Bald Eagle #23-3788

November 1, 2023
November 22, 2023
Rescue Location
Norfolk, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Intraspecies conflict
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On October 31, two Bald Eagles were observed fighting one another above an area of open water in Norfolk, Virginia. After becoming entangled in mid-air, both birds fell into the water and were unable to take flight. The eagles were rescued by permitted local wildlife rehabilitator Lisa Barlow and staff at Tidewater Wildlife Rescue and were taken to Midway Veterinary Hospital for stabilizing care before being transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia the following day.

One of the eagles – an adult male designated as Bald Eagle #23-3788 upon admission – was bright, alert, and responsive during his intake exam. Aside from being mildly dehydrated, the eagle was in good overall body condition. Multiple lacerations and lesions on the eagle’s legs and feet were observed, which had been previously cleaned and sutured by staff at Midway Veterinary Hospital. Bruising was noted around the bird’s eyes, but no signs of ocular trauma were found.

Radiographs did not reveal any fractures, but a lead test came back with a positive reading of 0.041 ppm lead – a subclinical level, but still able to cause significant health issues.

The veterinary team started the bird on a course of anti-inflammatory and pain medications, antibiotics, and oral chelation therapy to remove the lead. Antiparasitics were applied to treat feather lice seen during intake, and fluids were also administered to combat the mild level of dehydration before placing the eagle in the Center’s indoor Hold area.

During the next two weeks, the eagle healed quickly and moved through a variety of outdoor enclosures. Staff were able to flight test the bird in one of the large flight enclosures in mid-November, and found that the eagle was immediately able to complete 12 passes of the large flight pen, flying “absolutely beautifully” with both proper form and physical stamina. By November 19, the veterinary team cleared the bird for release!

Join the Wildlife Center of Virginia at Taps Field, Berkeley Plantation (Charles City, Virginia) for Bald Eagle #23-3788’s release back into the wild!

Wildlife Center President Ed Clark will release the eagle at Taps Field, Berkeley Plantation on Wednesday, November 22 at 1:00 p.m. The release is open to the public; please let us know if you’re coming by emailing Please indicate that you will be attending the Berkeley Plantation release along with the number of people in your party. 

Please visit the Berkeley Plantation website for general directions. Alternatively, use Google/MapQuest to obtain the best directions from your location to the Berkeley address:

12602 Harrison Landing Road
Charles City, Virginia 23030

There is a directional sign at the front of Berkeley Plantation’s driveway. Rather than taking a slight right onto Harrison Landing (which leads to the main Berkeley Plantation mansion), bear left toward Westover Plantation. Take an immediate right onto a gravel driveway [if you pass the sign that notes that Westover Plantation is two miles ahead, you have missed the turn to Berkeley].

Follow the gravel road straight back for 1.1 miles. The parking lot will be on your right.

The release will take place rain or shine. If storms [with lightning] threaten the release plans, we’ll post an update here and will email those who have sent their RSVP.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

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


Patient Updates

On November 22, Wildlife Center President Ed Clark released Bald Eagle #23-3788 back to the wild at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia. A small crowd of about 30 people were in attendance.

Shortly after 1:00 p.m., Ed Clark addressed the crowd and shared information on the eagle’s history and rehabilitative care at the Center and current conservation issues related to Bald Eagles. After being released, the bird flew off strongly toward the distant tree line and out of sight!

Photos courtesy of Woody Mallory:



Bald Eagle #23-3788’s release in the news:

Adult bald eagle to be released by Wildlife Center of VirginiaABC 8