Jul 04 2008

Bald Eagle news

Published by at 8:08 am under Birds of Prey

Bald eagles in Butler County, PA (photo by Chuck Tague)

Here’s some news about our national bird on the Fourth of July.

Pennsylvania:  Earlier this week the Game Commission issued a statement about bald eagle nests in PA.

Great news!  There are more nests than ever.  Last year there were 132 known nests in the state.  This year there will be more than 140.

Bald eagles are nesting in 47 out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  Interestingly, they are not nesting in most southwestern PA counties – only in Butler, Armstrong and Westmoreland.  This pair, photographed by Chuck Tague, is in Butler County.

Bald eagles are “sea eagles.”  They prefer to eat fish and they nest near water.  With three rivers in Allegheny County – four if you count the Youghiogheny – we’re hoping bald eagles will eventually choose the Pittsburgh area for their home.

Virginia:  You may remember the eagle pair at Norfolk Botanical Garden whom I wrote about on April 16.  Their lives were like Peyton Place but they had an egg and the potential for a successful nest.  Unfortunately their troubles didn’t end.

In mid-May the eagle webcam showed that their one eaglet had a growth on his beak.  Every day the growth got larger.  By May 22, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries decided the bird needed to be examined.  When they pulled the eaglet from the nest, they discovered the growth had started to deform his beak.  He was sent to the Wildlife Center of Virginia for treatment and possible surgery.

Tests showed the eaglet has avian pox, a common bird disease (no danger to people).  He has been getting excellent treatment – even an MRI! – and receiving a regimen of drugs to help him get better.  Meanwhile the growth has shrunk considerably, making future surgery a safer option though his recovery has no guarantee.  He sure is one high-tech eagle!

Back at Norfolk Botanical Garden, his parents consider the year a loss.  They continue to stay at the Garden and will undoubtedly try again next year.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if their eaglet was released some day and came to visit?  They would think he’d come back from the dead.

(photo by Chuck Tague)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Bald Eagle news”

  1. Sandra Fon 04 Jul 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I have been following the eagles’ saga at Norfolk Botanical Garden with great interest. If the eaglet did come back and encounter his parents at the Norfolk site some day, do you think they would recognize each other? Would they try to drive him away?

  2. Kate StJon 04 Jul 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Good questions. I don’t know how eagles recognize each other. I wonder if voice plays a part. In any case, they probably would not drive him away if it was not nesting season.

  3. Lisa McMillenon 26 Jan 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I had the fortunate opportunity to see a bald eagle yesterday January 25, 2009 in Pulaski, Pennsylvania just north of New Castle. I saw it where Route 208 meets Route 551 and got a couple of pictures of it…How beautiful…never thought i would see one up so close or at all…Pictures will be in the New Castle News but they haven’t given me an exact date yet… just have to look for them everyday until then i guess…Im so excited about i have emailed all my friends and family the pictures…

    Lisa McMillen

  4. greg shaferon 07 Apr 2010 at 5:32 pm

    live in plum boro on 4/5/10 my son & I spoted a bald eagle at about 1000 ft over our back yard.some people tell me i’m seeing things but I know what we saw .tell me i’m not nuts…

  5. Kate St. Johnon 07 Apr 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Even though most people think the adult bald eagles should have left for nesting territory by now (April), some have been seen at the rivers recently. Maybe they’re taking up residence closer to Pittsburgh. Keep watching!

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