Bald Eagle #22-0980

Admitted
May 11, 2022
Released
August 12, 2022
Rescue Location
Louisa County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Fell from nest
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On May 11, two Bald Eaglets were admitted to the Wildlife Center from Lake Anna, Virginia. Both birds were found on the ground; while an adult eagle was seen flying in the area, both young birds appeared to be lethargic and possibly injured. A Louisa County animal control officer was able to contain both birds and transported them to the Center.

On admission, veterinary director Dr. Karra examined the birds. No injuries were found on the physical exams or radiographs. Both eaglets received fluids and were set up in the Center’s holding room for care and observation.

Blood work results indicated that one of the eaglets, Bald Eaglet #22-0979, had an infection; the veterinary team started this young bird on a course of antibiotics. In the days following admission, the young bird became progressively lethargic, likely due to the infection as well as possible internal trauma suffered when the bird fell from its nest. Sadly, the eaglet died on May 16. Bald Eaglet #22-0980 has remained bright and alert and has shown no signs of infection or trauma.

After two weeks of supportive care and careful observation, the staff moved Bald Eaglet #22-0980 outdoors to the A3 raptor tower on May 25. The eaglet is eating a mixture of chopped rats and fish. The eaglet will stay in the A3 tower area until it is old enough to start making short flights; at that point, the tower doors that open into the A3 flight enclosure will be opened to allow the bird to naturally fledge.

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Patient Updates

On August 12, Dr. Karra and a small group of Wildlife Center staff released Bald Eagles #22-0980 and #22-1462 at Lake Anna State Park for a sizable crowd — about 150 members of the public were in attendance!

#22-0980 was first to be released; Dr. Karra set the bird’s traveling crate on the ground and gently opened the door. Center staff on-site report that the eagle was hesitant to exit the crate at first, but took flight with strong wing beats and circled the release area five times before heading to a nearby tree.

#22-1462 was much quicker to leave the crate! After exiting, it quickly took flight and banked left out of sight.

Photos courtesy of Woody Mallory:

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Lisa Arthur:

 

Photo courtesy of Terri Wood:

Watch the moments of release here:

Bald Eagle Release in the News:

Two bald eagles released at Lake Anna State Park, NBC 29

Eagle release @ Lake AnnaB101.5 FM

Bald Eagle #22-0980 and Bald Eagle #22-1462 have been doing well during the past month; both eagles have improved their physical strength and stamina during daily exercise sessions, regularly completing 10-15 passes of the A3 flight pen with proper form, maneuvering, and perching ability. After determining that both of these juvenile eagles were ready for life in the wild, a blood draw was completed on August 8 for pre-release analysis. Results were within normal limits, and both birds were cleared for release in Spotsylvania County, where Bald Eagle #22-0980 was rescued earlier this summer.

Bald Eagle #22-1462 was originally rescued in Virginia Beach, a heavily-urbanized area that may not provide the best possible habitat for a young eagle post-release. After conferring with Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources biologists, the decision was made to release both individuals at Lake Anna State Park.

The double eagle release will take place on Friday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern at Lake Anna State Park, Virginia [6800 Lawyers Rd]. The release is open to the public; please let us know if you’re coming by emailing RSVP@wildlifecenter.org. Please indicate the number of people in your party. Those attending the release should plan on parking near Ware Cove picnic area, shelter B.

The Wildlife Center is following all CDC Guidelines and recommendations with regard to SARS-CoV-2. Current data suggest the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings is minimal. In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised. Please be respectful and physically distance with those outside of your party.

During the past two months, Bald Eaglet #22-0980 has continued to do well. By June 30, the eaglet was old enough to start making short flights and was given access to the entire A3 flight pen. Rehabilitation staff have been exercising the bird daily to help it build up its flight strength and stamina. The eaglet began with only 5-10 flight passes per day, but was increased to 10-15 flight passes on July 17. The rehabilitation team reports that the eaglet needs to improve its maneuvering and landings, but is otherwise flying well.