2013—Day 59—Not A Pretty Picture

This adult Golden Eagle was brought into the clinic run by the California Foundation for Birds of Prey suffering from lead poisoning. The eagle, paralyzed from the effects of ingesting lead, was found in Colusa County and is undergoing treatment at the clinic. It is unknown whether it will survive. Bobo’s vet, Vickie Joseph, called me today to tell me about the eagle and wanted me to take photographs for the CFBP newsletter. The treatment is expensive and long-term. If the eagle survives, it could take a year to recover from the effects of the lead, possibly ingested from eating dabbling ducks that scoop up lead pellets from the bottoms of ponds, or carrion with lead in its system from gunshots or other causes. The eagle cannot stand so it cannot fly. Because it is unable to use its talons, which are clasped tightly, it cannot eat. At the clinic, it is fed small pieces of quail so it doesn’t need to use its feet to eat. Because of the paralysis, the eagle must rest its legs on whatever surface it is on, and wounds can quickly develop, akin, I assume, to bedsores. If wounds develop, it is likely the eagle will have to be put down. As part of the treatment, the eagle’s legs are protected to prevent, to the extent possible, pressure wounds. Dr. Joseph wraps and cushions the legs to prevent this. The last photo is of a red tail hawk with an eye injury, whose wing is restrained (blue tape) to prevent it from flying out of the dog run in which is is housed during its rehabilitation at the clinic. These are not pretty pictures.

Day 59-27

Day 59-36

Day 59-74

Day 59-126