TYPE OF BIRD: Juvenile bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).
WHEN RESCUED: Sept. 5, 2011.
WHAT HAPPENED: Volunteers with the Juneau Raptor Center responded to a call about a juvenile bald eagle in the street in Douglas. A volunteer was able to quickly catch the bird.
INJURIES: Ruby, as it was named, was soaking wet, had a full crop and was skinny.
CARE: She was taken to the home of a local who works to rehabilitate birds and placed in a kennel so she could rest and dry out overnight. Once in the kennel, the volunteer reported that Ruby was able to stand and was fairly active. The next day she appeared healthy and strong so she was moved to a larger outdoor mew (enclosure) where she quickly reached the highest perches. She ate well and didn’t appear to have any injuries so she was moved several days later to the JRC flight mew where she immediately flew the length of the mew with ease.
RELEASE: On September 15, 2011, the weather finally cooperated. It's important to get a bird released back to the wild at the first good weather opportunity. Ruby was released at the end of St. Ann’s street in Douglas, proving that she was a strong flier by cruising out over Sandy Beach before turning and landing in a cottonwood tree. Based on the fleshy corners of her mouth (the remnants of the large, gaping baby bird mouth), this bird is likely a fledgling from the downtown Douglas area. She sports a silver US Fish & Wildlife Service band on her right leg, so keep an eye out for her!
MORE ABOUT THE BALD EAGLE: Bald eagles build their nests in large trees near rivers or coasts. A typical nest is around 5 feet in diameter. Eagles often use the same nest year after year. Over the years, some nests become enormous, as much as 9 feet in diameter, weighing two tons.
• Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptorcenter.org.