In the summer of 2016 on the shore of the Mississippi River near Winona, Minnesota, a local tour boat company noticed a fledgling eagle on the ground near an eagle’s nest. With help from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he was transferred to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota for veterinary evaluation. They determined he had a malformed left eye, making survival in the wild impossible. He arrived at the National Eagle Center on September 22, 2016.
His name is “Latsch” in honor of the life and legacy of John A. Latsch, the 20th century Winona businessman and environmental conservationist who gifted more than 18,000 acres of land in this area to the public. Much of the excellent bald eagle nesting habitat on Mississippi River land and waters around Winona, including where Latsch was found, are preserved because of the generosity of John A. Latsch.