Today, a golden eagle was returned to the wild after spending nearly a month in recuperative care at Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC) in Morgan Hill.
On September 28th, Wildlife Officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife received a call from a resident of Morgan Hill. She'd been observing a large raptor perched on a fence, then watched as it was making its way across a field - on foot!
The officers responded to find the golden eagle very alert and wary - not letting them close. They watched as it made its way across the plowed field - flapping and gaining some elevation before landing again and scrambling on foot to reach a grove of trees.
It was early evening. The bird instinctively wanted to get up high off the ground for the night. It could not fly well, but managed to get up into the low branches of a large oak.
It was getting dark when a unit with County of Santa Clara Animal Shelter arrived with a long-handled net.
Wildlife Officer Tyson Quintal used a flashlight to "blind" the bird, while Officer Chris Foster used the net to move the bird off the branch and onto the ground where they quickly gained control of the large bird's wings and sharp talons.
WERC arrived on scene and transported the animal back to their wildlife hospital.
On examination, they found the young eagle had a puncture wound that hand ruptured an air sac. After weeks in care, she was ready to go home...