|
The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Eagle found in Corning taken to wildlife rehab center

  • A young American bald eagle found along the Chemung River in Corning this week and taken to Cornell University for care has been sent to a bird rehab facility in the Syracuse area, and could eventually could be released back into the wild.
    • email print
  • A young American bald eagle found along the Chemung River in Corning this week and taken to Cornell University for care has been sent to a bird rehab facility in the Syracuse area, and could eventually could be released back into the wild.
    The immature bald eagle was found Monday evening by a Corning resident named Free Spirit, who describes himself as a painter and collector.
    “I was out walking along the river, looking for wildflowers. I like to dig them up and plant them in my garden,” Free Spirit said. “Then my daughter said, ‘Hey look, there’s something flopping around over there.’”
    The bird could only fly in short bursts low to the ground, and he thought its wing may have been hurt, he said. So he came back with a blanket, captured the eagle and took it back to his home, putting it in a dog kennel, he said.
    Free Spirit said he initially thought the eagle was a hawk. Immature bald eagles are brownish-colored and typically don’t develop their white head and tail until they’re five years old.
    He made a series of phone calls and tracked down Andrea French, a state- and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator who lives in Corning. French took the bird, kept it overnight, and made arrangements for it to be taken to
    Cornell University’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center on Tuesday.
    The eagle was examined and monitored this week, said Dr. George Kollias, director of the Wildlife Health Center at Cornell.
    It didn’t have a broken wing or any other signs of trauma that would explain why it may have been having trouble flying, Kollias said. However, it was underweight and likely infected by parasites, which is fairly common in raptors, Kollias said.
    The eagle was found near a nest in Corning that is active this spring, so it may have been a first-year bird. It was big enough to fly, Kollias said, so he didn’t think it had fallen from the nest.
    Asked if the bird would have survived on its own if it was having trouble flying, he wasn’t sure.
    “Probably not,” he said. “Once they start feeding along the ground, looking for carrion, then it’s only a matter of time before a dog or coyote finds it, or it gets hit by a car.”
    Kollias prescribed an anti-parasitic drug, and the eagle was taken to Kindred Kingdom Wildlife Rehabilitation in Pennellville, just north of Syracuse.
    “Cornell pretty much couldn’t find anything wrong with him,” said Jean Soprano, who runs the facility. “He’s been very feisty here. As of right now, he’s in a 20-foot cage with lots of perches and places where he can move around.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The eagle will soon move to a much larger enclosure where its flight ability will be assessed, Soprano said. Unless there’s any issues, she says the bird will be banded by a state Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife biologist and returned to the wild.
    “If it’s an adult, it has a mate waiting out there for it, so it will go back where it came from,” Soprano said. “But if it’s a juvenile, it could go anywhere there’s good eagle habitat.”

      • calendar