Bald Eagle #12-0992

May 25, 2012
August 1, 2012
Rescue Location
Washington, DC
Cause of Admission/Condition
Found on the ground
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

This young Bald Eagle was rescued May 24 and referred to the Wildlife Center by a rehabilitator in northern Virginia on May 25, 2012. It had been found on the ground in southwest Washington, DC, dehydrated and slightly thin. Center vets suspect this is a fledgling eagle born early this year.

Upon examination, the eaglet did not present any significant injuries, but had a superficial abrasion on its right jaw. Its attitude was bright, alert, and feisty. Radiographs revealed its spleen is slightly enlarged, which can sometimes signal infection, but blood work did not reveal any infections or other issues. The eaglet is being given fluids and will have more blood and fecal tests to evaluate its overall health. A repeat set of radiographs will be taken in two weeks to reassess the enlarged spleen.

The eaglet is currently being housed in the Center’s holding area. It will move outside to flight pen A1 with eaglet patients 12-0529 and 12-0739 after additional blood work scheduled for Thursday, May 31.

Patient Updates

Bald Eagle #12-0992 was released today at Mason Neck State Park. A crowd of about 100 people gathered this morning at 11:00 a.m. to witness the eagle’s release — which went beautifully, according to Center Vice President Randy Huwa. Randy reports that the eagle had a very strong flight and flew off to land in a 50′ tree. After getting its bearings in the tree for several minutes, the eagle then flew off to another tree. President Ed Clark reports that a little while later, a different juvenile eagle flew overhead — and the newly-released eagle flew off to join it.

Photos property and courtesy of Barbara Melton:

Photo property and courtesy of Pamela Phillips:

Photo property and courtesy of Jean Allen:

Video of the Eagle Release by Joanna Drohan

Release in the News

A Fresh Start for a Bald Eagle, Washington Post

Bald Eagle Soars Again in Fairfax County, NBC Washington

Rescue Eagle Released Back Into the Wild in VA Park, WTOP

Bald Eagle Released at Mason Neck State Park, Lorton Patch

Bald Eagle #12-0992 was caught up for a foot and feather check on July 23, as well as a set of radiographs and blood work. The veterinary team is satisfied with radiograph results, and blood work was all within normal limits. The rehabilitation staff report that #12-0992 has been flying well for weeks — they are pleased with its stamina and conditioning. With a positive health report, the veterinary staff have cleared this eagle for release. The Wildlife Center staff will be working on release details, and will share them once plans are made.

Bald Eagle #12-0992’s bumpers were replaced at the end of its check-up on Monday; the eagle is now sporting lime green carpal bumpers.

Bald Eage #12-0992 changed from the “paint-splotch” bird today to the “orange tie-dye” bumper bird — the young eagle’s identification bumper was starting to fall off, and Dr. Adam also noted that both of the eaglet’s carpal areas [wrists] had some small abrasions. The eaglet now has a protective bumper on each carpus. Otherwise, the eaglet appears to be in good health and currently weighs in at 4.18 kgs.

The young eagle is scheduled for follow-up radiographs and blood work on July 23 to check on its enlarged spleen.

On Monday, June 11, Bald Eagle #12-0992 was caught up for a bi-weekly foot and feather check, as well as repeat radiographs to check on its enlarged spleen. The veterinary team report that there are no significant changes — the spleen is still enlarged. They’ll follow-up with more radiographs in two weeks.

Otherwise, this young eagle appears to bright, alert, flying well — and its put on weight! Now weighing in at 4.37 kgs, this eagle is the heaviest of the trio. The “paint-splotch” bumper on its left wing is still intact.

Additional blood work taken on May 31 revealed no significant findings — since Bald Eaglet #12-0992 is bright and alert, and has gained weight [now weighing in at 4.20 kgs], the young eagle will be moved outside today. The bird will be placed into flight pen A1, along with Bald Eaglet #12-0529 (from Chesapeake), Bald Eaglet #12-0739 (from Northumberland County), and Bald Eagle #12-0744 (from Hog Island/Surry County). Since it’s tricky for the veterinary staff to tell these four young eagles apart from one another, a “paint splotch” bumper has been placed on the left wing Bald Eaglet #12-0992.