Bald eagle makes full flight again after making a full recovery

Four months of rehabilitation leads to miraculous recovery
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Snow was still on the ground when local conservationist Don Becker stumbled across the injured bald eagle and he immediately knew something was wrong.

“I decided to try to approach him and I got right up to him before he even attempted to fly away,” Becker said. “So I’m pretty sure something was wrong. And then he did try to fly and maybe went 10 feet off to the side and just landed on the ground.”

He made several calls and Scott County Conservation Board Member Becky Baugh and her team came out to rescue the injured bald eagle.

“So back in March, we were alerted that there was a eagle that was down here in Eagles landing Park,” Baugh said. “And it was not flying away from people approaching it. So we came to do a rescue and was able to successfully rescue it, we got it to the rare group in Iowa City, which it was rehab there ever since.”

The R.A.R.E. Group, which stands for Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation, and Education, made sure that the bald eagle got the support it needed to make a successful recovery. From certain blood tests to working on the bald eagle’s takeoff and landing, the R.A.R.E. Group knew exactly what needed to be done. When they first took the bird in, it was suffering from lead poisoning and a broken coracoid. The coracoid is a short projection from the shoulder blade in mammals, to which part of the biceps is attached.

“So we gave it supportive care until that was fully healed,” Colin Shirk of the R.A.R.E. Group said. “Once that took place, we moved it to our flight cage, it spent a while in our flight cage strengthening its muscles just because in rehab they lose a lot of muscle mass, because they’re not flying every day.”

Today, after months of rehabilitation, the bald eagle was set to be released at Eagle River Landing, the same place it was found four months earlier. It wasted no time taking flight and soaring across the Mississippi River.

“So after a while, it was flying, amazingly, so we waited for a break in the heat to bring it down. And now we just released it,” Shirk said.

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.