Bald eagle rescue

Fall can be a busy time of the year for wildlife rehabilitators! On Tuesday, the Winneshiek County Conservation Board rescued a bald eagle near Lake Meyer, while we rescued an eagle in Allamakee County, about 20 miles southeast of Decorah. We transported it to Wild Thunder Wildlife and Animal Rehabilitation and Sanctuary in Independence, Iowa: Tracey assessed him, cleaned him up, and provided emergency care prior to sending him to SOAR. He had been hit by a car, resulting in at least one broken wing. Thanks so much to Wild Thunder Wildlife and SOAR for all the work they do to protect and care for wildlife, and to Cindy and Rose for contacting us.

Why is fall busy? Birds are on the move as they disperse, wander, and migrate. While most mammals don’t make the kind of epic migration that many birds do, they are also busy dispersing, feeding, and moving between summer and fall/winter ranges, which puts them at an increased risk of being hit by cars. More roadkill + more eagles (and other carrion eaters) = more collisions.

How can you avoid hitting bald eagles and other animals? If you see animals (live and dead) on or near the road, drive slowly and look for wildlife! Bald eagles, especially juveniles, don’t always have the lift and maneuverability they need to avoid collisions, and they can be hiding in the ditch where you can’t see them until they fly. You can call your state’s department of transportation to remove large animals like deer. If it’s safe, you can remove small animals with a shovel or your foot – although we don’t recommend kicking skunks unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences!