Critically Ill Bald Eagle Saved Thanks to Local Community Effort

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On the morning of Friday, April 1, 2016, Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Officers responded to call about a sick or injured Bald Eagle in Thomaston. Upon arrival, it was obvious that the mature Bald Eagle was in need of assistance. Officers were able to capture the eagle and immediately transported him to Sharon Audubon Center for medical care. In 2015, our Wildlife Rehabilitation facilities were renovated and an emergency examination room and two large aviaries were added thanks to a generous grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation. Our center now operates with a greater capacity to serve the entire Northwest Region and care for wildlife like this beautiful adult Bald Eagle.

The Eagle was in critical condition but we managed to stabilize him under the supervision of our Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist Sunny Kellner and a dedicated core of volunteers. This stunning raptor was suspected to have ingested contaminated food, leading to poisoning or toxicity. The first 24 hours were touch and go, but the next morning he was more alert, more aggressive, and standing on his own. He was then transported to a veterinarian, where blood was drawn for testing. It appeared that the Eagle’s system and liver were being affected. After continuous fluid therapy to flush the Eagle's system, he finally made progress and even ate. The blood sample was sent out for a detailed analysis to determine the type of toxin, which was eventually determined to be lead. Other than the internal issue, he was in very good physical condition with no physical injuries.

This Eagle had been tagged seven years ago prior to having the ability to fly. Bald Eagle #32-16 was a 7-year-old adult male at the time of his illness and was banded in Connecticut in 2009. Thanks to this great community effort, this beautiful bird was saved and released back into the wild.

The incredible wildlife rehabilitation work done at Sharon Audubon Center is made possible through dedicated volunteers and a community that supports and values our efforts. We are the only staffed rehabilitation facility in the Northwest corner serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Imagine if there was only one emergency room in the same region for people…

Each year on Memorial Day weekend, Sharon Audubon Center hosts Raptors and Riesling, a celebration of Wildlife and Conservation here in the Northwest Corner. All proceeds go directly to support the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation work we do.

If you care about wildlife and conservation, please join us at our annual Raptors and Riesling celebration (in May) and consider making a gift today.

Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Officers rescuing Bald Eagle in Thomaston.
Seven-year-old male Bald Eagle brought to Audubon Sharon in critical condition.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist Sunny Kellner examining ill Bald Eagle.
Audubon Sharon Volunteer, Dawn, helping to care for ill Bald Eagle.
Talons of ill Bald Eagle found in Thomaston.

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