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And The Winners Are...

The Matagorda County Birding Nature Center recently announced that Izabella Castillo, 7 years old, and Harper Hill, 6 years old, as the winners of its Name the Eaglet contest.

In anticipation of the eaglet birth, the Birding Nature Center held the Name the Eaglet contest during the month of March to challenge kids, young and old, to name what turned out to be two baby bald eagles.

Volunteer and board member Stephen Logan (left photo) stands with Name the Eaglet contest winner Izabella Castillo, 7 years old, on the lookout deck at the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center across from the bald eagle nest. Volunteer and board member Diana Frankson (right photo) stands with Name the Eaglet contest winner Harper Hill, 6 years old, on the lookout deck at the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center across from the bald eagle nest.

For the past several weeks, observers from the area – and around the country – have visited the Birding Nature Center hoping to catch a glimpse of the twin eaglets nestled in a pile of twigs situated near the top of a leafless tree on the banks of the Colorado River. Meanwhile, eaglet name contest entries poured in.

Izabella’s entry for naming one of the eaglets was Valor. Izabella is a second-grade student at Linnie Roberts Elementary.

“I picked the name Valor because eagles are brave,” Izabella said. “I think it is a good name for a bald eagle.”

Izabella said that she loves to visit the nature center and to accompany her mother, Ingrid Castillo, when she volunteers for wildlife rescue calls. She said that she’s learned a lot about wildlife at school and from her mother and that her favorite animal is a raccoon.

“They are nocturnal and have sharp claws,” she said. An animal is nocturnal when it comes out after dark to find food.

“They kind of look like a superhero. We need to buy it a superhero cape and I’ll call it Raccoon the Superhero!”

Harper’s eaglet name entry was Freedom. Harper is a kindergarten student at Sienna Crossing Elementary near Missouri City.

“Eagles fly and are free,” Harper said of her choice. “They help and inspire us. They can’t be shot by hunters.”

Harper said she visits the nature center when she and her parents – her mom and grandparents grew up in Bay City – visit her grandmother, Diana Frankson, who is a nature center volunteer and board member.

Harper said that besides the bald eagle her favorite animal is an armadillo.

“Because they are the animal for Texas,” she explained. “And they have a carapace.”

A carapace is a protective shell, which in the armadillo’s case is situated on its back, made from a tough, bony-like material similar to fingernails.

Harper said that she loves it when she spots an armadillo at the nature center, because they wobble when they walk, probably because their armor is so heavy.

“They look like tiny dinosaurs.”

Note from MCBNC: Eaglets typically leave their nest after about eight to 14 weeks, which means they will be leaving soon. Lately, Freedom and Valor have been trying out their wings, taking short trips around their nest. While their short flights look like they have become experts at flying, they have not yet mastered the art of landing. The eaglets have been struggling to grab hold of a strong branch or land back in their nest on their first try.



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