[Tweeters] updates on injured Bald Eagle & dead Long-eared Owl

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Wed Mar 18 17:05:28 PDT 2015


I talked with both Belinda Rotton (Skagit-area site mgr) and Paul DeBruyn (biologist) of WDFW today and here's a quick synopsis of what I learned and as importantly, REMEMBER ! :

Injured Bald Eagle that was photographed by Debra Hoskins on March 6, was found again a week after the first capture attempt was made - biologist Paul DeB. and crew were still unable to get near it, despite its noticeably weakened condition. That was last Friday - a couple days later Paul talked with nearby residents of the Fir Island Reserve, and found that no one saw the eagle over the weekend and no one has found a body. Paul thinks it likely died. HOWEVER, the good news is that there again is a pair of eagles holding court at the nest there, so the injured one was probably not one of the pair :-)

Dead LEOW necropsy results came in just as I was talking with Paul on the phone ! The lab results indicated that the owl (found on Feb. 11 on the Nature Conservancy Reserve at Port Susan) was emaciated and full of various parasites which likely weakened the owl and contributed to it's death from starvation. GOOD NEWS with these results is that there was no avian flu virus found in or on the owl.

Similar results were found on 3 other LEOW found at about the same, but in other spots - 2 in the Samish Flats and the other I don't remember where. Other raptors found dead at around the same time as the LEOW, were found to also be full of parasites and very emaciated. Some of the other raptors were a Cooper's Hawk or 2, a Great Horned Owl and I think a Red-tailed Hawk. Paul said this is a typical thing to happen with birds that show up for the winter, but which are not from the area. They are extras in their home territory and have to go elsewhere to find food and shelter until the next breeding season - a large percentage of them die, especially if they are first-year birds - they often haven't acquired the skills to survive on their own.

If you have any questions about any of this, you can write to me, and if I can't answer them, I can give you either Paul or Belinda's contact info. If any of you have more to add to my report, feel free to chime in with what you know. The GHOW, by the way, was found at the Wylie Rd. DFW hdqtrs area, but may not be either of the pair that Belinda is still hearing there at night - guess that counts as more good news :-)

Nice to wrap up some of the unsettling raptor issues from the Stillaskamish areas, anyway...

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net





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