VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam: Growth Noted

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!

Monday, May 19, 2008

“Growth Noted”

A growth has been noted on the bill of the eaglet at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. This was first noted by a local photographer and by a researcher from William & Mary CCB on the 16th of May.

The growth, located on the left side of the upper mandible, has grown quickly and is now quite visible. A growth such as this generally indicates a diagnosis of Avian Pox, although this cannot be confirmed without examination and further diagnostics (such as a biopsy). Avian pox is a viral disease that is contracted by any number of birds. The disease is generally spread through mosquitoes but may be spread from bird to bird (especially by birds in very close contact). Course of treatment generally consists of supportive therapy if needed. At this point the eaglet seems otherwise healthy, feeding and appearing alert. Avian pox posed no human health hazard.

On Thursday morning a tree climber will retrieve the eaglet from the nest and the DGIF wildlife veterinarian will examine the eaglet and perform a biopsy, taking a small sample of the affected tissue. This will help to confirm the diagnosis and inform any other decisions.