A Christmas Eagle Story

I received this email and images from Gloria Beckman, one of our Bird TLC Eagle presenters and long time volunteer.

I received a call about noon Christmas Day just as I turned the oven on to prepare Christmas dinner. I was told there was a bald eagle hanging 80 feet above the ground from its wing. Tom and I grabbed Leucos carrier (Gloria's Bird TLC Education Eagle), turned off the oven and headed to Eagle River. Thought this would be easy as the tree was near the fire department; with their ladder truck we would be back home before anyone missed us. Did not bother with cold weather gear, after all the Fire Department would rescue the bird and hand her off to me. Right??? Wrong. We stood in snow up to our knees with temperatures in the teens trying to figure out how to get this bird out of the tree. The Fire Departments ladder was not long enough to offer assistance.

Here she is just after the rescue. Matanuska Electrical Association came through just after dark. These guys were awesome with there tree climbing gear and Husky chainsaw. They managed to use a ladder we had on-site to avoid the rough bark of the cotton wood tree and there climbing gear to get up to the eagle. They tied their tail line to the branch the big girl had impaled her wing on, cut the branch off the tree, and lowered her to the ground. As soon as she found her footing she started running into the woods. Carie Seifert (another Bird TLC Eagle Presenter) and I caught up with her as the deep snow slowed her escape. We transferred her to the carrier in the back of my truck and I transported her to Pet Emergency. They were ready for us and quickly administered antibiotics and pain meds. Upon examination, we were surprised to find no broken bones. Bird TLC picked her up the next morning and repaired her wing as much as possible given the trauma to the tissue from rubbing against the tree branch and picking by the Ravens and magpies.