Two adult Fledgling bald eagles perch proudly in the flight practice room at Tamarack Wildlife Center in Saegertown. A record number of bald eagles are undergoing treatment there this summer.
Tamarack Wildlife Center is currently treating seven bald eagles, which is nearly double the previous record of four eagles in treatment simultaneously. Tamarack is recognized for the high-quality care it provides these powerful birds and other raptors, like falcons, hawks and owls. Collaboration with colleagues in New York state and at Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh brought two of the seven eagles to Tamarack for care.
The seven bald eagles are being treated for a variety of injuries including fractured bones, damaged flight feathers, leg and foot wounds, and emaciation. Physical examination, x-ray, oxygen therapy, blood testing, eye examination, medication, feather implantation and physical therapy are all elements of treating these birds.
Typically, when bald eagles are admitted to Tamarack Wildlife Center one-third of them have injuries from impact with cars, one-third are suffering from lead poisoning, and the remaining one-third are in treatment for miscellaneous other injuries or illness. The reasons this summer for each eagle’s admission have been anything but typical with none of them experiencing vehicle impact injuries or lead poisoning. Strong storms displacing eaglets from their nests, illegal activities that are under investigation, and injuries sustained during fledging have resulted in the current eagle admissions at Tamarack Wildlife Center.
The increased influx is in part a reflection of a larger population of Bald Eagles in western Pennsylvania after nearly going extinct in our state during the 1960s, and an increase in the severity of regional storms.
Currently, four of the seven Bald Eagles have progressed to the stage in their treatment where they are building their strength and stamina in a large eagle flight building onsite. Each bird will undergo a series of flight tests and examinations prior to being cleared for release. Staff anticipates three eagles to be ready for release before the end of the summer.
Tamarack Wildlife Center offers professional, licensed wildlife rehabilitation at no cost to the finder. TWC is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization supported by individual and corporate donors and does not receive state or federal funding.
Those wishing to support the treatment of these eagles and other wildlife are invited to donate to TWC during Erie Gives Day on Aug. 8.