News About The Raptor Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Bald Eagle Chick Rescue
As followers of MN Bound's Eagle Cam are aware, yesterday was an eventful day in the life of a very young eagle chick here in Minnesota. Thousands of people around the world watched as the eaglet, less than three weeks old, struggled for hours trying to free its entrapped wing. With the chick getting weaker and authorities concerned that the eaglet was entangled in fishing line, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a special permit to allow intervention at the nest. After climbing into the nest and freeing the chick's wing (which was trapped by nest structure, not fishing line), tree-climber and avian expert, Jim Mussel noted the chick's poor condition and chose to remove it from the nest, bringing it to TRC for medical evaluation and care. (Click here for the rescue video).
When the eaglet arrived late yesterday, it was immediately provided supportive emergency care. The chick's wing was bruised and swollen from being trapped and it had multiple wounds on its back that had become infested with maggots. With the chick very depressed and a bit dehydrated, we are staging its exams, diagnostics and treatment to prevent too much stress to its weakened body. This morning, the chick is stronger, eating well and looking substantially better. There are many considerations when working with a bird this age including preventing nutritional problems and abnormal behavior development. And we know that with no other chicks in the nest, the parents will not hang around for very long without a chick to feed. We do not yet know how long it will take the chick to recover enough to be returned to a nest (or even if it will recover enough). We will, however, keep everyone updated on a daily basis while the chick is with us.
As always, we are very grateful for those of you who provide support for The Raptor Center's work - without you, we would not be around to assist in situations like this. For those of you who would like to know more or make a donation, please click here.