BALD EAGLE RESCUED FOR REHAB

 

Date: June 3-6, 2020

Location: North Cove, Washington

 

On June 3 I got a call from the Washington Department of

Fish and Wildlife's Cyndie Sundstrom, asking if I would 

help capture a flightless Bald Eagle needing veterinary care. 

The eagle had been perching in willows and on stump nearby, 

visible in the photo above.  

 

Location of the small community of North Cove where the eagle was downed.

 

On June 4, I was met on site by WDFW biologist 

Scott Harris who, together with WDFW's Warren 

Michaelis, had been trying to capture the eagle. It 

stayed just out of reach in the willows; the ground 

below was crisscrossed logs and shallow ravines and

so was very hard to traverse. Venturing into the 

thicket myself, I quickly discovered why Scott and 

Warren's efforts were unsuccessful.   

 

Scott and I went to Plan B for capture: a baited bow net. 

Baiting the trap, I'm wearing a blue sweatsuit. In winter, this sweatsuit serves 

as my bedtime attire. 

Standing to my right is Steve Nelson, whose property adjoins

the willow thicket. The eagle's stump perch was on Steve's 

property. Days earlier, on June 1, Steve and his wife Edna

returned from a trip to find the downed eagle. They notified

WDFW, setting in motion initial plans to capture the bird. 

Steve, dressed in his sweats, began feeding the eagle pork 

chops. After a few days, the eagle began to allow close 

approach for the pork chop drop. I dressed like Steve 

with the idea that the eagle would be more accepting of me 

during capture efforts. 

 

The bow net setup from afar. The eagle was perched on the stump to the left of 

net. I was seated at this location, ready to spring the trap should he come in to 

feed. 

Also patiently waiting, well away from the trap, were Steve and his wife Edna. 

The eagle never showed. We tried with the bow net the next day also (June 5), 

without success. On June 6, the situation changed for the better. The eagle left 

his perches and headed down a trail through the woods.  Steve and Edna saw 

him go and phoned Scott. 

 

As luck would have it, Scott happens to live in 

North Cove. He arrived on the scene quickly with 

a couple of his neighbors; they secure the bird 

with a large fishing net.  

 

Transferred to an animal carrier, the eagle was transported

to Dr. Sonnya Crawford at Grays Harbor Veterinary Services 

outside Montesano. 

 

X-rays at Grays Harbor Veterinary Services showed a broken wing bone, shattered from a 

gunshot wound.   

There's a chance the eagle may gain full range of motion and be returned to his

home. At this writing (June 28), he remains under the care of Grays Harbor 

Veterinary Services. There's a saying in the Pacific Northwest that is apropos in

the present situation, and that is "The tree doesn't fall far from the stump." The 

eagle doesn't fall far from the sky, when shot. In all likelihood, our eagle was 

shot no more than several hundred yards of where he was grounded. 

And where is that location?

 

The location where the eagle was shot is just north of the junction of 

Highway 105 and Warrenton-Cannery Road, shown by the arrow above.  

The yellow arrow points to Warrenton-Cannery Road. The red arrow points 

to the scene of the crime. If you have information on who shot the eagle, our 

National Symbol, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at

877-933-9847 and leave a message with your contact information.

 

TURKEY VULTURE GATHERING

Ocean Shores

June 2, 2020

Turkey Vultures perched on a log and feeding on seal pup carcasses. Christopher

Schimke photo. 

 

Location:East side of the Ocean Shores Peninsula, Grays Harbor. 

 

The dead pups had drifted ashore and were placed atop the log for ease of viewing feeding activity. This photo and the 

others in this series were taken by Christopher Schimke. In April Christopher and his wife Kristen sighted AV, a vulture 

tagged by Coastal Raptors, feeding on a dead raccoon in this same area. They reported their observation online to the 

Bird Banding Lab, which then notified me. Harbor Seals give birth on islands in Grays Harbor, with some not surviving. 

These two washed ashore and vultures descended to feed. Having learned of the vultures from the Schimkes, I offered 

them use of a spotting scope, hoping that they would spot tagged vultures. They did!

 

AV dropped in.. AV was trapped and tagged by Coastal Raptors with two other vultures on June 13, 2013.

 

AY was one of the two vultures tagged with AV 7 years earlier. Both had been sighted since, but never together. 

BP also dropped in. BP is  a vulture that Coastal Raptors tagged on the north side of Grays Harbor on June 4, 2014. 

 

Feeding location in relation to the capture locations of BP. AV and AY. 

Three vultures under the net on June 13, 2013. After tagging, they were 

identifiable as AV, AY and AX. 

 

Volunteer Kelsey Kline with AY on capture day. As 

of June 2, there have been 15 sightings of AY over

the years since tagging. 

Kelsey with AV (4 sightings since tagging). 

Pam McCauley with BP on capture day (18 sightings

since tagging).