Culminating 6 months of intense rehabilitation, this handsome, adult female eagle with a commanding presence was returned to her Warren, PA home last week. Her release was as “edge of our seat” exciting as her whole rehabilitation.
This spirited adult eagle was found injured in September, suffering from a broken wing. Mike Hornburg and Ryan Christy found her and summoned help with calls to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and TWC. Regal was determined not to come quietly! She couldn’t fly, but Regal sure could run. It took a team including Game Warden Gibson, Mike, Ryan, and two volunteers from Wildlife In Need, Sue DeArment and Dorothy Krupa, to capture her.
Examination at TWC showed Regal had a splintering wing fracture. Surgery was not an option due to the injury location near a joint, so her treatment included splinting and hands on physical therapy sessions to regain her range of motion. The pressure was on TWC rehabbers to provide enough stabilization that the bones healed, but enough motion for her to maintain proper movement. It worked!
Months of rebuilding stamina in our eagle aviary ensued. After passing her flight tests and physical examination, plans were made to send her home, and those who found, captured, and treated were invited to witness her return to her wilderness home.
The day of release came with a surprise 10″ of snowfall, which downed powerlines and cut off access to the planned release site. An eagle that is ready for release can injure themselves if held too long though, and Regal was letting us know it was time for her to go home, so we proceeded with release and transport preparations. Her talons were sharpened so she’d be ready to hunt, and her wrists were padded to keep her from injuring herself if she tried to bash her way out of her carrier.