Letter: Injured eagle story had a happy ending


I wanted to give your readers some closure concerning the injured bald eagle reported on June 5, 2024.

I was called to the Useless Bay Animal Clinic the morning after Lt. Crownover dropped him off. I examined the bird, obtained X-rays and concluded that the bird was weak, unable to fly but was rapidly improving. I called Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on San Juan Island and they instructed me to take the bird to Fidalgo Animal Hospital in Anacortes and they would arrange a transfer to Wolf Hollow.

I drove the bird to Fidalgo and they asked me to drop off the bird until one of their doctors could examine it. I was called about an hour later and informed that the vet had examined the bird and, after consulting with Wolf Hollow, decided to release the bird to see if it could fly.

I took the eagle back home and re-examined him. I found that the bird was still too weak to fly. I kept the bird another day, re-examined him, found him to be very strong and released him. He flew, well, like an eagle!

Eagles reach maturity at 4 years of age, and this bird was 3 years old based on his feather pattern. This is good news because this bird was not feeding a mate on the nest nor was he feeding chicks. He was just a teenager finding his way in the combative world of eagles.

I would like to thank Fidalgo Animal Hospital and Wolf Hollow for their input. They both do a great job, mostly poorly-paid or unpaid, to care for injured wildlife.

One final word… I trust Lt. Crownover to capture and transport large and powerful birds of prey. Nobody should attempt this without experience and training. Raptors, especially eagles, hawks and great-horned owls can cause great damage to the human body. Call a licensed rehab center, a veterinary hospital or the Island County Sheriff’s office before taking action.

Dave Parent DVM (Sorta Retired)