Bald Eagle #11-1714

Admitted
July 15, 2011
Released
July 27, 2011
Rescue Location
King and Queen County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Wing caught in netting
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated

On July 14, Godspeed Animal Care received a call about a young Bald Eagle at the King and Queen County landfill. The young eagle — this year’s young — had its left wing tangled in netting. The Godspeed staff rescued the eagle and was able to cut the netting away from its wing at their clinic in Williamsburg. On July 15, the eagle was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for further assessment.

Once the eagle arrived at the Wildlife Center, Dr. Dave McRuer performed a physical exam. The young eagle is in good body condition, and the only significant finding was that the left wing had some minor abrasions from the netting. The patagium and patagial ligaments — the stretch of skin making up the leading edge of a bird’s wing — were all in good condition. Lead levels were also tested and are "low". Bald Eagle #11-1714 will be housed inside for the next couple of nights while the staff monitor its appetite. A course of anti-inflammatory medications has been started. The plan will be to get the bird outside within the next few days to test fly it. The Center is currently treating another Bald Eagle from King and Queen County landfill. That mature eagle is non-releasable and will be soon placed at Bear Path Acres in southeast Virginia.

July 20 update

On July 16, this young eagle was moved into an intermediate-sized outdoor enclosure, just to observe for a night.   The eagle was readily seen perching and moving around, so the following day, the bird was moved to a 45 foot-long flight pen.  While the bird was able to fly, Dr. Dave McRuer noted that the flight was slightly awkward and the eagle was drooping its left wing very slightly. On July 19, the eagle was moved into one of the Center’s largest flight pens — and settled in with new roommates KS (Bald Eagle from Virginia Beach), Hampton eaglet #11-1235, and Maryland eaglet #11-1170. When Dr. Dave later checked on the eagles, he reported that the King and Queen County bird "was gaining height, flying back and forth multiple times without rest, and showing no signs of a wing droop." The WCV staff will be monitoring the bird for a few more days just to make sure that the flight reports stay consistent — and then will soon be getting this bird ready for release.

July 28 update

On Wednesday, July 27, the King and Queen County Bald Eagle was released at the Wildlife Center’s first quintuple eagle release at Berkeley Plantation. The bird was second in line to return to the wild. Before its release, the eagle was banded — both federal and state bands. Dr. Dave McRuer had the honor of giving the bird its freedom.