Another Bald Eagle with apparent HPAI – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – has been found, this time in Lincoln Park. Community naturalist and urban-wildlife responder Kersti Muul rescued this one too – as she had with another in Salmon Creek Ravine less than two weeks ago – and sent the photos, video, and report:
This is really sad news for West Seattle. HPAI seems to be running a course here and Tuesday morning the latest bird to be impacted is one of the mated pair from Lincoln Park. This pair successfully fledged two eaglets this year from their nest above Colman Pool.
I received a call around 8 regarding an eagle on the ground. Ironically it was near their old nest in the Grand fir by the trail junctions. When I arrived to assess, it was very obvious that HPAI had taken hold. It was having the beginnings of neurological issues.
It was coughing, and also calling to its mate, which was heartbreaking. I later learned that a Parks employee heard the pair in that area at 5 pm the previous night, which struck him odd; they don’t usually hang out there. I surmise the eagle was grounded at this point.
I transported the eagle to PAWS.
HPAI is not trivial; this is the second eagle in the area in less than two weeks, along with the snow goose. We also had a confirmed case in West Seattle recently of a Peregrine falcon. The mates are at high risk and I won’t be surprised if they show up grounded soon. They are obviously eating infected waterfowl. Diligently watching out every day now. HPAI is going to have to burn itself out.
An important reminder from Kersti – this illness is not a current problem for the birds you’d most commonly see in your yard, songbirds and hummingbirds.