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Friday, November 11, 2011

Bald Eagle rescued; now recuperating in Errington

GROWLS got the call on November 1 just before dusk. An eagle had been spotted hopping along North Road near Bertha dragging a wing. A rescue team was organized.

Our feisty healthy bald eagle. Photo by Carmel B.

Since GROWLS rescuers most often see eagles when they are sick or injured, they were surprised by the feistiness of the big, healthy five year old male with a broken wing. The cause of the injury has not been determined.

Ready for transport. Photo by Carmel B.

After capture he was taken to Twin Cedars Veterinary Clinic for the night before being transported the next day to Island Veterinary Hospital in Nanaimo where he was assessed and surgery was performed. Later the eagle was taken to North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington where he will recuperate in their 42.5 metre long rehabilitative flight cage - which I happened to see last weekend on my first visit to NIWRC.

Check it out here: www.niwra.org

During my visit, there were several eagles in the flight cage, a safe environment that gives a recuperating bald eagle the opportunity to regain strength and practice flying until it is healthy again before being returned (usually) to the location where it was found. Our feisty Gabriola eagle is just one of approximately 60 eagles admitted to the Centre each year, mostly with gun shot wounds, lead shot poisoning, injuries from car collisions, or suffering from starvation. He will - if all goes well - be returned to Gabriola in the future for release back to the wild near the spot where he was found.

In addition to the rehab flight cage for eagles, NIWRC runs the Museum of Nature (a fascinating educational museum), the Vancouver Island Black Bear Rehab Program, and a treatment centre. There is also a large public viewing area where non-releasable wildlife are cared for. They also offer a year round education program for schools and community groups and have a lovely Gift Shop where I found some great Christmas presents. 
NIWRC is definitely worth the trip. And if you go soon, please say hello to our eagle and wish him well!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are the couple who spotted this bird, and it's wonderful to get an update and know he is on the mend! It was sad to see such a majestic bird incapacitated and at the mercy of the elements. Our sincere gratitude to GROWLS for their swift action and expertise in bringing this bird to a safe rehabilitation.

Mike & Louise

PS We enjoy and appreciate your blog, and are learning a lot more about Gabriola's birds!

Sharon said...

Thank YOU for alerting GROWLS. Because of you, this gorgeous eagle now has a fighting chance to make it back to health. ... And I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! I enjoy writing it too.

Louise & Mike said...

Hi Sharon,

Just wondering if you've received any updates on this fine fellow! We've been away from the island for the past few months, but we often think about him and wonder how he's doing. Hopefully he's recuperating well.

Thanks for the terrific blog. It's so informative, and the photos are fantastic. We're anxious to get back there and do some birdwatching!

Cheers,
Louise and Mike

Sharon said...

Dear Louise and Mike,

Thanks for your kind words about the blog. .... I do have an update about the eagle. Could you email me at justforthebirds@gmail.com and I'll fill you in? Thanks kindly.