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.