The most commonly asked question asked about Bald Eagle 13-0164 was, “She got stuck in what?” The answer, “A fish turbine”, didn’t usually do much to clear the matter up for the person doing the asking. Even if you know that a fish turbine is something that facilitates the safe passage of fish at a hydroelectric dam, it doesn’t help explain how an eagle gets stuck in one. But that is what this bird did. She ended up with hypothermia, a deep laceration in her left wing, and multiple abrasions and contusions for her trouble. She also ended up on the surgery table at PAWS, where her injuries were treated by wildlife veterinarian Dr. John Huckabee.
After taking some time to get her bearings, the eagle flew again. This time she crossed the river and landed on the large branch of a cottonwood tree. You could just make out her white head and tail against the dark brown and green background.
As those of us in attendance talked excitedly about the eagle and her return to the wild, we momentarily took our eyes off the bird. When we looked back toward the cottonwood tree, the eagle was gone.
- Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist