VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam: Eaglet Removed for Care

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in partnership with the Norfolk Botanical Garden and WVEC, is providing a rare glimpse into the life of two bald eagles and their offspring!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

“Eaglet Removed for Care”

This morning the eaglet was removed from the nest and examined by the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries wildlife veterinarian. The growth on the left side of the eaglet's bill was sizable, and appeared to have grown over the last few days. The eaglet underwent a general examination and tissue samples were taken from the growth for lab analysis. The eaglet appeared to be well fed and was alert and active during the procedure.

The growth is partially blocking the left naris (nostril) of the eaglet and seemed to be deforming the bill. The rapid expansion of the growth coupled with concerns over potential breathing and feeding problems led to the decision that the eaglet be removed for care at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. The veterinarian and biologists from DGIF and William & Mary concurred that hopes of survival for this chick without intervention were limited. Removal of the chick from the nest was not a decision made lightly.

Unfortunately the examination did not provide a clear diagnosis, although the growth did not present as a tyopical case of Avian Pox. The tissue sample taken will help with a definitive conclusion and will inform the course of treatment. Updates as to the eaglet's condition will continue to be posted to this site as information becomes available.

The adult eagles may continue to visit the nest site for the next few days, but they will resume a non-breeding pattern of behavior quickly. The eagles will most likely remain in the general vicinty of the Norfolk Botanical Garden but may start to wander a bit more widely. While the removal of the eaglet was stressful for the eagles, they are resilient and will adjust quickly.