May 2017

Bald Eagle Healed, Released

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Released from the open box at the right, a bald eagle flies off after her wounds healed. The large crowd that watched on April 14 at Canal Road had been alerted by SPD announcements and social media.

Photo by Lester Smith

Released from the open box at the right, a bald eagle flies off after her wounds healed. The large crowd that watched on April 14 at Canal Road had been alerted by SPD announcements and social media.

The Suffield Police Department posted information that an injured bald eagle had been noticed in early April by some construction workers in town, who reported their discovery. (“If you see something, say something.”) SPD notified the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, who examined the big bird and found serious puncture wounds, probably from a fight with another eagle. These “first responders” decided that the poor creature should be treated at the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Facility in Conway, Mass.

After about two weeks, the caregivers judged that the eagle, now determined to be female, was ready to be returned to nature. SPD, in its well-received policy of good community relations, issued Facebook postings and a general press release, and on April 14 an estimated 150 interested folks gathered on Canal Road for the 10 a.m. event. Many of the watchers were youngsters, as that Friday was a school holiday.

On that lovely, sunny morning, Tom Ricardi of the rehab facility set his bird transport box down next to Canal Road on the lush green winter rye of the corn field there, close to the Canal State Park. SPD Lt. Ryan Burrell and Ricardi spoke briefly, explaining the background and making sure that the crowd would leave a large region of clear space for the eagle’s departure. When the box was opened, it took only a few seconds for the impressive bird to exit, spread her wings, and soar off into the sky.

Kudos to all involved in this happy story.

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