Bald Eaglet #17-1181

Admission Date: 
May 28, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Alexandria, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Fell from nest
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On May 27, a citizen in Alexandria, Virginia, found a fledgling Bald Eagle down on the ground. The eagle was taken to a local veterinary clinic before it was transported to the Wildlife Center the following day.

Dr. Peach examined the young eagle upon admission; the eaglet was bright and alert, and lying down in its transport crate. There were no significant findings on physical exam, though Dr. Peach noted that the bird was slightly thin, and had many blood feathers growing in. Blood work, including a lead test, was within normal limits. Dr. Peach gave the young eagle fluids before setting it up in a crate in the Center's holding room.

The bird is younger than the two other Bald Eaglets currently in care; the young eaglet was moved to flight pen A3, but will live in a crate for a few days so that the staff can ensure the eaglet gets its fair share of food. It's likely that the bird will be moved to the tower within the next few days, where it will have the lofted space to itself, where it can observe the other two eaglets and two adults. 

Your donation will help provide care to this growing eaglet -- and the 2,500 other patients the Wildlife Center will treat this year. 


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