ANERR staffers rescue bald eagle

ANERR employee Ronnie Carter holds the eagle before transport.

ANERR employee Ronnie Carter holds the eagle before transport.

Eric Lovestrand
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 01:40 PM.

Eric Lovestrand and Ronnie Carter rescued a disabled eagle earlier this month.

On Jan. 3, a visitor to Seafood Workers Park on US 98 west of Apalachicola called the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) to report a big bird down. Lovestrand and Carter, both ANERR employees, arrived to find the caller waiting. She pointed out a group of vultures feeding. When the two men approached the birds, the vultures flew away, revealing an adult male bald eagle.

The eagle was unable to fly but retreated on foot across the mud flat to an area of marsh grass adjacent to the park.

Lovestrand and Carter crossed a bridge on US 98 on foot and pushed through the thick undergrowth until they reached a five-foot pile of concrete chunks beyond which lay the grassy area.

Lovestrand said that once they climbed the concrete, they could see the eagle. Carter donned protective gloves and made his way to the distressed bird.

“Ronnie was not hesitant. He was ready to jump in and do whatever needed to be done,” said Lovestrand. “I was happy to have him there.”

Carter netted the eagle and “as soon as it was in the net, it rolled over on its back and extended its talons,” Lovestrand said.

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