Houston, the Eagle has Landed

If there is a bird that can hold one in thrall, it is the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The raptor simply radiates an aura of power and control. The Bald Eagle is classified as a sea eagle because it prefers to snatch fish from the water as it swoops across the surface of the water. It loves fish so much that it has been known to wade into shallow streams in pursuit of salmon. In regions where fish isn’t as plentiful as Alaska and the coastal northwestern states, the eagle will supplement with waterfowl and small mammals. It is the only eagle unique to North America. The Bald Eagle that came to the Wildlife Center had lost little of its regal poise even though it was so weak that it could barely fly. Wildlife Center veterinarians arrived within minutes of the bird and began examination and rehydration immediately. The eagle was treated for a parasitic nematode and placed on cage rest. Radiographs revealed an old break of the scapula that had not healed well. Examination with an opthalmascope revealed damage to one eye. Sexing birds that are not dimorphic (male and female do not look alike) is always a tricky business, but veterinarians believe that based on the shape of the pelvic bones that this bird is a male. It is believed that the single largest cause of mortality for the Bald Eagle is man and man-made creations. The Bald Eagle population in the lower 48 states began to decline as soon as humans moved in and began changing the habitat and competing for the same game birds and fish as the eagle. Unlike falcons that have adapted to and in some cases exploited human habitation, [...]