On July 4, 2018, a fifth-year Bald Eagle was released at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Richmond County, Virginia. The eagle was rescued at the refuge in May 2018. Read more about the eagle’s history and rehabilitation here. Prior to release, the eagle was fitted with a GPS transmitter.
On March 3, the Wildlife Center of Virginia admitted two young Great Horned Owlets, the first hatchling raptors seen as patients during 2022. A private citizen found the hatchling owls alone on the ground near a Greer and Associates construction site in Albemarle County on March 2, after the birds had likely fallen from their nest. A private citizen observed an adult Great Horned Owl flying in the area, as well as the owlets’ nest. The following day, the Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern Ben Cole rescued and transported both owlets to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
On December 20, a private citizen found an adult Bald Eagle in the woods behind Rappahannock Community College in Saluda, VA. During the next two days, the citizen noticed that the eagle remained on the ground and did not seem able to fly. Concerned for the eagle’s well-being, they contacted Julie Wobig of Tidewater Wildlife Rescue. Julie captured the eagle later that night and took it to permitted wildlife rehabber Deb Woodward. The eagle was transferred to the Wildlife Center the following day.
On the evening of December 19, two concerned citizens in Rockingham County discovered a Ring-billed Gull that had been trapped in fishing line in the middle of Lake Shenandoah. The gull was struggling to free itself and in danger of drowning.
On August 22, a private citizen in Temperanceville, Virginia found an adult Bald Eagle stuck in a wastewater treatment pond. The eagle was covered in grease and unable to fly. The citizen contacted permitted wildlife rehabilitator Jodie Sokel, who drove to the treatment pond and captured the eagle. The eagle was transferred to the Wildlife Center the next morning.
On November 29, a private citizen in Tasley, Virginia, saw a Peregrine Falcon fly into a local office building’s courtyard, chasing a pigeon. The falcon flew into multiple windows trying to escape from the courtyard and fluttered to the ground. The citizen closely observed the bird and saw that it was only able to gain a few feet of lift off the ground when it attempted to fly. Concerned that it may be injured, they contacted permitted wildlife rehabilitator Jodie Sokel, who drove to the location and captured the falcon.
Bald Eagle #21-1030 was admitted to the Wildlife Center on May 7 after she was found at a landfill in King and Queen County, Virginia. Upon admission, the veterinarians noted that this eagle was quiet, but alert and responsive. During the physical exam, former veterinary intern Dr. Sarah found scarring and discoloration in the eagle’s left eye, but the patient appeared to still have functioning eyesight. This eagle also had a large wound on the left elbow with crusted dirt and discharge which, after being removed, revealed necrotic muscle tissue.
On September 2, a private citizen in Hanover County witnessed an adult opossum fall off a staircase on the side of a building. On closer inspection, the opossum was found laying on the ground and did not move away when approached. Concerned that it may have been injured from the fall, he safely contained the opossum and brought it to Wellesley Animal Hospital. The following day, it was transferred to the Wildlife Center.
On the evening of June 24 the Wildlife Center admitted female fledgling Peregrine Falcon #21-2079, one of the four falcon chicks that hatched on cam in downtown Richmond in May 2021 identified by a yellow band on its right leg. On June 23, the four birds fledged from their roost; Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources technicians and volunteers with “FledgeWatch” observed remotely as the birds took their first flights.
This March, the Wildlife Center of Virginia admitted three Great Horned Owl hatchlings. These owlets, who were admitted as healthy orphans, will spend the spring, summer, and early fall at the Center, growing larger until they are ready to be released into the wild as mature owls. In order to learn the correct Great Horned Owl behaviors needed to survive in the wild, these three owlets are spending time with the Center’s non-releasable surrogate Great Horned Owl parent Papa G’Ho. As a surrogate, Papa is invaluable in helping these owls to prepare for life post-release.