On May 10, a mature female Bald Eagle was found down on the ground in Stafford County, near Widewater State Park. The bird was unable to fly, and an animal control officer responded to the scene. The officer attempted to catch the bird, which flapped a short distance into nearby water. The animal control officer waded into the water after the bird and was able to catch her. A Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officer transported the eagle to the Wildlife Center.
Dr. Meghan Feeney, the Center’s veterinary intern, examined the bird when she arrived. The eagle was bright, alert, feisty, and had no obvious injuries. On physical exam, Dr. Meghan found that the eagle had a broken talon and several superficial foot lacerations, but no other injuries were noted. Blood work was within normal limits, and no fractures were noted on radiographs. Dr. Meghan placed the bird in the Center’s holding room for the night after giving her fluids.
On Monday, May 11, the Bald Eagle was test-flown in one of the Center’s large flight pens. The eagle was not able to gain height during flight, and remained only a couple of feet off of the ground. The eagle was placed in the Center’s holding room again. Dr. Meghan, Dr. Helen, and Dr. Dave all examined the eagle's radiographs again, but no injury was noted.
The eagle will be cage-rested for the next week and the team will check for signs of a wing droop.