Injured Bald Eagle Benefits from Second Chance and Good Company

April 8, 2021

Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle in real life?

The sight of a Bald Eagle on the ground one day in late February was quite unexpected for one Croton Point Park visitor. Eagle sightings are not uncommon given the park’s location on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York. The area is a great setting for eagles to nest and hunt for food. And in winter it’s common for park visitors to spot the iconic white-headed bird of prey high up in trees. Seeing an eagle this close and unable to fly away, however, is far from typical.

Aiding in the rescue

It was clear that the Bald Eagle was out of its element and in need of immediate help. In the minutes and hours that followed, a network of Good Samaritans, park rangers and New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials, worked together to successfully rescue and transport the Bald Eagle to medical care.

Medical assessment and observation

Shortly thereafter Dr. Jack Wilson of Brewster Veterinary Hospital assessed the injured Bald Eagle. An x-ray revealed that the eagle had broken the ulna bone in its left wing. A bone called the radius runs parallel to the ulna and can act as an organic splint of sorts. This meant that the eagle was spared the strain of surgery. So what did Dr. Wilson order? Plenty of rest, time to heal, and access to food.

Cue Green Chimneys

Since March, the Bald Eagle has been under the care of our wildlife experts at the Paul C. Kupchok Wildlife Center. Green Chimneys is one of the few places in New York State that has the proper licenses and permits required to rehabilitate Bald Eagles. Keeping the eagle out of sight and with minimal interaction with people, the hope remains that it will recover fully and be able to return to the wild.

This images shows two Bald Eagles inside our flight cage. The one on the the lower branch is permanently injured and resides at Green Chimneys. The other is recovering from an injury and will hopefully be released back into the wild.

Healing in good company: The eagle on the left is permanently injured and resides at Green Chimneys. It is keeping our guest on the right company while it recovers from a wing injury.

After a couple of weeks in our care, the Bald Eagle was moved to our large flight cage so that it would have more room to practice flying. There, the eagle was also introduced our resident Bald Eagle, a permanently injured eagle that came to Green Chimneys in 2019. (Read about the permanently injured Bald Eagle here). By sharing space with another Bald Eagle, each may feel a little less alone.

Last week our guest returned to Brewster Veterinary Hospital for a follow up with Dr. Wilson. The good news is that eagle is healing. Since the bone break has not yet fully mended on its own, more rehabilitation time at Green Chimneys is needed.

Increase in demand to help injured wildlife

This eagle is one of over 180 birds spanning 37 different species that Green Chimneys has taken under its wing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read more about our wildlife year in review here.) Our Wildlife Center is also part of a comprehensive nature-based approach to special education. Green Chimneys School students learn from 300+ farm animals, horses, and permanently injured wildlife that make up the Sam and Myra Ross Farm & Wildlife Center. Students interact and connect with animals and nature through classroom studies, therapy session, and recreational programming.

Learn more about our nature-based approach to therapeutic education

February 2022 Update

After time to heal and gain strength, this Bald Eagle was ready for release. Watch the video here