COLUMBUS — A 28-year-old female bald eagle that suffered injuries to her foot and eye received medical care from wildlife professionals and was released back to the wild, in Marion County, June 18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Ohio Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, and Ohio Wildlife Officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, responded to a landowner’s call about an injured bald eagle, April 28.
After safely capturing the bird, the officers decided her toe and eye injuries required rehabilitation and transferred the eagle to Crows Hollow Wildlife Care in Richwood.
While rehabilitation professionals assessed the bird’s injuries, they discovered it was banded as a hatchling June 10, 1993, at Reno Beach, in Lucas County, making her 28 years old.
On average, eagles live about 20 years in the wild. Banding efforts during the early 1990s were one way to help monitor and increase bald eagle populations.
Staff collected a blood sample, attached radio telemetry gear, patagial wing markers, a state leg band and a federal leg band.
Rehabilitation professionals assessed her injuries and guessed the eagle likely entangled her foot in a wire or strong fishing line with a hook attached. As the bald eagle attempted to remove the object with her beak, she scratched her eye, leading to an infection. Consequently, the bird’s ability to hunt was affected and she became malnourished.
Staff at Crows Hollow Wildlife Care addressed her injuries and improved her condition, allowing her to be returned to the wild.
With the help of banding programs, public education, rehabilitation, artificial nest construction and fostering programs, bald eagle populations have increased in Ohio since a low of four nesting pairs in 1979. The bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 2007 and from Ohio’s list in 2012.
All bald eagles remain protected by the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. For a complete list of Ohio rehabilitators, visit wildohio.gov.
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