In the fall of 2020, a Bald Eagle was severely injured. His beak was quite damaged and one of his legs was broken. He continued to survive in the wild until he was found starving to death and unable to move in a ditch. He was taken to A Place Called Hope, a rehab clinic in Killingworth, Connecticut. The staff did not hold out much hope for him but they cleaned him up and fed him. He wanted to live! They tested him for lead poisoning and you might recall that it was 49.8 – extremely high. Still the staff felt that if he wanted to live so badly they wanted to give him a chance. They began Chelation Therapy. Chelation Therapy involves infusing his system with a synthetic substance known as EDTA. The heavy metals stick to the EDTA and are excreted from the body.
The image below shows the Old Warrior right when he arrived at A Place Called Hope.
This is an image of him cleaned up.
The Chelation Therapy worked and the lead levels in the body of this beautiful eagle dropped from 49.8 to 10.
He is such a peaceful bird, not a threat to the staff. He was allowed to walk around the clinic when it was being cleaned.
By March the 4th, the Old Warrior was ready to go outside in the Aviary. It was here that the staff would watch him and determine the nest phase for this determined Bald Eagle.
In their observations, he could fly and land where he wanted but he had difficulty breathing. Despite the injury to his beak he had a terrific appetite.
Today it was determined that the Old Warrior was not releasable into the wild. Here is in the aviary at A Place Called Hope. A Place Called Hope have applied to the USFWS for a permit to keep him forever. While the goal is always to have the birds live free in the wild, it was determined with all of his physical problems that this would not be in the raptor’s best interests. Let us hope that he lives a good and long life. He looks so gorgeous after his bath in the images below.
All over wildlife rehabbers and raptor lovers are calling for an end to the use of lead in both hunting and fishing equipment. Perhaps this eagle can be the poster child for that movement.
Thank you for joining me and checking in on this amazing raptor. The Old Warrior is a symbol of persistence and endurance. Let us all be as strong as he is!
Thank you to APCH for their continued care. Their facility is not for profit and is run by donations. If you feel so inclined, please donate. The cost of a single Chelation Therapy session is nearly $600 US. You can Google them. Thank you to APCH for the images from their FB Page. I have reposted them.
In the Bald Eagle world, it has been a stressful day for many. Snow and plunging temperatures in areas that normally are warmer with flowers blooming have caused a lack of prey. Others sitting on nests are facing snow and more snow and some are having freezing winds blow those nests about. So it is nice to have one when something wonderful happens and it warms your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. And that spark of ‘hope’ comes from A Place for Hope.
Many of you will recognize this Bald Eagle from an earlier posting but for those who don’t know I will briefly explain why this is such a miracle. This eagle was seen last October with a very injured beak. The eagle was in flight and could not be captured so nothing could be done for him at the time. The eagle made the local news because of its injured beak. So when he was found near dead and hardly able to move in a ditch last week, the person who found him knew that it was the eagle with the injury in October. He was taken to A Place for Hope. They determined that he had an extreme case of lead toxicity. They fed him and gave him fluids and after 24 hours this eagle still wanted to live. He was started on Chelation Therapy. In Chelation Therapy, EDTA is given to the eagle through an IV. The wildlife rehabbers said if he had the will to live they would work with him. Well, look at that picture today! Amazing, isn’t it? The lead levels were so very, very high that the wildlife rehabbers honestly did not think he would survive. He is responding and everyone is joyful. And guess what? By taking the x-rays they found that this warrior had also survived a broken leg which probably happened at the same time as the beak injury. This is one tough eagle. Incredible.
Another end of the day happy story. One of the Bald Eagle nests that is not suffering high stress levels due to diminishing prey because of the frigid cold is the SWFL Eagle nest in Fort Myers, home to Harriet and M15 and E17 and E18. Today there were six prey items brought to the nest ranging from a squirrel to a huge rabbit and a pile of fish. It was fabulous to see E18 being fed a huge portion of squirrel after 17 had eaten and fallen asleep. This evening E18 was fed rabbit. It was fed so much rabbit that when he walked the cropped swung and he fell over. It was humorous and heart warming. I never worry about 18 when he goes to bed full and today was a very good day.
In the image below, E17 is asleep with its head on a twig. E18 is behind the bunny and Harriet the mother is getting ready to leave. The darkened spot that makes E18 look like he is nine months pregnant is his crop and it is bursting. Gosh, it was good to see him fed. It was good to see lots of food in the nest, too.
And tomorrow, E17 and E18, the twins, will be 21 days old. Happy three week birthday!
And another nest with a big pile of fish on it is NEFL. E24 would not stop wiggling. Look at the size of that fish it is eating now. It is just such a cute fur ball. And E24 loves its fish. Because it is so little Gabby feeds her a multitude of times a day and if she wants some fish, E24 is quick to let mom know. Little cheep, cheeps OR like she did the other day, she crawls right out of the nest bowl. Very strong and healthy! That is the third really good story of the day.
Unfortunately, it has been noticed that this little eaglet has some eye issues. Its right eye is irritated and its left eye is a little squinty. Because E17 and E18 had to go into the clinic for nearly a week for eye treatments, E24 is being monitored very closely. The update is that the eyes have improved over night and there are no plans for an intervention. This is one feisty little eaglet! You can hear it chirping very loudly when it wants some of that fish! Adorable. And last but not least, Bonnie is still incubating one or more eggs on that Bald Eagle Nest near Kansas City. That owl is not budging. Her mate is protecting her on a branch but he does not incubate the eggs. Yesterday she took only one break. And Bonnie is not giving up any secrets. One egg has been seen but the cup holding the eggs is deeping and there is a guessing game going on as to how many there really are in that nest. This morning her mate brought her a mouse for breakfast.
Below the male lands on the rim of the large Bald Eagle nest around 6:28 am.
He quickly transfers the prey to his mate incubating the eggs and leaves. It was literally a blink and the mouse that you can partially see was gone.
Looking at the temperature in the upper right hand corner indicates that it was actually warmer at dawn than it is currently.
Gosh, it is cold there and they have had some snow. The weather than they are having in Missouri and Kansas, across that whole belt of the United States, is almost unheard of. A friend of mine living in Arkansas says it has never been as cold as it is where she lives and she has been there for more than two decades. And the amount of snow and ice is more than she remembers. Thank goodness for the insulating warmth of those beautiful feathers. Stay warm little owl!
Thank you so much for joining me today. There are so many positive things happening despite the frigid weather that just seems to have hunkered down over Canada and the United States. Last night there was more snow in Victoria British Columbia than here on the Canadian Prairies and, of course, everyone out there is watching the Delta 2 Eagle Nest on Vancouver Island. Will being you news of that later. But for now, stay warm and stay safe wherever you are.
Thank you to Farmer Derek for the streaming camera on his property in Kansas City; to a Place for Hope for the fine work they are doing on that amazing eagle and for providing images on their FB page; to SWFL Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett family thank you and to the AEF and the NEFL cam, thank you for your streaming camera. My screen shots have come from those live feeds.