Subscribe
First Look

Rescuing a national treasure: what to do if you encounter a bald eagle

Brushes with America's national bird are becoming increasingly common as their numbers rise.

A police officer rescued a bald eagle in Maryland on Thursday morning.

Officer Jennifer Gill, who works with the Animal Services Division of the Montgomery County Police Department, named the bird “Trust." A local resident saw the bird walk into the woods, where Officer Gill found the bird and wrapped it in towels.

Once a rarity, bald eagle sightings have become more frequent in recent decades, especially as the raptors have grown accustomed to scavenging for food along US roadways.

Recommended: 14 animals declared extinct in the 21st century

Because of the nature of Trust's injuries and its location near a main road, wildlife workers the Owl Moon Raptor Center, in Boyd, Md., which took the bird, believe that the eagle may have been hit by a car while it was feeding on roadkill.

"They don’t fly off until the last second sometimes, and then they get hit," Suzanne Shoemaker, founder of the center, told ABC News. "They don’t even see [a car] coming until it's close."

Encounters with America’s national bird have become more common as their numbers have rebounded.

In 1970, there were fewer than 1,000 bald eagles raising broods in the continental United States, according to the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. There are now more than 5,000 nesting pairs – bald eagles, like certain other birds of prey species, mate for life – thanks in large part to conservation efforts and habitat conservation.

Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 2007, and are now classified as Least Concern because their population is increasing. However, they are still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prevents the trade and sale of bald eagles and their parts throughout its migratory area.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service recommends that people can help bald eagle conservation efforts continue by leaving them and their nests undisturbed if encountered in the wild. If people do come across an injured eagle, the Service recommends that they seek assistance from someone trained in handling wildlife, such as a licensed veterinarian, and carefully follow their instructions. The emphasis in any wildlife encounter should be, first and foremost, on preserving your personal safety, but the Service also points out that the well-being of the eagle is also paramount.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK