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Sea-eagle inland rescue

Monday, March 05, 2012

White-bellied sea-eagle in careWhile the range for White-bellied sea-eagles does extend to inland Australia they are more commonly seen in coastal areas. This is only the second time WIRES records show a bird in care in inland NSW.

Earlier this year one came into our Murray River branch after being observed by fishermen trying to take-off but unable to get airborne. When disturbed she took off to a tree but could not hold on with her talons and then fell.

She was seen then hanging on with her beak until finally falling in the dam. Luckily, the kind fishermen were able to get to her in time and managed to rescue her.

When she came into care she was unable to even stand and it was considered that she had a soft tissue injury to her back as x-rays did not reveal any fractures.

She was rehydrated and then the process of getting her to eat was started. At this stage she could not even raise her head so two dedicated WIRES carers worked together. One would hold her while another fed her. This worked well for the first 7 days she was in care.

White-bellied sea-eagle release After the 7th day she decided that she did not want to be held anymore. She could now stand up quite well and everyone was thrilled to see her walking.

The process of feeding her became much easier. This time with a skewer with the food attached. It then proceeded to her picking up the food herself and then advanced to her tearing the fish by herself.

After that it was off to a flight aviary for 3 weeks for her to regain her strength and agility. She was released recently after a few weeks in care, weighing 3 kg (a juvenile).

It was a very moving experience to all who watched her as she circled, getting higher and higher.


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