Bald Eagle #17-2464

Admission Date: 
September 26, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Stafford County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Possible eagle fight
Died October 5, 2017
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On September 26, a mature female Bald Eagle was found down on the ground at Quantico, a military base in Stafford County, Virginia. The eagle was unable to fly.

The bird was admitted to the Wildlife Center as patient #17-2464. Dr. Alexa, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, examined the Bald Eagle upon admission, and found an old retinal tear in the bird’s right eye, along with a fresh open wound on the eagle’s left leg. The bird’s feet were also abraded in several places. Based on presentation, Dr. Alexa suspects that this eagle was in a territorial fight with another eagle. The eagle’s lead levels were 0.065 ppm; this subclinical level did not warrant treatment. Radiographs did not reveal any fractures, though Dr. Alexa noted a possible issue in the eagle’s left coxofemoral (hip) joint, which will need to be monitored.


The eagle’s leg wound was cleaned and bandaged, and the bird was given fluids, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. Two days later, Hospital Cam viewers were able to watch as this eagle received treatment; Dr. Alexa checked on the eagle’s leg wound, and was pleased with how it was healing. The bird’s feet were still swollen, but the abrasions on the feet had improved.

The eagle will continue to receive supportive care; once the bird’s leg wound is fully healed, she will be moved outside.

At the Wildlife Center, we treat to release. Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with this Bald Eagle  … and with the many other eagles admitted to the Center this year.  


October 7, 2017

On October 3, the veterinary team performed a repeat lead analysis on Bald Eagle #17-2464, which is a common procedure for lead-positive birds. Even when initial levels are low and don’t warrant treatment, affected birds can store lead in their bones, which can be slowly released over time. The diagnostic team found that the bird’s lead levels did increase to 0.164 ppm; chelation therapy was started to treat the lead.

On October 5, the eagle was much quieter than usual, and did not eat as much as she had since admission. Sadly, the eagle’s condition quickly declined during the day, and she died during her afternoon treatments.