WILDLIFE: Bald Eagle rescued from ravine

That Bald Eagle is getting care at PAWS after its rescue from Salmon Creek Ravine, south of White Center [map]. Community naturalist Kersti Muul, who also assists urban wildlife, shared the report and photos, noting her involvement tied back to last year’s rescue of the Bald Eagle nicknamed Bey.:

I received an email last night from a woman near Alki who I met while I was researching Bey. She said her friend had posted on Facebook about an eagle that needed help in Salmon Creek Ravine.

Her friend had not been able to get help from any organizations he called (typical scenario). She put us in contact, and I arranged to arrive at daybreak, as it was already dark. He gave me the lat/long, and I hiked in first thing this morning to assess.

The eagle had not moved much overnight, and was not flighted. It was, however, alert – it hopped and flapped quite a bit during capture. HPAI, or, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (bird flu) seemed a possibility to me behavior-wise. The last three eagles I have responded to were positive for HPAI. There is no cure, and the infected bird dies in a couple of days. We are having a resurgence currently, because of migration. New species are being infected, like cackling geese and snow geese.

I hiked out with the eagle and brought it to PAWS. During the intake exam it was not ‘overtly’ symptomatic of HPAI, and it is not in quarantine. This is good as it gives it a better chance. Hoping for a full recovery.

At one point the eagle unhooded itself and it just stared in my eyes as we hiked. Whatever it communicated to me, dissolved any fear I had. I re-hooded it for its own comfort.

I am always so utterly dumbfounded when I hold a wild animal in my arms. Especially one of such majestic magnitude. While stressful and often sad, my blessings are not lost on me.

51 Replies to "WILDLIFE: Bald Eagle rescued from ravine"

  • justme November 13, 2022 (7:46 pm)

    Beautiful. Thanks for the story!

  • John November 13, 2022 (7:52 pm)

    Thanks for being a hero to that eagle!! 🦅

  • Melissa November 13, 2022 (8:02 pm)

    Kersti, we’re so fortunate to have you here. Thank yo.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (7:40 am)

      I am also fortunate to have my community. This stuff isn’t possible without them.

  • waikikigirl November 13, 2022 (8:10 pm)

    Kersti,  a few days ago I saw 2 Eagles flying very low to the ground and thought that was quite “weird” and as they passed a few minutes later there was just one??? I’m wondering if this could had been one of the two Eagles I saw that you rescued? We live above Seoul Beach greenbelt that’s just 4 blocks north of where you found this Eagle.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 13, 2022 (9:48 pm)

      Flying low is not unusual, unless the area was somehow unusual for low flight? Eagles chase eachother all the time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see two, then one. What is it that strikes you so unusual? Can you provide more details? I’m curious 

      • waikikigirl November 14, 2022 (7:11 am)

        What “strikes” me odd was the way they were flying so very low had to be only 40 ft off the ground and our neighborhood has a lot of native trees that are a good 80+ tall. They both came from the NW flew SE which is where you found this one then there was only one that flew off towards the NE it didn’t look like they were chasing each other, just one was following the other, one was doing like wing dips back and forth. Maybe it was nothing but it was odd seeing them fly as they were. And don’t you just love auto correct! It is Seola Beach greenbelt not Seoul. :>) 

        • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 15, 2022 (4:00 pm)

          Sounds Like mated pair behavior to me. Do you know how many pairs or single eagles are in this area?

  • Barb November 13, 2022 (8:28 pm)

    Kersti, you are amazing and such a gift to our community and all animals.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (7:05 am)

      I am eternally grateful for my community and how much they care about our local wildlife. SO grateful I learned of this one and had the opportunity to help

  • grateful November 13, 2022 (9:19 pm)

    Kersti Muul is a West Seattle legend! What a powerful story.

  • wssz November 14, 2022 (5:37 am)

    Thank you for rescuing this bald eagle Kersti. One of many remarkable parts of your story is that the bird was unhooded for a short time and the eye contact between the two of you must have been intense. Somehow s/he knew you were trying to help him, not harm him. That hooked beak would have done real damage otherwise. 

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (7:39 am)

      It was intense and I definitely ‘heard’ what they were communicating.I wasn’t in danger, I had it restrained in a way that a beak assault was not possible lol. Even so, my heart was definitely pounding. I’ve handled eagles before that were not sick and they are extra spicy Birds HATE being held and it used its last reserves of energy trying to evade capture. It’s sooooo stressful for them and can kill them… compounded with the commute.

  • Alki_Neighbor November 14, 2022 (7:32 am)

    So very thankful for Kersti Muul and the West Seattle Blog. What an incredible community. 

  • Jeff November 14, 2022 (8:02 am)

    We are privileged to have Kersti “on call” for these things. The animals are, too. 

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (8:08 am)

    *Photo credits to Jeff Hogan *Who also graciously took his shirt off In the cold temperatures so I could re-hood hood the eagle…lol. 

  • T.L. Stokes November 14, 2022 (8:24 am)

    Well done Kersti! Thank you for showing up for this beautiful eagle. Sending healing energy and holding space and hope for its full recovery.

  • Kristi November 14, 2022 (8:27 am)

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown

  • West Jay November 14, 2022 (9:18 am)

    I had a small brown bird fly in yesterday. It flew into a window in panic and looked dead for a long time. I didn’t touch it over concern of bird flu, and went about my work while contemplating gloves and mask for bird disposal. Meanwhile it came back to living, awake bird-ness, but flew and hopped with more restraint than before, and I was slowly able to corral it out the door. Do the really little songbirds carry bird flu also? Or just the larger birds we hear about in the news? 

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (10:00 am)

      Songbirds Are Not particularly impacted by HPAI. Their issue in the last couple years has been the salmonella, although we’re not really having big issues with that currently.Window strikes are neurologically devastating to birds. What we ask now is that any strike that causes that kind of incapacitation be brought in as there are hidden injuries, particularly in the brain.What we often think the bird flying away ” recovered and doing great ” usually that bird succumbs in the coming days.It doesn’t always die but just something to keep in mind.I hope your little bird makes it.

      Believe it or not, baby salmon get little concussions when they have to jump through blockages from dams at the beginning of their outgoing journey

  • TM November 14, 2022 (9:25 am)

    Frickin’ hero! Great job, great story and hoping for the best outcome

  • Mr. Jim November 14, 2022 (10:04 am)

    Any thoughts on the possibility of Rodenticides? People love to poison their rats/mice in a lazy way… Of course the rest of the food chain pays for it…Regardless… Great Works Shown Here! Thank You!

  • Rick November 14, 2022 (10:05 am)

    Boy, does somebody looked pissed off! But they always do. Thank you Kersti

  • Brian E November 14, 2022 (10:21 am)

    Eagles and birds of prey are still threatened by lead in our environment. This article about lead from hunting ammunition, and alternatives is quite interesting. https://www.hcn.org/issues/54.11/birds-to-protect-eagles-hunters-and-conservationists-rebuild-old-alliances

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (11:10 am)

    To answer some of the questions here in the general thread instead of replying where other people might not see:HPAI, lead poisoning, second generation anticoagulant rat poison, and ingesting general environmental yuck all have a few symptoms in common.I did not note any blood in the nares or oral cavity which could indicate hemorrhage from rat poison. However that doesn’t rule it out. Anticoagulant poisoning can also make birds ‘heavy’ and unable to fly. And also causes excessive thirst and they can drown looking for water. There is heavy residential use of it as well as in business districts all over Seattle.You can learn more here and what we are working on with that : https://seattleaudubon.org/2022/09/28/collateral-damage-what-we-can-do-to-save-our-wild-neighbors/
    Lead poisoning also causes lethargy but seems to have more of a neurological association as does HPAI. I have dealt with a lot of HPAI and it is very hard to watch. Animal is often seizing and has corneal cloudiness. But like before, not always.HPAI and lead poisoning they are unsteady on their feet and wobbling like they are drunk.In a case like Bey the eagle, She ate something nasty and had a bad infection. She was a little more spicy than this one yesterday She was able to take short flights. She did have hemorrhagic diarrhea which went unnoticed by WDFW. Brittney and I pointed it out.I don’t imagine there’s a lot of lead in the waterfowl in that area.Anything is possible at this point. 🤞

  • Teri Ensley November 14, 2022 (11:21 am)

    Kersti,Thank you! You are an amazing, fascinating person!!!

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (3:55 pm)

      Trying to do my part in a world that we have made difficult for animals ❤️

  • Karen Hendrickson November 14, 2022 (12:55 pm)

    Thanks for responding and coming to the rescue so quickly Kersti. 

  • Elton November 14, 2022 (2:54 pm)

    The photo of her holding the eagle is so amazing for a split second I thought it was photoshopped because it seemed unreal XD Wonderful story, I hope it has a happy ending for Bey.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (3:50 pm)

      Definitely not photoshoppped lol

      • Linda Givler November 15, 2022 (8:03 am)

        Hi Kirsti,  it is so wonderful that you were able to take this eagle to Paws.  I think a shout-out to Stevo who originally discovered this guy/gal would be nice.  He monitors the “Friends of Salmon Creek” Facebook page and spends hours pulling garbage out of the Ravine.  It is because of people like you and him that our world is a better place.ThanksLinda 

        • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 15, 2022 (9:04 am)

          I mentioned him in my report. Not by name, as I never know if people want their business out there.He definitely is a great steward of the world and I’m grateful he posted to FB so this eagle could get the help it needed.He wanted to come down but is very I’ll. I sent him all the photos and gave him permission to use to update folks, and was in contact with him the whole time.I also gave PAWS his email so they can update him.

    • newnative November 14, 2022 (4:17 pm)

      I have lived here for 13 years and every time I see an eagle flying around, I can barely believe my own eyes. 

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 14, 2022 (3:57 pm)

    If anyone is on Instagram and can stomach a post about HPAI from May when I was responding to some ducklings in Bellevue. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd44WBHuJ-f/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

  • Kel November 14, 2022 (11:30 pm)

    I just can’t stop looking at those photos! Amazing. How is the eagle doing? Will it get reunited with its seattle mate?

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 15, 2022 (12:35 pm)

      This eagle does not have a Seattle mate. This is almost Burien. Bey Is the Alki eagle that was rescued last February. Two different birds and territories.I hope to find out if this one is mated. Luckily it’s not nesting season

  • Retired Don November 15, 2022 (8:34 am)

    This is so great and thank you for what you are doing. The big nest across the street from Salty’s looks to have activity . Adding sticks and chortles and being chased by the crows and gulls. The other day landing on Harbor Ave with a rodent to eat just missed by a van southbound . Perched for a while above, then flew down around the power lines and almost hit again. Sat again for a long time, but that was a meal missed, driven over by many cars.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 15, 2022 (12:33 pm)

      James Tilley reported to me that Bey Have possibly taken over the salty’s nest as she has been seen in it multiple times.This new dynamic is fascinating and can’t wait to see how this plays out.Bey has also unfortunately been eating rats. There is a ton of Rodenticide use along Alki. Would be unfortunate if she or any other animal there succumbs to poisoning.

  • HW November 15, 2022 (11:00 am)

    What a beautiful bird. Thank you Kersti, Jeff and Stevo for your help. Kersti, can you drop your gofundme again so we can donate to support your efforts? You are a West Seattle treasure!

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 15, 2022 (3:09 pm)

      I met Karen through Bey. She knows Steve, saw it on Facebook, emailed me lol…eagle telephone game. Steve noticed it while walking his dogs. What an experience. Of all the places it could have been, and the timing of his walk… Etc. Crazy small world.https://gofund.me/42d1b59e

  • Bruce Howard November 16, 2022 (9:55 am)

    Thanks for performing this invaluable service.

  • Marlene Meyers November 16, 2022 (4:24 pm)

    Thank you Kersti 💕

  • Sandy November 17, 2022 (5:59 am)

    Kersti, I believe the rescued eagle may be mated to and a parent of eagles near my house. One is mature and one is a large eaglet lately in the White Center area. About a week ago I saw 3 in the snags above my back yard, 2 mature eagles and the eaglet, flying and roosting above my house (I have chickens). The mated pair have been ‘coming and going’ seasonally since we moved in 3 years ago.  The last 3 days however there are only the 2, one adult and the eaglet. The adult has been making a racket ‘calling’ to its mate and the eaglet is also now ‘calling’ from the tall fir snags in my neighbors yard. If it would be helpful to ‘track’ the pair I am willing to text someone when I see the 2 remaining birds so the trio can be reunited when the bird at PAWS is ready to be released.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 17, 2022 (1:50 pm)

      I’ll need to come do an investigation like I did with Bey to ensure it gets released back there if it survives. Please email me at kersti.e.muul@gmail.com

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 18, 2022 (8:36 am)

    Chicken marks where Sandy lives, the X is where the eagle was rescued. I’m really hoping someone reaches out to me via email so that I can get down there and investigate if this eagle is indeed part of a pair. If the eagle keeps improving and is ultimately released, this information is imperative for location and to be reunited with its mate.This is like a Bey 2.0. I am in White Center 3 days a week and I see eagles often soaring over me near Taco Time and the ponds. Perhaps a Sandy says this is one of them.Hoping to hear from someone soon!hoping to hear from someone soon!

    kersti.e.muul@gmail.com

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul November 18, 2022 (2:29 pm)

    It is with heavy heart that I must tell you that you that the eagle has passed on

    • Laurie Ruosch November 20, 2022 (12:53 pm)

      Thankyou Kerstin for rescuing that poor eagle. We need more people like you in this world❤️

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