Three young bald eagles who became famous on a live internet camera made a majestic return to the wild Wednesday.
They were among five eaglets released by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, as a crowd of 1,500 people watched and cheered. Many of them saw the eagles born in front of a webcam in Norfolk and mourned the accidental death of their mother.
The orphans spent three months at the wildlife hospital in Waynesboro, before their release at Berkeley Plantation.
"Right here along the James River is the largest concentration of bald eagles in the mid-Atlantic states. We have, literally, hundreds of eagles passing through here over the next two months. The river here is wide, it's shallow, it's full of fish and there's just every opportunity to succeed," said Wildlife Center Director Ed Clark.
One of the eagles was outfitted with a special tracking device that will allow biologists to monitor its nesting and migration habits for the rest of its life.