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Eaglet update: E8 shows signs of recovery

By Staff | May 20, 2016

On Friday, eaglet E8 received its second radiograph (x-ray) since its operation last Saturday. E8’s condition was upgraded to guarded based on blood work and clinical condition, but protein levels are still dangerously low.

The fracture site and pin placement from the surgery looked good and, on Friday E8, was able to stand and walk normal, but still spends a majority of time down and sleeping. The eaglet is responding to intensive care and is moving from a predominately liquid diet to a soft solids diet, stated CROW. Although E8’s body weight has increased, it remains extremely thin, officials said.

E8 still has a lengthy recovery, but CROW staff was encouraged that the eaglet was willing to bear weight on its leg and use its foot and claw in a normal fashion, which indicates normal nerve function.

The juvenile American bald eagle was found injured near the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam on Friday, May 13 and brought to CROW Clinic. The eagle arrived thin, dehydrated and very weak. The initial radiographs showed a right leg femur fracture (broken leg) that required surgery the weekend of May 13.

On May 17, CROW released information stating that E8 was being quiet, alert, responsive and had not regurgitated any food the last couple of days. E8 was fed soft pieces of rat.

On the same day, E8 was observed to be hock sitting and for the remainder of the time was in the prone position (laying flat with the chest down and back up) and had been moved to a larger enclosure to encourage movement. Although positive signs, E8 was still receiving pain medication and remained in critical and guarded condition.

E8 took its first fledge at nearly 14 weeks, a little later than normal. On Feb. 8, E8 had to be rescued from its nest after it got caught, presumably by some fishing line.

CROW, LCEC and a local MasTec contractor came together, secured a bucket truck and rescued the eaglet from its entanglement and brought it to the CROW facility on Sanibel for evaluation.

E8 spent three days at CROW, where it was fed, had its injured foot treated and got over a case of dehydration before it was returned to the nest.

The first weekend of May another incident occurred.

Both eaglets in the nest on the Pritchett property off Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers were seen resting on a branch, when an owl apparently knocked both fledglings off their perch at around 3:30 a.m., Saturday, May 7. That was the last time E8 was seen on the Pritchett Eagle Cam. The mother, Harriet, the father, M15, and E7 had been spotted on the cam.

The eagle cam, which has attracted million of visitors worldwide since its first nesting season, may be viewed at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html