WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Another Bald Eagle ill with apparent HPAI

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.

16 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Another Bald Eagle ill with apparent HPAI"

  • B Feathers November 24, 2022 (1:20 am)

    This is so sad. Is there hope that the birds will be rehabilitated and returned to the wild? Can the waterfowl be treated and the influenza cycle broken? Thanks for sharing your report, photos and video. 

  • Christina Rotondo November 24, 2022 (5:08 am)

    Is there a chance he will recover? 🥺😓

    • Sad November 24, 2022 (9:25 am)

      Unfortunately, they do not recover and have to be put down. 

  • TM November 24, 2022 (8:27 am)

    That’s brutal news, love that pair. Thanks again Kersti for being there for them. Interested in updates for sure, and if there’s anything we can do.

  • WS Res November 24, 2022 (10:37 am)

    Her other posts have suggested that there is no cure for HPAI, and it’s pretty typical for it to be fatal, unfortunately.

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 24, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    There is no cure, all we can do is try to stop the spread a little bit.It’s going to have to burn itself outBirds that are seriously symptomatic / sick are euthanized. This eagle’s mate was seen this morning down by lowman… Flighted and being chased by seagulls. So hoping it did not contract

  • LivesInWS November 24, 2022 (2:15 pm)

    Very sad. Thank you Kersti for all you do to inform the community and to help wildlife.

  • Julia November 24, 2022 (2:48 pm)

    This is heartbreaking, we watch this pair all year. I appreciate knowing what’s happening, though. Thank you.

  • Deanna Armstrong November 24, 2022 (3:40 pm)

    Hi. Is this the same type of avian flu that has been so problematic in Florida recently?

  • Mary Jo Bukovic November 25, 2022 (4:07 am)

    Absolutely heart breaking. Is it possible that the great blue heron that was found dead on 45th Ave SW – the one that might have hit the power line and  caused the power outage on Tuesday morning – suffered from avian flu also? Does anybody know if an autopsy was done?

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 25, 2022 (12:06 pm)

      I doubt it. It was electrocuted. Common for herons to fly around at night. They are sometimes low in trees and take off, easy for a cross phase to happen. The neck was not twisted it’s the normal ‘S’ shape of a heron

  • martin wheeler November 25, 2022 (5:01 am)

    This bird flu is spreading like wildfire! No one can say if it transfers to human ‘s. Think before you pick up any dead or dying birds. YOU could be next with this virus, if it is able to be transmitted by…Oooo nice little bird!! Caution Warning Danger!!⚡️ Think citizens!! Nothing is normal!! Your life could be on the line with the wrong move! ⚡️ Iceman🇺🇸

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 25, 2022 (12:10 pm)

      Martin this is false information. It CAN be transmitted to humans, but it is unlikely, especially if you protect yourself properly. There are ZERO cases of it being transferred to humans from wild birds, only in people who were in close contact in factories without the proper PPE. I have been in close contact (face to face) with multiple cases of confirmed HPAI, when their viral load was the highest which would make transmission easiest. I’ve held seizing animals while they die. I wear the appropriate PPE and take the necessary precautions and I have not contracted it.Fear mongering isn’t helpful.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 27, 2022 (8:47 am)

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