I just became aware of a U-Tube video posted by the fine folks at Four Lakes Wildlife Center in Madison. It is of the REGI Bald Eagle Release on Sunday January 31, 2010. Many thanks to Lori Connor and Bill Wright for taking the video and posting it. It is so good to have such a terrific group in the Madison area caring for wildlife. It was not so long ago Madison's injured wildlife had no place to go. In 2002 Four Lakes Wildlife Center was developed and we are grateful. They did a lovely blog entry on REGI and other Wildlife Centers in WI. That spirit of cooperation and professionalism is a wonderful thing. Check them out at Four Lakes Wildlife Blog.
All of the eagles released on Sunday January 31, 2010 came in with wing fractures. Additionally the adult eagle had lead poisoning as well when admitted.
The youngest eagle (released second --dark colored eagle) was shot soon after she left her nest in July. She had a fracture of the right wing. Some folks commented she didn't fly well after release. That isn't factual. She flew over the river and then came back circling several times. She seemed fascinated by the open water. She touched her wings to the water, and that is something often see adults do when released. So, she was a bit overconfident, not under, but it is hard to tell that unless you were in attendance.
The adult had a wing fracture as well as lead poisoning. We see secondary injuries in lead poisoning cases. The lead poisoning causes the birds to be disoriented due to the neurotoxin. They can fly into objects, trees, etc., or even cars before they become too weak to fly.
The 3-4 yr-old female Bald Eagle (mottled in color) is from Marathon County and was found in a corn field by some landowners. Tom Meyers DNR Biologist from Mead Wildlife Center rescued her. She is one big lady bird. Females are larger than males in most raptors. She is an example of how much larger they can be.
Very busy here last night and today, but will be back to you soon.