|Bald eagle patient 14-40 just finished a meal |
before this photo was taken.
It was also when our 40th raptor clinic patient of the year was admitted. It is an adult female bald eagle from Dakota County. She exhibited neurological signs that were confirmed to be from lead poisoning. Radiographs showed two small lead pellets (#4) in her stomach, which were removed by flushing her stomach. While we are treating her aggressively, her diagnosis is guarded due to an extremely high lead level.
Of the folks who submitted guesses for our 40th Clinic Raptor Patient, one person guessed the correct day (Feb 20) but a different species. Seven people guessed the correct species of bald eagle, and two guessed five days before (Feb 15) and one guessed five days after (Feb 25).
Lead poisoning has long been recognized to be a serious problem in bald eagle admitted to The Raptor Center. Exposure occurs when eagles ingest prey containing pieces of spent lead ammunition.
For more information, see the USGS page on lead in wildlife, or TRCs page on lead poisoning.