Bald Eaglet #17-0836

Admission Date: 
May 8, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Essex County, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Fell from nest
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On May 7, a private citizen in Essex County found a juvenile Bald Eagle walking around in his yard. The young bird was taken to the Wildbunch Wildlife Refuge for an examination. The young bird was thin and dehydrated, and the following day, the eagle was transported to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Peach examined the eagle upon admission and did not find any injuries, though concurred that the eaglet was thin and dehydrated. Blood work revealed that the eaglet was mildly anemic. Dr. Peach gave the bird fluids and set the bird up in the Center's holding area. Wildlife rehabilitator Brie has been offering a diet of chopped rat pieces to the young bird three times a day; the bird has been eating fairly well.

On May 10, the eaglet was moved to the tower area of flight pen A3. This space overlooks the larger flight area of the enclosure. Non-releasable Bald Eagles 15-0355 and 16-0038 were moved to the main flight area, so that the young eagle can see and hear them as it continues to grow.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this young Bald Eagle … and all of the patients admitted in 2017. Please help!


July 19, 2017

The three Bald Eaglets in A3 are exercising well; wildlife rehabilitator Brie reports that eaglet #17-0836 [green bumpers] is the strongest flier out of the three. Each eaglet has been consistently flying about five to six passes; this week, the eaglets will be pushed to five to 10 passes. Once they are consistently flying at 15+ passes during each session, release will be considered. Dr. Ernesto is getting in touch with the state eagle biologist to see if he has extra GPS transmitters for any of the eaglets.  

Bald Eaglet #17-0879 was switched to "purple owl" bumpers this week. 

July 13, 2017

On Wednesday, the rehabilitation team moved Bald Eaglet #17-1354 to flight pen A2, to share an enclosure with Bald Eagle #17-0968. The remaining three eaglets in A3 began exercise on Wednesday; the team will carefully monitor the birds to make sure all three young eagles can successfully exercise in the same space. Current wing bumper identifications are:

Bald Eagle #17-0836 – green bumpers
Bald Eagle #17-0879 – “hands” bumpers [white background with colorful handprints]
Bald Eagle #17-1181 – cupcakes bumpers

July 6, 2017

The eagle family in A3 is doing well; the young eaglets are all exploring their space and are able to fly the length of the flight enclosure. Dr. Ernesto and wildlife rehabilitator Brie will soon make a plan to begin splitting up the eaglets so that they can be safely exercised in flight pens; six eagles in a pen is too many to safely exercise. To start with, the two non-releasable mature eagles were moved to flight pen A1.

Each eaglet will need to be flight-conditioned; the rehab team will assess the bird’s altitude during flight, maneuverability, and stamina. It will likely be several weeks before the young birds are conditioned enough for release. Because eagles rely heavily on scavenging (in addition to catching fresh fish) live prey testing is not offered for Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Center.

June 22, 2017

The eagle family in flight pen A3 is doing well; earlier this week, the wildlife rehabilitation staff opened the tower doors to allow #17-1354 to fledge. The young bird left the tower sometime later that night or early the next morning.

At this point, the eagles are exploring the flight enclosure and are growing up; they aren't yet being exercised, but will likely be split up when it's time to begin. Critter Cam viewers can identify the eaglets by the color of their protective wing bumpers; eaglet #17-0836 has green bumpers, eaglet #17-0879 has "gnome" bumpers (gray background color), eaglet #17-1181 has "cupcake" bumpers (purple in color), and eaglet #17-1354 has stripe bumpers.

June 7, 2017

On June 6, wildlife rehabilitator Brie opened up the doors of the tower in flight pen A3 to allow Bald Eagle #17-1181 to fledge. The young eagle hung out in the nest for most of the day, then moved to the railing for a few hours before officially fledging that evening.

Critter Cam viewers can identify the eaglets by the color of their protective wing bumpers; eaglet #17-0836 has green bumpers, eaglet #17-0879 has "gnome" bumpers (gray background color), and eaglet #17-1181 has "cupcake" bumpers (purple in color).

The eaglets are eating well and gaining weight. The veterinary team has not yet measured the eagles to determine gender. Based on weight and cam observations, it's likely that the newest eaglet is a male, and the green-bumpered eaglet is a female.

17-1181 [cupcakes]: 3.57 kg
17-0879 [gnomes]: 3.70 kg
17-0836 [green]: 4.60 kg

May 29, 2017

The two Bald Eaglets in the A3 raptor tower have been doing well the past couple of weeks; both birds are eating well and are becoming increasingly active. On May 29, wildlife rehabilitators Brie and Linda decided to open up the tower doors so that the birds could fledge naturally at their own pace.  Watch their progress on Critter Cam 3! Bald Eaglet #17-0836 is currently wearing green "bumpers" on his wings; eaglet #17-0879 is wearing bumpers decorated with gnome duct-tape. 

The eaglets will continue to receive food twice a day; at this point, they are still eating a diet of chopped rats, but will soon transition to whole food. The rehabilitation team will place food in the loft, as well as in the main part of the enclosure. Generally, young raptors and those raptors used as surrogates share food; the staff just ensures that they are providing plenty for all!