Bald Eagle #21-0013

January 8, 2021
January 13, 2021
Rescue Location
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Eagle fight
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On January 7, two adult Bald Eagles were found down in a field in Virginia Beach. The birds had their talons locked together, and did not fly away when approached; the birds were able to be captured and taken to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Both birds were transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia the following morning.

The veterinary team examined both eagles; it was apparent based on both of their injuries that Bald Eagle #21-0013 was the "victor" in this eagle fight. The bird only had a minor puncture wound. Blood work revealed a low lead level of 0.05 ppm. While this is not what the veterinary team would consider a "detrimental" level of lead, no lead in a bird’s body is safe, so the eagle will be treated while he recovers from his puncture wound.

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this injured bird … and more than 3,000 other wild animals that the Center will treat this year. 

Patient Updates

Bald Eagle #21-0013 [SB], who was released in Virginia Beach more than a week ago, has been spotted! The eagle is at Bald Eagle ND’s former nesting site. Special thanks to Laurel Saman for sharing this photo and update.

On January 13, Wildlife Center President Ed Clark released Bald Eagle #21-0013 in Virginia Beach. Reese Lukei with the Center for Conservation Biology attended the release and was able to band the eagle prior to release with both a federal and state research band. The eagle is now sporting a purple "SB" band on one leg. Those involved with the eagle’s rescue and transport also attended the release.

Ed reports that the release went well; the release site was within a mile of the contested nesting area. The eagle flew in the opposite direction at first, before looping around and flying back in the direction of the nest.

Photos by Jim Yanello: 




Photos by Pam Monahan: 



The veterinary team assessed Bald Eagle #21-0013 on Tuesday, January 21. The eagle is flying well and the puncture wound in the bird’s leg has healed. An additional lead test revealed that the oral chelation therapy worked and eliminated the lead from the bird’s body.

On Wednesday, January 13, President Ed Clark will release the eagle back in Virginia Beach. There have been multiple reports of an active female eagle in the disputed nesting territory where this eagle, along with Bald Eagle ND [#21-0014], was rescued.

Bald Eagle #21-0013 has been doing well in the days following his admission; Dr. Cam, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, noted that the puncture wound on the eagle’s leg has improved, with no signs of swelling or discharge. On Sunday, January 10, the eagle was moved to outdoor flight pen A1 for additional observation. The eagle is still being treated with an oral chelation therapy for the low lead levels.

On Tuesday, January 12, another lead test will be performed. If all is within normal limits and if the eagle is able to fly well, the staff will consider releasing this eagle soon.