Thursday, April 24, 2014

MNDNR Bald Eagle on Cam is Former TRC Patient

Screen shot from eagle cam today.
If you are one of the thousands who are watching the bald eagle family on the MNDNR's eagle cam, we have some new information to share with you!  The female was a patient of TRC's in 2010.  We know this because she was banded upon release.   Read the press release from the MNDNR here. The text is also in this post: 

A bald eagle that has had thousands of people across the country glued to their computer screens for the past couple months may well be the natural world’s equivalent of a comeback kid, according to officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and The Raptor Center.
DNR nongame wildlife biologists recently were able to get a good look at a leg band on one of the adult eagles nesting beneath its eagle camera in the Twin Cities. The numbers on the band identified it as a bird that was found along the Minnesota River in Burnsville and brought to The Raptor Center in St. Paul in October 2010.

Unable to fly or even stand, the adult female had an abscess in her right foot and had a large number of intestinal parasites. Staff at The Raptor Center removed the abscess and treated the bird for its other ailments, then released it at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington about a month later.

In February, the female bald eagle laid three eggs, which have subsequently hatched, in a nest watched by a DNR video camera that streams live footage over the Internet. Since then, more than 272,000 people from all 50 states and 145 countries have been following the family’s daily feedings and other activities. DNR biologists believe the adult bald eagles are the same pair that in 2013 laid three eggs in early January, only to have them freeze.

“While this is just one of thousands of birds treated at The Raptor Center, it’s exciting that it’s gone on to become such an educational celebrity on DNR’s eagle cam,” said Dr. Julia Ponder, The Raptor Center’s executive director. “Because the bird was banded, we’re able to learn what became of it, and how the care she received here allowed her to go on and become a reproductive member of the species.”
Part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 800 sick and injured birds each year, while helping to identify emerging environmental issues related to raptor health and populations. It also provides training on raptor medicine and conservation for veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world. This year is the Center’s 40th anniversary, and on Thursday, April 24, it will be breaking ground for updated facilities.

The eagle camera is a project of the DNR’s nongame wildlife program, which works to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore native nongame wildlife resources, helping more than 700 species of Minnesota wildlife thrive. Both the nongame wildlife program and The Raptor Center are supported largely by voluntary donations.

The Raptor Center routinely bands rehabilitated birds in an effort to collect information about topics such as migration and dispersal, determining life span, and toxicology and disease research.  In this case, we were pleased to discover that our clinical work reached its ultimate goal:  to give each patient another chance at becoming a productive member of its population. 

As with most of TRC’s raptor patients, an incredible amount of teamwork went into the rescue and care of this eagle in 2010. In addition to the clinical services provided , it took several of our dedicated volunteers to transport the bird to and from our clinic; gracious permission of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington to allow us to release the bird at that safe location, and TRC staff to coordinate all of the details for rescue, treatment, and release.  

The Raptor Center is proud to partner with the Minnesota DNR.


  1. We all knew she was special. Thank you for sharing this information A fantastic momma she has become.

  2. If this is the same female from last year - 2013 - then she is indeed special! How long did she incubate the 2 eggs? She just never gave up! And neither did the make. Was so so sad to see them still sitting, and we humans knowing there was little chance of a hatch.

    Thrilled for this couple - and so far, the kids are behaving better than most "3 egg hatches" !
    Love this!

  3. I watched her today and observed she has one egg...this was about 4 p.m.