Injured eagle found in Southeast DC flies again

WASHINGTON — An injured eagle found in Southeast D.C. has recovered and returned to the wild.

The eagle was found showing signs of labored breathing and with several bruises, said Lisa Smith, with Tri-State Bird Rescue in Delaware. Smith said since it was a soft tissue injury, it is hard to pinpoint what exactly happened to the bird.

After several weeks of anti-inflammatory medicine and rest, the bird healed and was released in Delaware on July 13. Smith said if the adult bird is from this area, it will find its way home.

“He took right off and flew very strongly down the field,” Smith said.

The eagle was found near the Metropolitan Police Department training academy on July 1. That area is the nest of known bald eagles named Liberty and Justice.

Around the time the injured eagle was found, the male bird from that nest, Justice, disappeared. Biologist Dan Rauch, with the District Department of the Environment, said that led many to believe one of D.C.’s nest eagles was hurt.

“We were pretty sure it was Justice that was missing and then Justice showed back up again,” Rauch said. Justice had been missing for six days but later returned.

One theory about the injured bird is that it may have been caught up in a strong storm.

“We do have more than a dozen nests between Mount Vernon and New York Avenue,” Rauch said.

For now, the eagle’s origin remains a mystery, but it has been outfitted with a tracking bracelet, so if it does show up in a nest near the D.C. area, wildlife experts will be able to identify the bird.

Watch the eagle’s release:

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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