A badly injured bald eagle took to the skies of Sisters Country on Saturday, healed and free.
The eagle’s odyssey began February 8. Gary Landers of Wild Wings Raptor Rehab facility in Sisters was called to La Pine to collect a bald eagle that somehow got itself tangled up with at least 14,000 volts of electricity — and survived.
The sight that greeted Gary wasn’t very encouraging. The eagle’s right wing was bleeding profusely, the feathers scorched. Upon further inspection, Landers discovered the right leg was injured. Usually, when a bird tangles with electricity the results are so devastating the bird is euthanized. This time was different.
The eagle had suffered tissue damage and burned feathers on the right wing.
Ordinarily, if something can be done, such damage takes a great deal of time to repair. That’s what Landers was expecting when he took the eagle into Broken Top Veterinary Clinic for Dr. Little Liedblad to examine. That’s when the new tools of medicine entered the scene.
After a close examination, Dr. Liedblad suggested they try her new cold laser tool and go to work on the damaged tissues. If there is such a thing as a “miracle cure,” cold laser is it. Within 48 hours the eagle was using the injured wing and leg. Within a week, it was flying in the large, pre-release cage Landers placed it in.
Last week — 30 days after Landers first saw the eagle and Dr. Liedblad began to administer cold laser treatment — the eagle was released back into the wild at Crane Prairie Osprey Management Area, near Tumalo Reservoir southeast of Sisters.
The evening of the rerelease, Gary Landers sent out this email: “All went well with the bald eagle release. Little (Dr. Leidblad) let him fly, and Gary Miller got some great shots. And as often happens at an eagle release, from out of nowhere appears another eagle. This time an immature bald. How do they hide so well?
“After sitting in a nearby tree for a few minutes, our eagle took off and flew close to a mile before landing again. Almost out of sight. During the flights, wings were symmetrical and tail was level. Nice.”
The event was a stirring one for all involved. Photographer Gary Miller exclaimed, “Wow! I was honored to be there today. It was a very special event.”
Nugget Newspaper article, by Jim Anderson, March 13, 2012, Sisters, Oregon