Injured eagles need surgery

Conservation & Preservation

Injured eagles need surgery
By GEOFF TURNER The London Free Press

Last Updated: May 12, 2010

It’s touch and go for two bald eaglets rescued when their nest west of Hyde Park blew down in a wind storm Friday night.

The two eaglets, thought to be about two months old, survived a 15-metre fall but suffered leg fractures requiring surgery, said Brian Salt of Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation.

The two birds are in a protected aviary at the Mt. Brydges facility.

Salt said leg fractures are very serious injuries for raptors such as eagles.

“Their legs and talons are like their guns.”

He said one of the birds will require a pin to repair a leg fracture.

In recent years other young eagles have been rescued with similar injuries and didn’t survive, Salt said.

Two bald eagles are being kept at Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre after being injured when high winds toppled their nest west of Hyde Park. The two chicks have broken legs that will require expensive surgery to fix.

Local resident Don Fairbairn was the first to see the nest was down. He’s been watching it as long as it’s been there.

“First thing I do every morning at seven is look at the nest.”

Fairbairn called a friend at the Ministry of Natural Resources for advice. The friend said the eaglets would almost certainly be dead. But Fairbairn hopped on his ATV and headed across the fields to see what he could do. When he got to the site, the eaglets were in a tangle of underbrush.

“The important thing was they were alive,” Fairbairn said.

With mama and papa eagle circling menacingly overhead, Fairbairn gathered up the eaglets under his arms.

“Just like you do with a chicken,” he said.

Surgery for eagles is highly specialized and costly. Salthaven will pay for the surgery but is dependent on donations to provide such care.

Bald eagles have been making a comeback in southern Ontario but the numbers are still low.

It’s estimated that there are 20 nesting pairs in southern Ontario and only 28 eaglets fledged in 2008.

Local businessperson Charlie Frank has been watching the Hyde Park birds closely for years.

A big part of his business — Hyde Park Feed and Country Store — is wild bird feed and he has a special concern for the fate of the eaglets. He’s watched the nest through binoculars every day. He’s erected a sign in front of his store on Gainsborough Rd. encouraging people to donate to Salthaven.

The eagles have been returning to the nest for three years. Each year they add more material to the nest.

Salt wasn’t sure of its exact size and weight but said “it was about the size of a small car.”

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, May 15 2010 @ 10:57 PM EDT Sidney nest camera

Is there any way to repair the nest cam?  I don't know how or who to contact about it - or maybe there is no way to fix it?  Sure is a shame since Solo is really getting his feathers now etc. 

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Authored by: sassyk on Monday, May 17 2010 @ 09:32 PM EDT Sidney nest camera

Hi Widget,

Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to clean the camera.  David will conduct cam maintenance in the late summer or early fall when the eagles have left the area.  David will not touch the nest before this time.  Section 34(b) of the BC Wildlife Act states:

"The nests, birds and eggs of eagles, ospreys, gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons, and herons are protected, pursuant to section 34 (b) of the BC Wildlife Act. This provincial legislation is not applicable to the protection of a buffer, or in fact the tree containing the nest. Protection of the tree and buffer are necessary for the continuing use and productivity of these species and to prevent the abandonment of the nest or failure of the tree."


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