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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An Eagle Christmas Story

This could have been a story of terrible cruelty with a sad ending. Fortunately, there are some very good people in this world and one young eagle will have a good Christmas.

Today I received an email from wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath. He was notified of an injured juvenile Bald Eagle on the beach on Long Island. I remembered a story from "" that was sent to me last month by my friend Christina. It was a short piece from November 20th about a Bald Eagle spotted hanging around the beach on Long Island. This is what eventually happened to the bird:

From: Robert Horvath
Date: December 24, 2008 12:32:10 AM EST

This guy came in last week. Immature male shot, still has pellet in abdomen. Also suffering from mild lead poisoning from eating something killed with lead shot. It's duck hunting season now and he was found at the beach nearby a legal hunting area. He was scavenging on undesirable fish caught and left on the beach by the
surfcasters for over a month, which probably saved his life. We found pellets in the cage, as well, after he defecated. In addition he has an unknown sticky substance totally covering his feathers leaving him only partially flighted at the moment. Numerous baths in Dawn didn't have much affect, so we soaked the feathers with warmed cannola oil first, leaving on for 15 minutes and then Dawn wash after. It worked much better.

I tried catching him a few times, but he could glide from the tops of dune to dune while I had to run up and down them to no avail. Finally, on the day I caught him, he actually flew about 100 feet out, 3 feet above the water until exhausted. He ended up plummeting into and treading water just to keep his head above. I was able to net him when he got close to shore. We did x-rays, blood work and fecal sample so far. He's eating now and perking up and much stronger than last week. We hope his recovery is full and will be released upstate in an eagle wintering area where he can mingle with many others of his kind.

P.S.- anyone know hunters with extra deer meat our patient would be appreciative. We already have his rodent fish menu covered.

Bobby Horvath and his volunteers are state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitators. They receive no funds from the state, county, or federal governments and are dependent on donations and grants. Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR) is in constant need of supplies for their day-to-day operations. They currently have a wish list of needed items:

paper towels, towels, baby blankets, bleach, baby wipes, cages (crates, bird cages, etc.) and animal carriers.”

If you would like to donate any items, you can contact Bobby or Cathy at (516) 293-0587 for information. If you’d like to make a monetary donation, checks can be made out to “Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation” and sent to:

202 N. Wyoming Avenue
North Massapequa, NY 11578

1 comment:

Pamela said...

about 40 miles from here is the Blue Mtn Rehab. When I visited them this year, they had several recuperating from lead poisoning.

We need to get hunters educated into switching their shot.

And, of course, there are those who shoot feathered friends. I don't know what we can do about them.

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