*Photos by Gena Flanigen. Used with permission.
A young Bald Eagle rehabilitated by the Southeastern Raptor Center at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine was released back into the wild Dec. 10,
on Lake Allatoona near Cartersville, Ga., just north of Atlanta.
More than 100 spectators attended the release at Red Top Mountain State Park. The eagle was delivered to the SRC last July after kayakers found it with its left wing entangled in fishing line, said Dr. Seth Oster, an avian veterinarian at the college. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources assisted in bringing the eagle to the SRC.
“No fractures were found, just large amounts of soft tissue trauma,” Dr. Oster said. “It was treated conservatively and with cage rest, and bloodwork also showed no signs of underlying disease.”
“After six weeks of rest, the eagle was moved to a flight aviary at the SRC to begin rebuilding its strength,” he said, adding that its flight ability indicates it is ready to be released back into the wild.
Biologists determined from its mostly brown plumage with some white mottling that the eagle was a first-year bird. Bald eagles don’t acquire a full white head and tail until 4 to 5 years old.
About the SRC
The mission of the Southeastern Raptor Center is rehabilitation, education and conservation. The rehabilitation unit of the SRC takes in more than 400 injured or ill wild birds each year from Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. Birds are generally brought by members of the public, a network of Southeastern rehabilitators and educational facilities, as well as state and federal agencies.
About Georgia DNR
The Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division is charged with conserving, enhancing and promoting Georgia’s fish and wildlife resources and outdoor heritage through science-driven research, management, regulation and education. The division’s Nongame Conservation Section, which conserves nongame (animals not legally hunted or fished for), rare plants and natural habitats, monitors Bald Eagle nesting through annual surveys.