Update Dec. 28: Eagle has no broken bones and is headed to a specialist for further analysis.
A young bald eagle was discovered stranded along U.S. Hwy. 98 in South Walton on Dec. 26. Discovered near WaterSound Pkwy., a responsible citizen found the stressed bird near a ditch and called Camp Helen State Park to inform them about what looked to be an injured raptor. Park manager, Mebane Cory-Ogden and ranger Daniel Burton checked out the scene, and in turn called Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, the area’s source for local wildlife rehabilitation. The refuge then called volunteer Lori Ceier to retrieve the raptor.
As it turned out, the bird was a beautiful two-year-old bald eagle. Ceier was able to retrieve the raptor with assistance from the ranger and was transported successfully to the refuge. Once at the refuge, the eagle was examined by veterinarian technician Kelsey Smith, with the assistance of volunteers Beth Kizer and Jeremy Destafney. Smith quickly diagnosed a serious injury to the right wing of the raptor. The cause of the injury is unknown. The bird is now secured safely and on its way to St. Francis Veterinary Clinic in Navarre for further examination and rehabilitation. We will update the story as we learn more.
Bald eagle populations have been on the increase in Florida, click here to learn more.
Click here learn more about Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.