We have additional news that could relate to our missing resident male. A few days ago, our land manager found the remains of a bald eagle near the waste water treatment plant. The bird was not in good shape, so performing a post-mortem on it is not really possible. The degree of decomposition and proximity to the nest indicates to us that there is a good chance that this is our missing bird.
We will never know for sure though.
Wanted to let you folks know about this as soon as I could. It has been a rough season for bald eagles around the Region.
The eagle we brought over to the rehab center in MD on Monday is still at the Vet. No broken bones, but blunt force trauma (hit by a car), that caused some internal injuries. We are told that the eagle is being fed by a feeding tube right now, and will likely be moved back to the rehab center tomorrow. We'll keep our fingers crossed that it is recovering.
Also, a Pittsburgh paper published this article a little more than a week ago.
Update: This morning a gentleman dropped off at the NCTC gate an injured adult bald eagle. The bird had been hit by a car near Harper's Ferry. We brought the bird over to a wildlife rehabilitator in Keedysville, MD. The bird stayed calm in the car, and was able to hop out of the transport carrier. Looked like a leg injury, but it could not fly.
There is a new update up on the NCTC Eaglecam site.
Yesterday we were contacted by the National Park Service at Antietam. They recently found a dead bald eagle near the Burnside Bridge parking lot and wanted to let NCTC know. We went over and examined the bird, which had been dead for about two weeks , they are estimating. We took a series of measurements, and those show that this could very well be a male bird. Final identification is not possible without a necropsy. The standard procedure for this type of thing is to transfer the bird to the FWS Eagle Repository in Denver. This will happen very soon.
We will never know if this bird is our missing male, but it could be. I will post more as we get more info.
To answer the comment "Do we have and eagle expert at NCTC?"
NCTC has several bald eagle experts, as does the Fish and Wildlife Service Region, which NCTC is in.
The Service has a long legacy with this bird, including the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, south of DC, which was the first National Wildlife Refuge established for an endangered species--the American Bald Eagle. Also the Bald Eagle Repository in Denver, that helps prevent any trade in bald eagle feathers.
Latest message from NCTC, should be posted on their site soon:
April 1, 2011
This morning we confirmed a sighting of two adult eagles in a tree located near the nest tree. While we do not know the current whereabouts of the original male resident eagle, he was seen on March 21st and was not injured. We have not seen the male resident since. The new eagle, we now believe to most likely be a male, has been making trips to the nest on a daily basis. This indicates to us that the resident male eagle has either moved on or is not willing to come within a certain radius of the nest because of the new bird. The resident female is still occupying her territory and is keeping quite close to the nest site.
It is very difficult to determine whether an adult eagle as male or female; typically the female is larger (we initially assumed the new adult eagle was a female because of its large size). Without capturing the new adult to examine it- which would pose a potential risk to eagle - it ha…