On July 1st, 2017, a photo surfaced from the Human Rescue Alliance that shows an injured Bald Eagle who was found in Washington, DC. The bird could not fly and it appeared sluggish and lethargic. Its breathing was also labored. Now, the majestic bird is on the road to recovery just in time for the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrations. Very fitting. The injured eagle is thought to be Justice, one-half of the capitol’s famed adult Bald Eagle duo (Liberty and Justice) who have nested for years in a tree at the Metropolitan Police Academy, where they have raised their young. Based on its weight and talon size, the injured bird is likely Justice, the male of the beloved pair. Justice weighs nine pounds. Liberty and Justice’s eaglet hatched on March 15th and is named Spirit. It took its first flight in early June and is likely living and hunting on its own by now.
The Bald Eagle was rescued when it was found on the ground, wet and injured after a rainstorm. The bird’s body is in good condition and he is eating well. Those are good signs. The bird was found Saturday afternoon in the city’s Southeast section after thunderstorms passed through the area. He was transported to City Wildlife, a DC wildlife rehabilitation center, for treatment and is in stable guarded condition. Some are putting forth it could have been lead poisoning that brought the bird down. During intense storms, water can get under the feathers of bald eagles, weighing them down and making it likely they’ll be grounded, where birds are most vulnerable.
“The bird has no obvious fractures or other signs of trauma,” said Kristy Jacobus, the clinic director at City Wildlife. She made the statement after she completed an examination of the bird Monday morning. It was alert during the examination, yellow eyes bright and pink tongue out as it panted from the stress of human contact and it let out a few squeals as Jacobus felt along its wings and feet for injuries. It will be taken to a center in Delaware for further examination and a full X-ray and returned to the District once it has been cleared.
I love Bald Eagles. For a number of years in Northern Idaho, up by Sandpoint, my husband and I would go to a lake there and watch and photo the Bald Eagles as they gathered to mate in December and January. They are beautiful and majestic. I have never seen anything quite like them… they are mesmerizing. No wonder they were chosen as the symbol of our great country. There are over 16,000 Bald Eagles in America now. I have seen them and watched them in numerous states… primarily Northern Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
The District is scheduled to host its annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert at the US Capitol to celebrate Independence Day at 8 pm EST today. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are also expected to participate in a fireworks viewing at the White House tonight. It’s a pity they won’t get a chance to visit the Bald Eagle.
— City Wildlife (@DCCityWildlife) July 3, 2017