Bald eagle beats the odds and flies again after hitting power line

Bald eagle

A bald eagle who flew into a Vancouver power line has made a dramatic recovery.

When the eagle hit the power line in Strathcona Park last December, he badly burned his wings and legs and was no longer able to fly.

He was hobbling around on a nearby sidewalk when Vancouver resident Jenny Patterson spotted him. She immediately knew something was up.

“We thought ‘this is really strange, this isn’t normal,’” she told CTV News. “We chased him around for a while, then called animal services.”

They corralled the eagle, who was eventually transported to the nearby Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta. The facility sees more than 400 injured or orphaned birds of prey each year, but when they were brought this eagle, staff didn’t feel good about his future.

Photo by CTV News Vancouver

“When I did see his injuries, I was just immediately deflated,” Mindy Dick, who works in raptor rehabilitation at the centre, told CTV News. “All we can do in that situation is just a lot of fluids, antibiotics, and lots of wound care.”

But this eagle is hardly the first to run into a problem like this. According to Science Daily, bird death by electrocution is a global problem, and considered a particularly high threat to endangered birds of prey.

Photo by Jason Kazuta

Given just a five percent chance of survival, this bird was expected to die too. But after only a few months spent in the rehab centre, he beat the odds and made a full recovery.

On Saturday, the rehab centre released him back into the park where he was found—just in time for mating season.

Prior to his injury, the eagle was nesting, breeding, and raising chicks with a female who also lives in the urban park. According to reports, the lone female has recently been spotted in the area, and locals and wildlife volunteers are crossing their fingers the two reunite.