ANERR staffers rescue bald eagle

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

Lovestrand said Carter carefully controlled the bird’s wings and calmed it. The bird was captured without injury to it or the two rescuers.

Transported to the Florida Wild Mammal Association (FWMA) wildlife rescue facility in Wakulla County for assessment and treatment, the eagle did not appear to be injured and there was no visible blood, Lovestrand said.

He said FWMA Manager Chris Beatty took blood samples and sent them off to be tested. “We first thought it might be suffering from lead poisoning,” Lovestrand said. “But it didn’t show any symptoms after the first day.”

He said he initially thought it possible the bird was feeding with the vultures and had gorged itself until it was too heavy to fly but Beatty said the bird’s crop was empty when it arrived at the rescue center.

The eagle is now feeding itself and perching. When stabilized, depending on the result of blood work, the eagle may be sent to a facility in Pensacola that specializes in eagle rehabilitation.

The American Eagle Foundation advises if people see an injured bald eagle is injured, to quickly notify wildlife officials or the police and then return to the site to watch the eagle and wait for the officials. Since birds of prey require special diets and care, it's important they be cared for by trained personnel. 

In those unusual situations where an individual believes they must take action, the foundation advises to move the bird with extreme care. Wear heavy, long gloves if possible, and place a blanket or large towel completely over its head to calm the bird and so that it can’t see to bite or strike with its talons.

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