Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bald Eagle Admitted from Merrill, More Lead Poisoning, Busy Education Weekend, Updates on Patients

It was a romp-in stomp-in weekend at REGI. We've had several new admissions. On Saturday REGI birds and educators were at three programs at one time. Our birds certainly earn their mice! :) Director of Education, Steve Fisher will do a separate blog on his weekend of programs at Copper Harbor, MI.

( Photo: This 4-5 year old Bald Eagle was admitted from Merrill. She was likely shot in the right chest. She also has lead poisoning. Notice the color of her eyes has a dark look, rather than the bright yellow of a full adult Bald Eagle. She also has a few brown feathers on her head that are leftover plumage of an immature bird. When Bald Eagles are young they are dark brown all over including their beak and eyes. That color changes slowly over the first 5-6 years or more in some cases.)

It is always sad to admit a Bald Eagle suffering from lead poisoning. They are so sick, disoriented and many times convulsing. The beautiful nearly mature Bald Eagle admitted from Merrill is such a bird. She was noticed a few days before by some alert landowners. They observed the eagle, carefully watching to make sure she was not just resting in their field. When the eagle moved only slightly and appeared unable to fly, the folks called State of WI DNR Warden Rick Peters. Rick is an old hand at eagle capture. Over the years several of our patients have lived thanks to his quick response to a scene. Rick was able to capture this Bald Eagle with little effort.

( Photo: Back at the REGI clinic we drew blood and tested the Bald Eagle for lead poisoning, as well as several other tests for anemia and total protein. In this photo Don holds the eagle as we wait for test results.)

The eagle exhibited many symptoms of lead poisoning including seizures and vomiting. Lead poisoning is ugly and is 100% human caused. Birds cannot recover from lead poisoning without human intervention and chelation with CA EDTA. Don and I worked on this magnificent eagle late into the night doing bloodwork and started chelation injections to try to save her life.

The eagle is improving but has a long way to go before she is released to the wild once again.

( Photo: Getting an x-ray of the new admit Bald Eagle from Merrill at the Antigo Veterinary Clinic in Antigo.)

( Photo: Broad-winged Hawk admitted last week with a wing fracture is doing well and eating on his own. We expect a full recovery.)

( Photo: The American Woodcocks admitted during the past two weeks are doing beautfully and growing quickly.)

Saturday we had a joint fundraiser between REGI and Crimestoppers. If you have never seen or heard the Dorf Kapelle band you are missing an amazing experience. We laughed and sang so much my voice was raspy the rest of the weekend. Thanks to everyone that helped out. We appreciate your support.

( Photo: Dorf Kapelle Bandleader, Ernie Broeniman, entertains the crowd up close and personal.)

( The Dorf Kapelle Band Fundraiser was terrific fun! In this photo John Jacobs, organizer of the event, gets rowdy with this friends. That is John in the blue shirt, middle of the photo, holding the table shoulder high. )

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010

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