Bald eagle recovers, returns to skies over Lake Jackson

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 7:40 PM EDT
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By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 16, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) -- A bald eagle rescued from the shores of Lake Jackson returned to the skies Thursday after nearly a month of rehab and recovery.

The eagle was found injured near Ford's Arm on March 21, likely from a territorial fight with another eagle, wildlife educators say.

It could not fly.

It was rescued by St. Francis Wildlife and has been in flight training at the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida for the past two weeks.

Sanctuary director Dorothy Kaufmann and Emily Holden made the drive from Pensacola Thursday morning with the nine pound eagle in a carrier.

The bald eagle was taken to Lake Jackson so it could return to its nest.

"She is probably returning to her nest site right now and checking on her kids and her mate , telling them that I'm okay, and I'm back," St. Francis Wildlife educator Sandy Beck said with a laugh.

"That's what wildlife rehabilitation is all about. It's about giving wildlife a second chance," Kaufmann said.

The female eagle has a brood patch on its belly, meaning it has young eaglets in the nest.

Beck says the eagle's mate is likely caring for the eaglets and this late in the season, probably teaching them to fly.