholarship recipient was given between $1,500 and $5,000 each.

“These are caregivers who are pursuing a career in the medical field, whether it be nursing, pharmacy, something in the clinical role. And being able to support their education through funds raised from this community from individuals who give year-round,” St. Charles Foundation Executive Director Jenny O’Bryan said.

“I can have a home, have Internet and get my classes done. Because I want to be a nurse. It’s that’s that’s my goal,” Davis said.

▶️ Bend-La Pine schools, teachers meeting almost daily as talks continue

The Bend-La Pine School District says negotiations with the teachers union is now happening nearly every day.

After taking Thanksgiving week off from talks, both sides were back at it Monday for all-day negotiations.

Twenty-four hours of negotiations are scheduled over four days this week. The district says negotiations will continue at this pace until a deal is reached.

Teachers are currently working without a contract.

RELATED: Portland schools reach tentative deal with teachers union after 3-week strike

▶️ Bend Park and Rec winter program registration next week

Set your alarm clocks. Registration for Bend Park and Recreation District winter programs is next week. These programs run January to March.

Registration opens online at 6:00 a.m., Monday – Wednesday, Dec. 4-6. Each day is broken up into different activity categories.

  • Monday, December 4, 6:00 a.m.: Recreation, enrichment and sports programs open.
  • Tuesday, December 5, 6:00 a.m.: Swim lessons and aquatics programs open.
  • Wednesday, December 6, 6:00 a.m.: Winter and spring sports leagues open including adult curling, youth hockey, youth indoor soccer, youth lacrosse and youth softball leagues.

BPRD went to this staggered sign-up a year ago after repeated issues with users unable to log in due to the high demand. It includes the use of a virtual waiting room, so you can see a status bar to find out how soon you before its your turn to sign up.

The winter 2024 playbook, showing the schedule of all the activities, is expected to be released this week.

If you’re new to signing up for BPRD activities, you need to have a verified account first. That can take up to 24 hours, so be sure to create an account online ahead of time.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Bend Park and Rec mini-doc highlights ‘Family Swim Lessons in Spanish’ program

RELATED: New $2.5 million Bend Art Station to be built at Larkspur Park

▶️ Country singer Jason Aldean coming to Bend next summer

Award-winning country singer Jason Aldean is the latest act announced to the 2024 summer lineup at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend.

Live Nation announced Monday that Aldean will bring his Highway Desperado Tour to Central Oregon on Sept. 5. Hailey Whitters, Chase Matthew, Austin Snell and Dee Jay Silver will also be performing as special guests.

There are multiple presales available online, which you can find here. The first happens Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. for fan club members. The venue online presale is Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

General sales begin Friday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. both online and in-person at the Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District. Tickets are available at both the Hayden Homes Amphitheater website and at

“The tour will also offer a variety of different VIP packages and experiences for fans to take their concert experience to the next level. Packages vary but include premium tickets, invitation to the Jason Aldean VIP Lounge, pre-show acoustic performance and Q&A session with Jason Aldean, VIP gift item & more. For more information, visit!” Live Nation said.

Aldean went viral last summer with the song “Try That in a Small Town.” Country Music Television pulled the music after just one week in response to an outcry over its setting and lyrics. But dropping the video only made it more popular on YouTube, sending it from 350,000 views to more than 16 million in one week. Now that number is now over 44 million.

Aldean’s video received fervent criticism online, with some claiming the visual is a “dog whistle” and others labeling it “pro-lynching.” Aldean countered in a tweet, saying  “There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.”

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: ‘Take Me To Church’ singer Hozier coming to Bend next September

RELATED: Tyler Childers coming to Hayden Homes Amphitheater for 2 shows next summer


5/18/24 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar World Casino and Resort*

7/11/24 – Syracuse, NY – Empower Federal Credit Union Amphitheater at Lakeview&

7/12/24 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater& – ON SALE FRI, DEC 15

7/13/24 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center – ON SALE FRI, DEC 15

7/25/24 – Savannah, GA – Enmarket Arena^

7/26/24 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach^

8/1/24 – Buffalo, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater^

8/2/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Freedom Mortgage Pavilion^ –ON SALE FRI, DEC 15

8/3/24 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain^

8/8/24 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center^

8/10/24 – Burgettstown, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake^

8/16/24 – Mt. Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort*

8/17/24 – East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley Music Theatre

8/24/24 – Gilford, NH – BankNH Pavilion&

8/25/24 – Gilford, NH – BankNH Pavilion&

8/29/24 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum

8/30/24 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live&

9/5/24 – Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater&

9/6/24 – Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater&

9/7/24 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre&

9/12/24 – Lincoln, CA – Thunder Valley Casino Resort*

9/20/24 – Sparks, NV – Nugget Event Center*

9/21/24 – Laughlin, NV – Laughlin Event Center*

10/5/24 – Macon, GA – Macon Amphitheater&


*Not A Live Nation Date

& with Hailey Whitters

^ with Lauren Alaina

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

▶️ War Stories: Robert Grooney

Robert Grooney joined the Marines during World War 2 when he was just 15 years old. He fought in the Pacific Theater including Iwo Jima and went on to become part of the military police.

He moved to Sisters in the 1970s and opened The Gallimaufry, which in now owned by his grandson, Adrian “Spud” Shaw — who is also a Marine veteran.

Grooney is one of the big reasons Sisters now has its own high school.

This is his war story, as told by Spud.


War Stories: Adrian ‘Spud’ Shaw

War Stories: McKibben Womack

War Stories: How the Bend Veterans Day Parade got started

War Stories: Jim McNamara

War Stories: Douglas Maines


▶️ Redmond house fire caused by something cooking while no one was home

A fire that did a half-million dollars in damage to a Redmond house is being blamed on something that was cooking when nobody was home, according to Redmond Fire and Rescue.

The fire happened Friday at about 9:00 a.m. at a manufactured home in the 6200 block of SW Harvest Avenue.

Redmond Fire said the first crews to arrive saw heavy fire through the roof. The fire was fought from outside. Water tenders had to be brought in due to a lack of fire hydrants.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire and no pets were inside. The estimated loss to the building is approximately $500,000, Redmond Fire said.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was cooking that was left unattended.

RELATED: DCSO: K9s help arrest transient accused of opening fire near UTV tour group

RELATED: A fire sprinkler system puts out fire caused by a charging electric skateboard

▶️ Santa Claus visits Good Morning Central Oregon to talk about Bend Christmas Parade

Santa Claus made a special visit to Good Morning Central Oregon Monday to visit with Megan Sinclair and talk about Saturday’s Downtown Bend Christmas Parade.

The parade starts at noon. The route starts at the corner of NW Harmon Avenue and NW Newport Avenue. It goes east on Newport, south on NW Wall Street, west on NW Riverside Boulevard to NW Galveston Avenue before ending back at Harmon Avenue.

RELATED: Santaland open in Old Mill District through Dec. 23

RELATED: Santa kicks off Christmas season in the Old Mill, flies in on helicopter