Bald Eagle #12-2554

November 13, 2012
December 12, 2012
Rescue Location
King George County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 11, an animal control officer in King George County picked up a mature Bald Eagle. The officer reported that the eagle had been fighting, and took the bird to a local permitted rehabilitator.   With no obvious injuries, the eagle was tested in a large flight pen – while the bird was able to fly, it was not able to gain any lift. On November 13, the eagle was transported to the Wildlife Center.

Upon admission, Dr. Rich and team examined the eagle – thought to be a male. Blood was drawn for analysis, and radiographs were taken to determine the cause of injury. Dr. Rich reports that the eagle’s right elbow is bruised, but no issue have been found with the bird’s joint. Because the flight problems are likely caused by pain and soft tissue swelling, the eagle was placed on a course of anti-inflammatories and pain medications. The eagle will be housed in the Center’s holding room for a few days of observation before it is placed in an outdoor enclosure.

Patient Updates

Bald Eagle #12-2554 was released on December 12, 2012 at Land’s End Wildlife Management Area in King George County. A crowd of about 35 people watched as Wildlife Center President Ed Clark released the eagle. The bird flew about 100 yards before landing in a tree. Three other mature eagles were spotted flying in the area.

Release photos from Marie Majarov

Bald Eagle #12-2554 Release 12-12-12

Release Video Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

 After a week of strong, consistent exercise, Bald Eagle #12-2554 was scheduled for pre-release blood work on Monday, December 10. After analyzing the blood, the veterinary team cleared the eagle for release.

Bald Eagle #12-2554 will be released on Wednesday, December 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Land’s End Wildlife Management Area in King George County. Wildlife Center President Ed Clark will be releasing the Bald Eagle. Joining Ed will be the Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech and Bob Duncan, the Director of VDGIF. The event is open to the public – we hope you are able to join us and please feel free to “spread the word” to other wildlife-loving family and friends. If you plan on attending, please email

The physical address for Land’s End WMA is 17295 Nanzatico Lane, King George, VA 22485. VDGIF will post signs directing guests to the release site.

Bald Eagle #12-2554 has been doing well in flight pen A2. Rehabilitator Kelli reports that the eagle has been flying pretty well and gradually building stamina. On December 3, the eagle flew the length of the flight pen 12 times — the first "ideal" day of exercise. While the eagle doesn’t always land on its swinging perches during the exercise sessions [fairly typical for eagle exercise], Kelli reports that the bird is able to fly from the ground to a high perch. The rehabilitation staff would like to ensure that the eagle is flying consistently throughout the next week before pre-release blood work is scheduled.

Bald Eagle #12-2554 was moved to flight pen A2 on Thanksgiving Day. The rehab staff report that the eagle did not fly much at first, though in the following days was able to fly a greater distance in the ~100 foot-long pen. The eagle has been spotted via internal Critter Cam perching on the high swinging perches at both ends of the enclosure. Exercise will be started on Tuesday, November 27.

Since admission, the eagle’s condition seems to be improving; the bruising on the elbow is healing well, and the eagle has been bright and alert with a healthy appetite. Over the weekend, the veterinary staff hopes to move eagle #12-2554 to our outdoor metal cages for several days before placing the bird in a flight enclosure.