Rare Juvenile Sea-eagle Rescue

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanks to a joint WIRES effort across NSW and a special procedure, Clarence Valley WIRES has successfully released a Sea-eagle back into the wild.

A member of the public, out walking on Palmers Island, noticed a Sea Eagle circling above a juvenile that was caught on a fence. After a quick call to WIRES, members Danny and Tony from Clarence Valley arrived to rescue the bird, which had twine around its right wing and was caught in the barbed wire fence.

After successful extraction, the bird was taken to Grafton vet, where local vet Tessa x-rayed and treated its minor cuts. The X-ray showed no broken bones however 4 of its primary feathers were badly damaged. Birds of prey like eagles can take up to a year to regrow these main feathers, however rather than keeping a bird in captivity for such a long time, a method called ‘imping’ can be used to fast-track this process and have the time frame cut from a year to a matter of days! In short, the process involves carefully implanting the bird with existing feathers from a previously deceased bird of the same species.

With assistance from WIRES raptor specialists from Northern Rivers and Northern Sydney, the young bird was able to be released the following Tuesday back at Palmers Island near its original rescue location. A terrific result!

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