A bald eagle is recovering after a non-profit group rescued the bird, which appeared to be in poor health and was floating on a piece of ice in the Waukegan Harbor Sunday.
The Willowbrook Wildlife Center said a sub-adult bald eagle, likely around three years old, was seen standing on a piece of ice that was floating on Lake Michigan in Waukegan Sunday morning.
The bird was quiet and wet and did not fly away like other surrounding birds when stimulated.
The Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, a non-profit organization, was called to the scene.
One of the organization’s volunteers, Jim Tibensky, was able to kayak out to the bird.
He broke off a small piece of ice the eagle was on and pushed it to shore.
Chicago Bird Collision Monitors said the bird, which was thin and debilitated, may be a victim of second-hand rodent poison.
The bird was netted and transferred to a warm car before being transported to Willowbrook Wildlife Center.
The center said the bird was “much easier to handle” than normal for the species, which are usually feisty.
A veterinarian conducted a physical exam and noticed the bird was thin, wet and disheveled.
A concern for bald eagles is lead exposure, the center said. The bird did not test high enough to warrant treatment.
An initial radiograph did not reveal any significant abnormalities but further assessment will be needed at a later time, the center said.
Bloodwork showed moderate anemia with a delayed clotting time.
“Unfortunately, we see this all too commonly with anticoagulant rodenticides. In this case, since this bird is so thin, they may just not be able to make enough clotting factors to keep up with their ongoing needs, but we cannot take the risk of not treating,” the Willowbrook Wildlife Center said.
The bird was started on a cocktail of fluids, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials and vitamins and set up in a heated cage overnight.
The bird was “feeling much better” as of Monday morning.
“Not only did they eat almost all of their food, but they pooped over every corner of their cage!” the center said.