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Bald eagle recovers at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society

PROWLS: Rescue of the month

After dark on a cold January day, Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) received a call from Sechelt: a bald eagle had been found, sprawled on a trail in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park for at least two hours.

Would PROWLS take her? A quick call to BC Ferries at Saltery Bay resulted in everything being arranged, and the eagle was picked up from the last ferry of the night. Back at PROWLS, the adult female was transferred to a large kennel, so staff could observe her. She was unsteady on her feet and slow to react.

The next morning, Orphaned Wildlife Society (OWL), the raptor specialists in Delta, asked PROWLS to keep her for a couple of days, to rule out avian influenza. The two days passed and it was clearly not bird flu; she was fast and very cranky.

Off she went via Pacific Coastal Airlines with a warning, "Caution: Angry Eagle!"

The experts at OWL quickly diagnosed lead poisoning and started treatment right away. Two months later, they called to say they were sending her home.

She hitched a ride back to Sechelt with two juvenile golden eagles that were returning after also being treated for lead poisoning. They were released near Gibsons, then the still angry bald eagle was off to Porpoise Bay.

She wasted no time. The door of the kennel was opened and she exploded out, lifting off after her first step on the ground. As she flew across the bay, she called, and as she landed on the other side in the top of a very tall fir tree, she was joined by her mate. What a reunion!

The two of them lifted their beaks and let the world know they were back. It doesn't get more rewarding than this.

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