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Juvenile bald eagle rescued in the Cape shows improvement

By Staff | Apr 14, 2017

A juvenile bald eagle that was admitted to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife last month is showing positive signs of improvement after discovering it had a fractured wing.

The fractured humerus on its left wing most likely occurred when it fell from the nest in Cape Coral. It was admitted to CROW on March 30, and as of April 12 it has been staying in an outside enclosure at the Sanibel hospital.

“That is the best place for it because there are not people walking by it constantly. Toss some food in, let it eat and do its thing and leave it alone,” CROW rehabber Brenna Frankel said. “We have been doing physical therapy every three days.”

During physical therapy April 11, Frankel said the eagle had pretty good range of motion. The eagle’s wing span, so far, had been pretty tight before doing physical therapy.

“We do measurements on how far the wing will extend, contract and it does get a lot better with physical therapy. We are pretty impressed with the progress that is being made,” Frankel said.

Although there is no good way to determine the age, the bald eagle was mostly likely born this past nesting season. It is under the age of 5 because it has yet to develop a white head.

The staff believes the eagle is a female because of its size.

“Size wise it is enormous compared to some of the other eagles we have in and it’s just a baby. Typically in eagles the females are the larger ones,” Frankel said.

The bald eagle will continue to receive physical therapy, and have radiographs done for at least a month. After the wing wrap is taken off it will be another couple of weeks at CROW, so the eagle can have cage rest without the bandage to start stretching its wing.

“If it makes it that far we will start him through the flying cages. We will start him a tiny flight enclosure and move him up to the small flight enclosure and eventually put him in our large flight enclosure,” Frankel said.

The eagle is doing amazing outside and is eating a ton of food.

“It’s actually really cute. You give him an 8 pound mullet and destroys his entire enclosure with it. He throws pieces,” Frankel said. “He is a juvenile eagle and his is very feisty, just like they typically are.”

It all depends on how the fracture heals to when, and if, the eagle is released.

“We don’t really see a callus over the bone formation right now, so it is going to be a process and we are honestly just going to have to wait and see. If this eagle hasn’t learned how to fly yet, the eagle may be OK. We may be able to help it, or teach it to fly with the fracture. We will have to see what kind of wing impediment it has towards the end of treatment,” she said.