Wednesday, September 28, 2016


BE13-10. Let me explain what that means. BE is an abbreviation for bald eagle, 13 is the year it came into Bird TLC's clinic and 10 means the 10th bald eagle so far that year.

BE13-10 was sent to Bird TLC from USF&W Biologist Robin Corcoran in Kodiak NWR on Feb. 17, 2013. He was found in the water. She called me and asked that I'd pick him up at the airport. I did and brought him back to the clinic and bedded him down for the night. He would be examined the next day.

There were no real significant findings during his exam. He was thin, a little beat up, but nothing to keep him from being released soon or so we thought. A few weeks later he was sent to the flight center to build up his strength to be released.

At the flight center, things were a little different. After a few days we would have expected some type of flight. He was a good hopper and a skipper, but no flight. He was even having troubles getting on the perches. Nothing like what we expected. He was kenneled up and returned to the clinic to have another exam.

At his exam, he was found to not have a full range of motion in his left shoulder and also possible spinal damage. There was nothing we could do for him. He was returned to the flight center with the hopes this would work itself out in time.

Time goes by and there's not any improvement and BE13-10 is labeled as not flighted and not releasable. I know, because I wrote it on his chart. He is still being observed but no changes really. He's put on the list for placement, but placement of an adult bald eagle that's not flighted isn't good. Fortunately for him, business had been slow, so there is plenty of room out at the flight center.

About a year ago, I stopped volunteering at the flight center. BE13-10 was still not flight and his future was very uncertain. A few months ago I'm hearing that BE13-10 is flighted, not good but flighted. A few weeks ago I started hearing that his flight is improving and there's a hope of him becoming releasable.

Today I returned to the flight center for the first time in a long while to help with a cleanup and do some repairs. I checked in on BE13-10. He is flighted and looking really good. He's acting like a mature bald eagle and was even preening while I was in his cell.

What a great feeling after 3 1/2 years to see this guy doing so well. If all continues with him improving, he's going to be released back to the wild in Haines, Alaska for the American Bald Eagle Festival on Nov 19.

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