A special kind of patient

Conservation & PreservationFrom: Centre Daily Times - Centre,PA,USA

Monday, Nov. 10, 2008

Centre Wildlife Care nursing poisoned bald eagle back to health

By Anne Danahy- adanahy@centredaily.com

WORTH TOWNSHIP — The feathered guest at animal rehabilitator Robyn Graboski’s center had only snorts and a threatening stare for her Sunday morning.



To Graboski, the alert response was another sign that the bald eagle is recovering from what is believed to be a case of lead poisoning.

“It’s so nice to see him doing so well,” Graboski said from inside the large wooden enclosure that is the eagle’s temporary home.

At Centre Wildlife Care, a nonprofit, licensed rehabilitation center for sick and injured wildlife, director Graboski and volunteers care for more than 1,000 animals a year. But looking after a bald eagle is rare. Graboski said this is the third eagle she has cared for in her 20 years in wild animal rehabilitation.

“They’re very impressive animals,” she said.

This particular bald eagle was found Thursday in a yard in Hyde, Clearfield County, unable to move. The Pennsylvania Game Commission picked up the bird and brought it to Graboski. She took it to a veterinarian Friday for blood work and testing. The results from the blood work are not back yet, but Graboski said the eagle showed the classic symptoms of lead poisoning: being down on the ground, unable to fly or walk. It has also had green feces, another sign of lead poisoning.

Now, the 12-pound raptor seems poised to fully recover. The first two bald eagles Graboski has cared weren’t as fortunate — they both died shortly after being delivered to her care.

Speedy treatment is crucial for lead poisoning, Graboski said. In this case, with help from Boalsburg Apothecary,

Graboski was able to begin giving the bald eagle calcium EDTA, the standard treatment for lead poisoning, Thursday night. Graboski said sometimes the lead level will go back up, and if that happens the bald eagle will need another round of treatment before being released.

Bald eagles are scavengers that eat carrion and fish, Graboski said. While hunters help the eagles by leaving carcasses for them to dine on, if the carcass has a lead bullet in it or a fish has tackle in it, that can end up causing lead poisoning in the bird.

“In many cases it’s good for (hunters) to leave the carcasses out for scavengers during hunting season, but not if there’s a lead bullet in it,” Graboski said.

The birds are listed as threatened species, a step up from endangered. According to the state Game Commission, 150 eaglets came from 132 nests in 2007. That number continues to grow, a turnaround from the 1980s when there were three known pairs of bald eagles in the state.

Sunday morning, Centre Wildlife Care’s regal visitor was perched on a branch that ran across the large wooden cage where it will stay until it can be released. An eagle’s talons are so strong, Graboski said, they can kill an adult deer.

Graboski brought her charge live blue gill fish that had been donated. Previous meals were thawed rats. As Graboski stood in the wooden cage, the bird leaned its snowy white head toward her, puffed out its wings and made snorting noises to stand its ground. Bald eagles can have wing spans of 7 feet and weigh as much as 14 pounds.

That morning, a red-tailed hawk at Centre Wildlife got to take off after spending a few days recuperating. That bird had been caught in a fishing net. It wasn’t injured, but exhausted. So, volunteers untangled it and fed it and let it get some rest. Graboski wrapped it in a towel, took it outside and then watched as it flew, first to a tree, then into the sky.

That could happen soon with the bald eagle.

“The odds are definitely very favorable,” Graboski said. “I’m confident this bird’s going to be released.”


Reference Link:

http://www.centredaily.com:80/116/story/952269.html

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Authored by: zpn on Saturday, November 28 2015 @ 07:21 PM EST A special kind of patient
Eagles are very patient creatures really. Thanks for the share. best vpn free service.
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