On May 19, the Wildlife Center of Virginia admitted an immature Bald Eagle from Accomack County. The bird was seen standing on a woodpile for an extended amount of time; rescuers noted that the bird was often hanging his head and appeared to be unable to fly. The bird was captured and taken to a local permitted wildlife rehabilitator before a registered volunteer transporter drove the eagle to the Center.
Dr. Karra, the Center's veterinary intern, examined the eagle when it arrived. The eagle was quiet, weak, and thin. Dr. Karra noted that the eagle would alternate between standing and being defensive, and dropping its head and appearing weak. Blood work revealed that the eagle was mildly anemic, and tested "low" for lead. Upon careful inspection of the eagle's feathers, the staff determined that the bird was a hatch-year eaglet -- which explains its behavior.
The young bird was placed in the tower portion of the A3 flight enclosure -- this area is large enough for young birds to stretch and flap their wings and overlooks the main flight portion of the A3 enclosure. From this balcony perspective, young eaglets can watch adult birds below. In this case, young eaglet #19-1013 was able to observe and hear Bald Eagle #19-0031.
During the past month, the eaglet has been eating well and growing in flight feathers. On June 11, the balcony doors were opened to allow the eaglet access into the main flight enclosure when it is ready. As of June, the young bird is being fed whole food once a day, and weighs 3.28 kg.