Bald Eagle #23-1713

Admitted
June 9, 2023
Released
August 31, 2023
Rescue Location
Leesburg, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Fell from Nest
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On June 9, the Wildlife Center admitted a fledgling Bald Eaglet from the Dulles Greenway Eagle Nest in Leesburg, Virginia.

The Dulles Greenway Eagles successfully hatched three young eaglets this year – eagle cam watchers from around the world were able to see eaglets DG3, DG4, and DG5 [also known as Pi, Pat, and Flora, respectively] grow and thrive under the care of their parents. On May 28, part of the eagle nest started to crumble. The middle eaglet — DG4 — fell from the nest late that night; the eaglet was picked up the next morning and taken to wildlife rehabilitator and veterinarian Dr. Belinda Burwell. Within a few days, the rest of the nest fell, and another eaglet was picked up and taken into care; the third (and youngest) eaglet remained at the nest tree with her parents and successfully branched and fledged.

Dr. Belinda found that both eaglets were healthy, though DG4 was thin at admission and was not as ready to fly as his sibling. While eaglet DG3 was able to return to the nest site and be reunited with his parents, Dr. Belinda opted to keep DG4 in care since he was not flying well, and there were concerns about the parent eagles keeping up with the increasing demand of feeding three young eaglets. The eagle was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for continued care on June 9.

On admission, DG4 was bright and alert. Veterinary intern Dr. Marit examined the young bird and found that he was mildly dehydrated and had a body condition score of 2/5. Radiographs and bloodwork both came back normal. Dr. Marit administered fluids and started the eaglet on a course of antifungal medication to prevent aspergillosis, a fungal infection that is often seen in young eagles. She then placed the eaglet inside the hospital’s holding area to rest.

DG4 is currently staying inside the Center’s hospital where he can be closely monitored. The vet team plans to move him to the Center’s A3 Raptor Tower later this week.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this injured Bald Eagle and approximately 4,000 other patients that the Wildlife Center will help this year.

Donate

Patient Updates

On August 31, Wildlife Center President Ed Clark released Bald Eaglet #23-1713 back to the wild in Loudoun County, Virginia! A small crowd of Dulles Greenway officials and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy staff were in attendance at the release. The eaglet flew off beautifully over the wetland habitat.

Getting ready for transport to the release site: 

Additional footage from Dulles Greenway officials: 

Bald Eagle Release in the News:

Second Dulles Greenway eaglet returned to habitat, Loudoun Times-Mirror

Dulles Greenway eagle released, Fox 5 Washington DC

Watch Virginia eaglet that fell 90 feet from nest get released back into wild, USA Today

Rehabilitation staff report that Bald Eagle #23-1713’s physical strength and stamina have improved during the past few weeks and that the bird is able to complete between 10-15 passes of the A3 flight pen during daily exercise. A blood sample was drawn and analyzed in-house on August 28, which did not reveal any abnormalities or medical concerns. Following more than four months of care at the Wildlife Center, Bald Eagle #23-1713 is ready for release!

The Wildlife Center staff conferred with both the state eagle biologist and the property owners where the eagle’s nest is located and were able to determine an appropriate location in close proximity to the nest where this eagle originally hatched. While the release location is an excellent habitat for an eagle, it is privately owned and is not accessible to the public.

Center staff will release Bald Eagle #23-1713 back into the wild on August 31!

Bald Eaglets #23-0621 [Seven Bends State Park], #23-0710 [K62], and #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] have all been steadily regaining their physical strength and stamina during the past two weeks.

Rehabilitation staff report that each bird has made notable progress during daily flight conditioning regimens; Bald Eaglet #23-0621’s [Seven Bends State Park] stamina has improved compared to the past week, and the bird is able to complete between 10-12 passes of the A3 flight pen each day. #23-0710 [K62] is “flying beautifully”, according to Rehabilitation Team Lead Mac, flying between 10-13 passes of the enclosure. #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] is able to complete between 10-12 passes of the flight pen each day, but is often reluctant to exercise and is observed flying at a lower altitude compared to the other eaglets.

For now, these eagles will remain in the A3 flight pen under close observation as the veterinary and rehabilitation teams evaluate their possible release back into the wild during the coming weeks. Barring any major medical or rehabilitative issues, staff predict their releases may be achievable before the end of August.”

Bald Eaglets #23-0612 [Seven Bends State Park], #23-0710 [K62], and #23-1713 [Dulles Greenway] have all been doing well in the Center’s A3 flight enclosure.

While the young eaglets have been flying and building their flight muscles in this large space for several weeks, during the past few days, the rehabilitation staff started a formal exercise program for the young birds. Each day, the staff encourage the birds to fly from one end of the flight pen to the other, and they carefully monitor the bird’s stamina, lift, and maneuverability.

Exercise will continue during the next few weeks; if all goes well, the eaglets should be ready for release later this summer.

Bald Eaglet #23-1713 finished his course of antifungal medications on Independence Day, and on July 5, the rehabilitation staff opened the tower doors into the main flight area of A3. The eaglet was quick to “fledge” from the tower, and shortly thereafter, flew down into the main enclosure to join eaglets #23-0621 and #23-0710. The three young hatch-year birds will continue to live together as they start flight conditioning in the next week or two, and prepare for their eventual release.

 

Bald Eaglet #23-1713 currently weighs 3.90 kg and is continuing to eat a diet of fish and rats.

Bald Eaglet #23-1713 has been doing well during the past two weeks and is still housed in the lofted tower area of the Center’s largest flight pen. The eaglet is eating well and consumes about 300 grams of both rat and fish each day.

At the Center, young eagles are routinely started on a course of antifungal medications as a preventative measure, since these young birds can be prone to developing fungal infections in a captive setting. Eaglet #23-1713 will be finished with his course of medications during the first full week of July; at that point, the tower doors of the raptor tower will be opened and the young bird will be able to mingle with the other eagles in the attached flight pen.

On June 13, Bald Eaglet #23-1713 was moved to the tower of the Center’s A3 flight enclosure. This lofted space overlooks the main flight space of the A3 enclosure, which is currently housing three other eagles – two hatch-year birds, and one adult. The tower is an ideal space for young Bald Eagles; once they are ready to fledge from the nest, the tower doors are opened, and the bird may test its wings and fly from the nest as it would in the wild.

The eagle is eating a diet of rats and fish and currently weighs 4.0 kg.