Photo provided

Photo provided

Clinton resident finds injured eaglet in yard

Vet responds to many calls of raptors in crisis each year, but the cases don’t always end happily

Clinton resident Melissa Koch got a close look at America’s most patriotic bird after discovering a young bald eagle pecking at her hydrangeas Aug. 7. The juvenile eagle appeared to have fallen from a tall nearby fir tree where a pair of nesting bald eagles hatched baby eagles earlier this year, she said.

David Parent of Useless Bay Animal Clinic checked on the eaglet. Clinton resident Melissa Koch said she felt lucky to have gotten such a close look at a young bald eagle. Her neighbor Cathy Whitmire snapped these photos. (Photo provided)

David Parent of Useless Bay Animal Clinic checked on the eaglet. Clinton resident Melissa Koch said she felt lucky to have gotten such a close look at a young bald eagle. Her neighbor Cathy Whitmire snapped these photos. (Photo provided)

David Parent of Useless Bay Animal Clinic stopped by and attempted to reunite the eaglet with its parents by leaving it on top of a roof underneath the nest of the tree.

Parent advised that someone who comes upon seemingly abandoned or injured wild animals not to take matters into their own hands, but to get help.

Wildlife centers are equipped to treat birds and make efforts to return them to the wild. Parent, who is licensed to treat wildlife, said he gets called to check on eagles about 15 to 20 times a year.

Eaglets tend to fall from nests between May and August, according to Laura Follis of the Lynnwood PAWS Wildlife Center, where Koch transported the eagle after its parents did not return.

In this case, Parent suspected that the eagle’s healthier sibling learned to fly, and the parents moved on.

“Mother nature is not often kind,” he said.

For her part, Koch said it was a magical experience to get to see the majestic feathered creature on such a personal level. She said she had been watching the eagle family from afar, witnessing feeding times and the eaglets “flapping wings getting ready for the maiden voyage into the skies.”

Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending, and this eaglet will not be returning to the wild.

Follis said PAWS had to euthanize the bird a day after it was received due to two improperly-healed fractures and a severe aspergillosis infection in its lungs, likely due to a compromised immune system. Infections progressed to that level “are almost impossible to treat,” she wrote in an email.

The injuries would have impeded its ability to fly or function normally.

“With rare exception, wild animals need full function in every limb to survive in the wild,” she said.

Eaglets learning how to fly can be injured falling out of trees because eagle nests are typically built at the top of the tallest tree in the area, which can be upwards to 60-80 feet high, she said.

“Recently we have seen fractured pelvis in fallen eaglets the most,” Follis said.

Call a licensed rehab canter or a veterinarian with a wildlife rehabilitation permit upon finding an injured eagle, she said.

Licensed centers can be found on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. Whidbey’s centers are Useless Bay Animal Clinic in Freeland and Wildlife Care Clinic in Oak Harbor.

Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 1995 and are currently listed as a federal “species of concern.”

They are still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Photo provided

Photo provided

More in Life

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Brittany Darby helps raise a wall at Habitat for Humanity of Island County’s two townhomes on Southeast 10th Avenue in Oak Harbor during the Women Build event Saturday.
Women Build: Lending some muscle to Habitat for Humanity

Forty women and some men volunteered for Habitat’s Women Build 2021 event this past weekend.

Members of the public and Whidbey Island Rocks are encouraged to paint and hide stones with Garry oak designs or other local flora and fauna this week in preparation for a hunt Saturday. Photo by Jane Geddes
Island rock hunt celebrates Oak Harbor ‘Year of the Oak’

Whidbey Island Rocks is encouraging people to paint stones with Garry oaks before a hunt Saturday.

Langley scene abuzz with new coffee shop

A pair of millennials have opened the newest business in downtown Langley.

Photo provided
The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron, also known as America’s Boating Club of Deception Pass, hosts jamborees and other social events, along with boater safety and education classes.
Whidbey boaters promote safety, education

The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron hosts education and safety classes, and social events.

Michael Nichols, owner of Whidbey Green Goods, stands in his hoop house, also known as “The Hovel.” Customers visit the Clinton farm to pick up their own produce and plant starts. (Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group)
One-man Whidbey Island farm gears up for spring

The pandemic has brought a longtime farmer out of retirement.

Frances Schultz, holding a picture of her younger self, recently turned 100 years old. Her daughter, Connie Van Dyke, right, said her mother’s photo looks like one of actress Barbara Stanwyck. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
At 100, Oak Harbor woman reflects on busy life

Frances Schultz turned 100 years old on March 30.

Photo by Cara Hefflinger
After Coupeville resident Geri Nelson saw these two Great Horned owlets and their mother, she posted to social media to see if there was any local photography interest. Cara Hefflinger came to the tree, camera in hand.
Coupeville owl family makes an appearance in photographer’s lens

O ne woman’s discovery of a brood of owlets in Coupeville caught the eyes of many admirers on social media, including one South End photographer.

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Third grader Laszlo McDowell gets up close and personal with a gray whale skull.
Students learn about being ‘whale-wise’

South Whidbey Elementary School students got a taste of what it would be like to live as gray whales.

The Oystercatcher’s owner and chef, Tyler Hansen, prepares a dozen 3 Sisters beef bolognese lasagnas to go on the shelves at 3 Sisters Market. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Chef liaises with other business owners

A Coupeville chef has expanded his partnership with local business owners to… Continue reading

Tim Leonard, owner of the Machine Shop in Langley, hangs a purple neon star he made on the wall of his arcade. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group
Neon art show colorizes Machine Shop’s reopening

A cacophony of happy buzzers and bells and a riot of glowing… Continue reading

South Whidbey Lions announce scholarship winners

South Whidbey Lions announced the recipients of this years scholarships. South Whidbey… Continue reading

Photo provided
Representatives from local organizations that received checks this year.
Eagles Aerie distributes checks to local nonprofits

The Eagles Aerie canceled its 2020 and 2021 plant sales because of… Continue reading