Bald Eagle #22-1580

Admitted
June 6, 2022
Released
July 26, 2022
Rescue Location
Accomack County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Undetermined
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On June 6, a private citizen found an adult Bald Eagle in the middle of a creek in New Church, Virginia. The eagle was waterlogged and appeared weak, and did not make much of an attempt to get away when approached. The citizen contained the eagle and brought it to permitted wildlife rehabilitator Jodie Sokel, who transferred the bird to the Wildlife Center later that night.

On admission, the eagle was quiet and weak. Center veterinary intern Dr. Emily examined the bird but did not find any injuries, and other than being mildly dehydrated the eagle’s blood work and radiographs were both normal. The exact cause of the eagle’s quiet mentation is unknown. After the exam, Dr. Emily administered fluids and kept the eagle inside the hospital for rest and close monitoring.

By June 9,  the eagle was stable enough to move outdoors to the Center’s A3 pen, though it is remaining inside a crate until it clears a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) quarantine period. The veterinary team placed bumpers on the eagle’s wings and a tail guard on its tail to prevent damage while it remains crated.

So far, the eagle is eating well and has not developed any health issues, though its prognosis remains guarded.

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Patient Updates

On July 26, a small group of Wildlife Center staff released Bald Eagle #22-1580 at Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve in Accomack County, approximately 20 miles from the location where the bird was first rescued. About 40 people attended the release; Center President Ed Clark shared information about the Center’s work as a teaching and research hospital and the eagle’s story of rescue and rehabilitation before releasing the bird back into the wild. Outreach Communication Coordinator Lauren Glaze, who also attended the release, reported that the eagle flew “beautifully, with strong and steady wing beats” across the open field toward the distant tree line and out of sight.

Photos courtesy of Barb Creel, Virginia Master Naturalist, Historic Rivers Chapter:

 

Photos courtesy of Linda Vetter:

 

 

Check out the full story here:

Bald Eagle Release in the News:

Wildlife Center to release bald eagle, CBS 19 News

Wildlife Center of Virginia Released Bald Eagle in Accomack County, Shore Daily News

During the past two and a half weeks, Bald Eagle #22-1580 has been flying very well during daily exercise routines with the rehabilitation staff. By June 12, the bird was consistently flying the length of the A3 flight pen between ten and 15 times during each session. A blood sample drawn and analyzed by the veterinary staff was within normal limits for a healthy adult eagle, and it was determined that the bird was ready for release in Accomack County!

Bald Eagle #22-1580 will be released back to the wild on Tuesday, July 26 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern at Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve [Route 742 (Baker Road) near Metompkin, VA] by Wildlife Center President Ed Clark. Attendees are strongly encouraged to carpool, and should note that there are no facilities at this location — please plan on stopping somewhere before the release to use the restroom! Attendees planning on attending should RSVP to rsvp@wildlifecenter.org.

Directions to Mutton Hunk Fen: From US-13 (Lankford Highway) turn east onto Metompkin Rd (State Rte. 679). Bear left and drive 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Baker Rd. ( State Rte. 742). Continue on Baker Rd. through the gate and onto the gravel road. Continue straight to the parking area.

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 month, Bald Eagle #22-1580 has continued to do well. On June 15, the eagle completed its quarantine period and was let out of its crate into the Center’s A3 flight pen. The rehabilitation team has been exercising the bird daily to help it regain proper flight strength and stamina so it can return to the wild. The eagle started on a regimen of 5-10 flight passes per day, but has been flying very well and was recently increased to 10-15 flight passes.