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 Hurt Eagles -- How Many Are Out There?
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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 09:36 PM EST (Read 7054 times)  
JudyB

Posted for David Hancock:

Wounded but surviving bald eagles -- how are they doing?

Recently I have become aware of a number of eagles flying wild that seem to be doing fine with extensive -- maybe that should be massive -- wounds. My mind quickly goes to old axioms: the survival of the fittest etc. How can an eagle with a missing toe effectively compete? More importantly how could an eagle with basically one foot survive? Others eagles I have run down have obviously been handicapped but were surviving. How do they do this? We might include in this file any noticeable diseases and vagaries of plumage.

So do you have images of hurt, off color or diseased eagles? Let's have a look at them and we will try and explain the anomalies. Here we will also invite any of our rehab followers to report on their unusual arrivals or what they think is the problem -- or solution.

So my challenge to our group is to gather images and videos of "hurt eagles" --- ones that are not perfect. Now that we have a lot of eagle watchers it is possible we can gather some interesting data on this topic. This note is to invite anyone, past and in the future, to send us examples of "hurt" eagles. Please give us some geographical reference - as close as possible -- and a date the image or video was captured. And of course if you have any comments, on the bird's noticeable impairment, etc. or modified behavior, that would be wonderful.

Much thanks.

David Hancock

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 09:38 PM EST  
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Reserved in case we need an index

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 09:40 PM EST  
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Reserved

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By: PacNorWest (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 10:50 PM EST  
PacNorWest

Hi Judy * Thanks for opening this thread.

I had a phone conversation with David today. I had called in regards to an injured adult Bald Eagle that I found yesterday.
He has suggested this thread, and here it is. I have the dubious distinction of being the first to post a report here.

Semiahmoo Spit * 2-19-13

I spent 2-19-13 photographing birds at the Lummi Flats, Blaine, and Semiahmoo. There was one eagle that was acting in an unusual manner..... flying low, landing on the ground, uncomfortable when perched, etc.
I did not realize why until I started going through my photos.
It appears that this bird has a broken toe, and a broken or dislocated leg. David agrees. All of these photos are from mid to late afternoon 2-19-13.

Click on image to download

Takes off using only one foot.
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Right foot off to the side in flight.
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Doug
Bellingham, Washington

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By: PacNorWest (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 10:55 PM EST  
PacNorWest

Semiahmoo Spit * 2-19-13

On the beach.
Click on image to download

Close-up of foot. The eagle is not using the foot for support.
Note broken toe and what appears to be a puncture wound.
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Right foot appears limp when perched.
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Doug
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By: PacNorWest (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 10:58 PM EST  
PacNorWest

Semiahmoo Spit * 2-19-13

See the one broken toe at a weird angle.
Click on image to download

Very uncomfortable landing with right leg appearing bent.
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Click on image to download


Doug
Bellingham, Washington

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By: PacNorWest (offline) on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 11:03 PM EST  
PacNorWest

EdKeagle also has some photos and reports of this bird. He found it again today.
I expect he will be posting here with more info.
I have talked to a local raptor rehab center. They are unwilling / unable to capture the bird.
I have also talked to another expert raptor trapper / bander. He thinks it best that we let the eagle try to survive on its own.
We will be monitoring this bird.

I have to wonder if this is the adult eagle that I saw battling with a sub-adult on 2-2-13.
It was at the very same area. The injuries seem consistent with such an encounter.


Click on image to download


Doug
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By: edkeagle (offline) on Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:03 AM EST  
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Injured eagle, Semiahmoo Spit, 2-19-13. First observed this eagle about 10 a.m. on the beach in front of the now-closed Semiahmoo Resort. Iíve never been able to get this close to an eagle on land without it flying away. I was walking directly toward it when I first saw it by some driftwood. I then backed away to a safer distance, thinking it would fly away. It never did, and I left the area. I later saw Doug (PacNorWest) that afternoon. It was clear, cold and windy and there were lots of eagles in the area.
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First you must follow before you lead.

--Ed K.
Blaine, Washington


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