Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bald Eagles in Rehab

We recently received two Bald Eagles in the Wildlife Hospital.  Not an unusual thing for a rehab facility that specializes in injured raptors, you say?  Read on…
One of the two luckiest Bald Eagles in the state of Missouri
These two birds were brought in by different sources and were found on different sides of the state.  One of the things they both had in common was that they each had a broken wing and were starving.  The other thing they had in common was that the broken wing had healed.  In both cases the wing had healed as straight and as well as if our vets had set the wing themselves.

This is “lightning” or “lottery” odds we are talking about!

A bone takes six weeks to heal, and these birds must have found enough food near them to stay alive while they were grounded.  Then they would have had to stay still and the two halves of the bone would have to be in the right place so that it could heal properly.  Against all these odds, something must have worked in their favor. 

These eagles are flying perfectly now.  After spending some time in our rehab enclosures and being given the proper nourishment, they are now fat and well fed.  The best news is that we have now scheduled their return to the wild.

The first was released in early August and the other is scheduled to be released in October.  I hope some of their luck rubs off on me-I’m going to get my lottery tickets tonight!

Submitted by Joe Hoffmann, Sanctuary Manager, World Bird Sanctuary


Amy said...

This is maybe a stupid question but are all rehabbed Bald Eagles banded? Is it possible that one or both of the broken bones were healed while the bird was in rehab at a different facility?

Photog said...

@ Amy -- According to World Bird Sanctuary Director, Jeff Meshach, "World Bird Sanctuary will definitely band a Bald Eagle that is going to be released. We place a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band on one of the legs so the bird can be identified, esp. if it ever comes back into the care of humans again. For those birds that have injuries bad enough to keep them in the care of humans for the rest of their lives, we sometimes place other types of bands that have nothing to do with any federal or state organization, just so we know which bird is which."

As far as the possibility that the bird(s) had been treated and released by another rehabber, it is unlikely since they would most likely have been banded. Thanks for your question.