Bald Eagle #14-1905

August 15, 2014
August 28, 2014
Rescue Location
Dublin, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Suspected toxicity
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On August 15, a juvenile Bald Eagle was found dull, unresponsive, and holding its feet in a clutched position on the ground at a landfill in Dublin, Virginia. The bird was first brought to Companion Animal Hospital in Blacksburg where veterinarian Dr. McCormick evaluated the bird for suspected toxicity. The eagle was given fluids and activated charcoal before it was transferred to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke.

When the Bald Eagle arrived in Roanoke, it was responsive and in good body condition, but had an abnormally slow heartbeat and was hanging its head. The bird was given more fluids and Atropine to treat the eagle’s slow heartbeat before it was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for supportive care and further diagnostics that afternoon.

Dr. Meghan Feeney, the Center’s veterinary intern, performed the initial exam. Upon presentation, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was found standing in its cage and had regurgitated its stomach contents. While the bird was responsive to stimuli, the eagle remained dull and weak. The veterinary staff administered fluids and drew blood for an emergency blood panel. The panel returned within normal limits, and the veterinary team took samples of the eagle’s regurgitated contents to be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for further testing. While Bald Eagle #14-1905 appeared brighter and more difficult to handle that evening, the bird was still too unstable to be anesthetized for radiographs to be taken.

On the morning of August 16, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was much brighter and its abnormal heartbeat had resolved. The eagle also showed increased muscle strength in its feet, but continued to display partial paralysis in its lower limbs. The Bald Eagle received additional fluids and was given a meal of chopped rat.

The following morning, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was very bright, alert, and feisty and had eaten all of its meal. Radiographs were taken and were unremarkable. That afternoon, carpal bumpers were placed on the eagle’s wings and the bird was moved outside to an intermediate flight pen [C3].

Bald Eagle #14-1905 continued to show improvement during the next few days and the rehabilitation staff noticed that bird was perching and flying well. On August 20, Bald Eagle #14-1905 was moved to one of the Center’s A Pens [A3] and will continue to be monitored for any changes in behavior and condition.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this Bald Eagle …and to the 2,600 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals the Center will treat this year.

Patient Updates

Bald Eagle #14-1905 was released today at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, Virginia. A crowd of about 75 people watched as Wildlife Center president Ed Clark launched the bird into the air. According to Ed, the eagle “never missed a beat! He was strong and determined to get out of there. He flew beautifully for several hundred yards before we lost sight of him.”



Photos above courtesy of Judy Loope

Bald Eagle #14-1905 release at Claytor Lake State Park

Eagle Release in the News:

Two weeks after it is found barely alive at a landfill, young eagle is set for return to the wild, WFIR

Bald Eagle #14-1905 has remained bright and active during the past ten days at the Center. The staff has monitored the bird for signs of injury or illness, but nothing has been revealed through continued observation. Results from the laboratory samples have not yet been returned.

The eagle is flying well in the large A3 flight pen. On the morning of August 25, Dr. Dave McRuer observed eagle #14-1905 flying and determined that the bird is ready to return back to the wild!

The Center has scheduled the eagle’s release at Claytor Lake State Park on Thursday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m. The release is free and open to the public; those wishing to attend the release are asked to RSVP to Release attendees should plan on meeting at the park’s visitor’s center [the Howe House]. The address of the park is 6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive, Dublin, VA 24084.

The young Bald Eagle, likely a male, was banded on Tuesday, August 26.