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

Whidbey Reads 2020 book focuses on gender identity

Don’t fret if you’re not ready for Whidbey Reads 2020. All five… Continue reading

Oak Harbor’s Roller Girls gliding into 10th year

There’s a somewhat of a juxtaposition in the actions on the floor… Continue reading

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Lauren Flynn
Clinton musician finds her voice

Lauren Flynn isn’t afraid of a tough crowd. Or of much, really.… Continue reading

Losing weight, gaining perspective

For some, moving to Whidbey Island can be refreshing, rejuvenating and a… Continue reading

2020 Sea Float Scramble bigger than ever

Sea float seekers, get ready. Langley’s annual Sea Float Scramble will take… Continue reading

Farmers milking the opportunity to teach about goats

When it comes to goats, Clinton resident Anza Muenchow is not kidding… Continue reading

New preserve is born on Whidbey

By RON NEWBERRY Special to the Record As you step from the… Continue reading

Ring in the New Year where ever you are on the island

With New Year’s Eve approaching, there are several events and celebrations planned… Continue reading

‘Fantastic Beasts’ actor reported on South Whidbey

It’s unclear if any fantastic beasts have been set loose on South… Continue reading

Beth’s tasty 20-year road to success at bayleaf

I’m always intrigued by the fascinating, sometimes convoluted stories of how people… Continue reading

Christmas wishes

Kindergartners in Karyn LeWarne’s class at South Whidbey Elementary School answered these… Continue reading

Photos by Patricia Guthrie
                                Whidbey WaxWorks artisan and owner Prescilla Lowry sorts through her handmade candles.
Whidbey artist creates hand-made beeswax works of art to sell as holiday gifts

Heat, light, combustion. Such are the basic elements of a trendy holiday… Continue reading