Saturday, 16 July 2016

Bald Eagle Rescue

First a little background. I volunteer for so whenever there is a raptor to be rescued in my area they start calling volunteers.

So my wife who goes with me got the call an we headed out to separate 2 Bald Eagles that were fighting and had got locked together in someones back yard.

So first some background on Bald Eagles, these are average for around my area:

  • The weight is about 8-10 pounds
  • The length is about 30-36 inches
  • The wingspan is about 6 feet
  • They have a beak that can take fingers off
  • The talons can puncture human bones and have an incredible strong grip
So anyway off we go to the Eagles, now the sun is just going down so it's getting dark.

We get to the house and are shown the 2 Eagles that are locked together.

Normally when you go to rescue an Eagle you are able to cover the head with a towel so it can't see you or bite you and then you can grab the feet so the talons will not grab you.

In this case 1 Eagle had a hold of the others legs, so now we have 2 beaks and 4 feet we have to worry about. Remember I said they have a strong grip, also when they have grabbed something they don't usually like to let go.

So we cover the heads so they can't see what we are doing and I grab the feet of the one that is being grabbed while my wife try to get the other's talon off the one I'm holding.

I read somewhere that Eagle can grip with 350 pounds per inch at each of the talons.

Now the one I have is trying to get free, the other one is trying to get my wife by biting her. Also remember the sun was going down before we got there. The family that called us was very helpful by holding flashlights so we could see what we were doing.

After about 1/2 an hour we finally manage to get the talons off the bird and separate them. Now my wife has one Eagle and I have the other.

To stop them trying to attack each other we release them 1 at a time. My wife moves to an area in the open on the grass and removes the cover freeing the first eagle at which point it decides that it wants to attack her. She knows that this is what it is going to do so she is prepared. It finally gets on top of a fence and fly's off.

Now I get to release the one I'm holding and yes it try's to go for me too. it gets on a fence and fly's off in a different direction.

This was the hardest rescue we have done to date as we had to deal with 2 Eagle that were right together.

One word of warning never approach any wild animals, I have been trained and know what to expect, but on occasion I have been hurt due to my own stupidity. These birds are very strong, fast and can hurt you. They are not mean they just don't understand that we are trying to help them. If you see an injured animal call an animal rescue facility to assist.

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