The Virginia Wildlife Center is set to release two rehabilitated bald eagles on two consecutive days before August 2015 comes to a close.
The first eagle, dubbed as Bald Eagle #15-0642 will be released on Wednesday, Aug 26 at 11:30 a.m. by Ed Clark, the president of the wildlife center at the Widewater State Park in Strafford County. The said release will be open for public viewing.
Bald Eagle #15-0642 is an adult female that was first found on the ground and incapable of flying near Widewater on May 10, 2015. As per assessment, it had a broken talon and some cuts on its foot. The staff of the center have been taking care of the bird for the past couple of months and have been preparing it for its return to the wild. On Thursday Aug 20, the team of veterinary specialists of the center performed some pre-release blood examinations and other tests. After the evaluations, the bird was declared ready for release as the exam findings all turned out normal.
The second eagle, dubbed as the Bald Eaglet #15-1250, will be released into the wild on Thursday, Aug 27 at 3:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Chippokes Plantation State Park and will also be opened to the public.
Bald Eaglet #15-1250 is a youthful male that was first discovered on Windsor grounds on June 19, 2015. According to the veterinarians' initial assessment, the bird had a head tremor and poor muscle coordination. It was then left in one of the center's outdoor flight sanctuaries and exhibited fast recovery. The staff have been exerting efforts so that it can be released to the wild.
The population of the bald eagles in North America was about 500,000 before the Europeans occupied the territory. The eagles subsequently lost their habitats, became affected by hunting activities and suffered from pesticide use, among many others, resulting in the decline of its populations in the US. In 1997, Virginia is said to have only about 50 bald eagle nests. At present, the number of bald eagle nests is slowly increasing, with more than 1,000 sightings of active nests in the Commonwealth.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia has been treating, performing studies and helping reform laws for the benefit of the bald eagles since its foundation in 1982. Currently, the center is the home of 11 bald eagles, including the two eagles set to be released. The center works to help the species restore function and health in such a way that it can be returned to the wild.
Photo: Jim Bauer | Flickr