Bald Eagle #15-1250

Species Name (EN): 
Species Name (LA): 
Admission Date: 
June 19, 2015
Release Date: 
August 27, 2015
Location of Rescue: 
Windsor, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On June 19, a juvenile male Bald Eagle was found on the ground in Windsor, Virginia. Animal Control Officer Tiffany Webb noticed the bird was uncoordinated and shifting his weight from one leg to the other. The eagle was easily captured and taken to Smithfield Animal Hospital.

Radiographs were taken, but revealed no abnormalities. Due to his neurologic status, the bird was transported to the Wildlife Center that same evening by volunteer transporter Michelle Allen.

During the initial exam, the hatch-year bird presented with a head tremor and was sitting on his hocks, but was otherwise bright, alert, and feisty. Additional radiographs were taken and blood was drawn for analysis. Radiographs and blood work results were unremarkable. The veterinary staff administered fluids and placed the bird in the Center’s holding room overnight.

The following morning, Bald Eagle #15-1250 was bright and alert. The veterinary staff moved the bird to a C-pen to assess his gait and found that the bird was still ataxic [lacked muscle coordination], but no longer displayed the head tremor. The bird returned to the Center’s holding room and was offered a meal of mice.

The next day the staff noticed that the eagle had consumed most of his meal and while the bird was still mildly ataxic, his condition was greatly improved. The bird was moved to C1 and monitored for any changes in neurological status.

On June 22, Bald Eagle #15-1250 was bright, alert, and showed no signs of ataxia. The bird was also perching on his A-frame and had eaten almost all of his meal. The veterinary staff is very encouraged by the bird’s rapid improvement.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this young Bald Eagle ... and to the 2,500 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals the Center will treat this year.


August 28, 2015

Bald Eaglet #15-1250 was successfully released at Chippokes Plantation State Park on August 27. Dr. Kelli Knight, the Center’s assistant director of veterinary services, had the honor of releasing the eagle in front of a crowd of about 70 people.

As Dr. Kelli tossed the young eagle into the air, the bird took off and flew strongly over the lane leading into the park. The bird flew around a bend and out of sight.

Video from Mich Allen:

Photos from Barbara Melton:

Eagle Release in the news:

Rehabbed bald eagle released at Chippokes State Park, The Daily Press

August 21, 2015

During the past week, Bald Eaglet #15-1250 continued to fly well in the A1 enclosure. On Thursday, August 20, the bird was caught up for a pre-release examination and blood work. Dr. Dana, the Center’s veterinary intern, declared the eaglet to be ready for release.

Bald Eaglet #15-1250 will be released at Chippokes Plantation State Park on Thursday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m. The release is open to the public; attendees should meet at the park's visitor center. Those who wish to attend the release should RSVP to As we will have two Bald Eagle releases next week, please indicate which release you plan on attending!


August 14, 2015

Both Bald Eagles currently housed in flight pen A1 [juvenile eagle #15-1250 and mature eagle #15-0642] are flying well. As of August 12, eagle #15-1250 is flying an average of 17 passes perch-to-perch during daily exercise sessions; the rehabilitation team reports that the bird has great height and form while flying, and the young bird’s stamina has also improved.

Bald Eagle #15-0642 has also improved greatly during the past few weeks. The adult eagle is able to fly an average of 15 passes during each exercise session, and is able to maintain good height while in flight.

If both eagles continue to fly at this level for the next week, the veterinary team will begin to consider each bird’s release.

July 15, 2015

Bald Eaglets #15-1250 and 15-1348 have been doing well together in A2 during the past week. The birds are eating well, and Bald Eaglet #15-1250 is flying very well. Eaglet #15-1348 is likely a couple of weeks younger than the other bird, and is still fairly sedentary.

On July 15, the staff will begin to exercise Bald Eaglet #15-1250 to prepare the bird for release later this summer.

July 2, 2015

On June 26, young Bald Eagle #15-1250 was moved to flight pen A2 for further assessment. The bird has been doing well; the young eagle is eating and is currently 3.3 kg [initially 2.73 kg]. The eaglet is sharing space with Bald Eagle #15-0355.

The staff have been able to observe the young bird in A2 via Critter Cam; the eagle is perching well and flying the length of the flight pen enclosure. After observing several different hatch-year eaglets in A3 during the past few days, the staff believe that eaglet #15-1250 is likely a few weeks older than the other eaglets currently at the Center.

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