Valentine's Day Rescue of an Eagle
About 1:30 on Valentine’s Day, Steve Olsen was returning home in N Manchester when he spotted three eagles standing in a field a few miles north of Lagro.
He had just had a less than successful visit to observe bald eagles at Salamoni Reservoir. He stopped by the side of the road and watched the adult and two juveniles.
The adult and one juvenile, bothered by his presence, took to the air. The remaining juvenile attempted to fly but could only hop into the air a bit. Steve called the local CO who advised him to call Soarin’ Hawk.
After receiving very precise directions from Steve, a search for local rescuers started. The first rescuer was down with the “creeping crud” that is going around. Fortunately, the second closest rescuers were available. After some brief instructions about safely handling eagles because of their size and strength, Alexandra and Cynthia Forsythe left Bippus for the last known location of the eagle. Armed with an old blanket they followed the bird into a marshy creek area. Cynthia skillfully threw the blanket over the birds head and Alex gathered it up.
Here are Alex’s words:
What a great day!
I rescued a young Bald Eagle today! Fun fact: eagles aren't fond of being handled. I was thankful for my Kevlar gloves and the training I've received; large raptors can be grumpy and those talons and beaks are sharp!
After carrying him a quarter mile through a marshy field, it was off to the vet for a medical evaluation. Dr. Funnell and I checked him out on behalf of Soarin' Hawk and we are thrilled to report that it looks like the eagle only has soft tissue damage. That means he'll probably be released soon. By the way, Bald Eagles don't get their white head and tail or dark coloring for a few years after hatching. That is why this young eagle looks nothing like the iconic Bald Eagle you normally see in movies, ads, etc.
Bald Eagles normally eat fish, but they are also scavengers and will eat carrion. Since this eagle was nowhere near a large body of water, and since there was fresh roadkill nearby, I assume he was grabbing an easy meal and was clipped by a car. Fortunately, he was not injured too severely and he will fly free again soon!
Sweetest Valentine's Day ever!
What a team effort of caring folks.