On July 6, an animal control officer in Richmond County, Virginia, found a mature Bald Eagle lying on the side of the road. The officer picked up the eagle and transported it to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator at Wildbunch Wildlife Refuge. The rehabilitator noted that the eagle was unable to stand, and often fell to the left when attempting to stand. The following day, the eagle was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
Upon admission, Dr. Peach, one of the Center's veterinary interns, examined the Bald Eagle. The eagle, likely a female, was having difficulty breathing and had a number of broken tail feathers. The bird did stand prior to capture. Blood was drawn for analysis, and radiographs were taken to check for internal injuries. Dr. Peach found an increased bone thickness on the left side of the eagle's pelvis, indicating a possible fracture. The eagle also had an increased air opacity around her heart and liver, indicating an air sac rupture. The eagle was given fluids, anti-inflammatories, and pain medication and was placed in a crate in the Center's holding room for cage rest.
Within two days, the bird was attempting to stand more regularly, though also intermittently lay down in a supportive "donut" in her enclosure. The eagle's respiratory efforts improved, and a week after admission, the eagle was more active. On July 18, additional radiographs were taken to check on the bird's suspected pelvic fracture; Dr. Dave, the Center's veterinary director, noted that the eagle's pelvic bone was thickened and smooth, indicating that the bone had been fractured, but had healed. The bird was moved to a small outdoor C-pen enclosure for additional observation in a larger space.
If the bird continues to do well, he will be moved to a larger flight pen enclosure soon to test her flight capabilities.