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
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
X-rays at Grays Harbor Veterinary Services showed a broken wing bone, shattered from a
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
June 2, 2020
Turkey Vultures perched on a log and feeding on seal pup carcasses. Christopher
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