Bald Eagles #21-278 & #21-279 (E17 & E18)

Bald Eagles #21-278 & #21-279 (E17 & E18)
Jan 29 2021
On January 29, we were granted permission from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to retrieve E17 and E18 from the
Southwest Florida Eagle Cam nest to provide a veterinary check and treatment for their eyes.
 
Thanks to help from our friends at Joshua Tree, Inc we were able to remove them and transport them to our clinic on Sanibel.

Status Updates

Intake Exam - Jan 29 2021 3:45 pm

Our veterinarians have completed the exam on the two eaglets. Both of the eaglets eyes were crusty and partially closed, but they were reported to be well fed and otherwise in good shape. They were unable to determine an exact cause for their eye condition as of yet, but swabs were taken for testing. After the eyes were cleaned, both eaglets received antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eyes drops. At this time, we do not have a timeline for their return to the nest, but hope to be able to do so as soon as possible.


First Feed - Jan 29 2021 4:12 pm

The eaglets were transferred to our rehabilitation team and given a feeding. Their eyes will continue to be monitored for improvement as they receive more feeds. They are fed cut up mouse pieces. We purchase frozen lab mice and rats for feeding our wildlife patients to ensure there are no rodenticides.


FAQ's - Jan 30 2021 8:01 am

We had a lot of questions and comments on our posts yesterday so we thought we would answer some of the frequently asked questions with a post since we are unable to respond to so many individually. Will the parents accept the eaglets back and continue to care for them? We never know exactly how the adults will respond. It is not a certainty they will accept them back and depends on the amount of time the eaglets are away from the nest. This why it is so important that we get them back as soon as we possibly can and also why extreme caution is used by USFWS when granting permission to enter the nest. We have successfully renested eaglets in the past (including E8 in this very nest), so we are very hopeful they will be accepted back without any issue. How long will the eaglets be in care? This is dependent on how their eyes respond to our treatment. As soon as they are ready, we will get them back up to the nest. Can you determine the sex of the eaglets? No, we will not sex them while they are in our care. This requires a blood test that we cannot do in house and we do not want to cause additional stress by drawing blood if it is not necessary. Will the eaglets be banded/tagged? No, the eaglets are too small to be banded and this also requires an additional permit. We do not band or tag any birds released from our care unless it is specifically requested by a permit holder to do so. How much do the eaglets weigh? E17 weighed 220 grams at intake while E18 weighed 157 grams.


Noon Update - Jan 30 2021 12:00 pm

The eaglets are doing well this morning and they have been eating very well in our care. In previous photos we posted, their eyes looked much better because we have kept them clean and clear of discharge. The infection causing the issue, however, is still present. The eaglets are receiving antibiotic eye drops three times a day during feeding times to minimize handling. They were also started on an injectable antibiotic today to help combat the infection. Through cytology (examining samples through a microscope) done in our clinic, we are able to narrow down potential types of infections which allows our use of antibiotics to be the most effective to clear the infection. We will not know the definitive type of infection until we receive results from the swabs we have sent for testing. Once the infection has cleared and they have been medically cleared by our veterinary team, we will return the eaglets to the nest, even though we may not receive the results of the swabs until later.


4pm Feeding - Jan 30 2021 5:00 pm

These two eaglets have had very healthy appetites and are eating a lot. Our rehabilitation staff currently has them on a feeding schedule of four times a day. Each feed, which consists of chopped rat, mouse or quail pieces, is weighed out based on the body weight of the eaglet to ensure they get the needed amount of calories to keep growing. One of the biggest concerns for our team is imprinting on the young eaglets. To avoid this, the staff wear veils that hide their faces. We also administer any medications right before or after they are fed to minimize the amount of human contact we have with them. Check out a video from the their first feed after being admitted to CROW on our YouTube Channel!


Morning Update - Jan 31 2021 10:29 am

The two eaglets continue to have strong appetites this morning. Many have asked about a timeline for their return and we want to assure you it will be as soon as we possibly can. The infection needs to clear before they can return. Thankfully, the eaglets are responding well to our treatment because of the diligent work by our veterinarians, veterinary technicians and wildlife rehabilitators.


Morning Update - Jan 31 2021 10:29 am

The two eaglets continue to have strong appetites this morning. Many have asked about a timeline for their return and we want to assure you it will be as soon as we possibly can. The infection needs to clear before they can return. Thankfully, the eaglets are responding well to our treatment because of the diligent work by our veterinarians, veterinary technicians and wildlife rehabilitators.


Evening Update - Jan 31 2021 5:13 pm

The eaglets continue to receive feeds four times a day and antibiotic eye drops three times a day. At each feed, the eaglets are evaluated for signs of infection and discharge is cleaned from their eyes. As of their 4pm feed today, signs of infection are still present, but the amount of discharge has continued to lessen. It remains our goal to return the eaglets to the nest as soon as the infection is under control. There was speculation about the possibility of Avian pox, however, based on our cytology, that does not appear to be the case. As mentioned in our update yesterday, our cytology has helped to narrow the possible types of infection and guide our course of treatment, but we will not have a definitive answer until we receive the results of the swabs that were sent to be tested. We do not have to wait for the results to return them to the nest, but we do have to have the infection under control. We understand it is frustrating not to know when this will be and we thank you for your patience and support as our team continues to provide the care needed to get these eaglets back to their nest in good health.


Morning Update - Feb 01 2021 10:10 am

At the morning feed, both eaglets eyes were checked and they were weighed. Signs of infection are still present and they continue to receive antibiotic eye drops. E17 weighed in at 285 grams and E18 was up to 220 grams.


Evening Update - Feb 01 2021 5:09 pm

Not much has changed since the morning update. The infection continues to show slight improvement, but still present. The eagles appetite remains healthy and they are eating every last piece being offered to them!


Morning Update - Feb 02 2021 10:54 am

At the morning feed/treatment, both eaglets were weighed and provided a second round of injectible antibiotics. Signs of infection, including discharge in the eyes, are still present, although the veterinarian did note the amount of discharge has lessened this morning. E17 weighed 335 grams and E18 weighed 255 grams. Many have asked when we will get the results of the swabs we sent for further testing. Unfortunately, we do not have a timeline because it is dependent on the volume of testing being done by the lab. With the current pandemic, results may take longer than normal. We want to reiterate, however, that we do not need to have those results to return the babies to the nest. Through our cytology, we can narrow down the type of infection to ones we know are treated with the antibiotics we are providing. Once our veterinarians have cleared them of infection, they will be returned to the nest. We are doing everything in our power to ensure this happens as soon as possible.


Evening Update - Feb 02 2021 4:35 pm

As of their 4pm feed, E17 & E18 continue to do well. Infection is still present and there was not much change from the morning to afternoon, but our veterinary team is happy with the progress they are making overall.


Morning Update - Feb 03 2021 10:24 am

Both eaglets were weighed and had their eyes checked by the veterinarian in addition to their morning feed. Both eaglets were reported to have eyes open and little to no discharge. E17's right eye continues to have mild irritation of the conjunctiva while E18 has irritation of the conjunctiva in both eyes. E17 weighed 385 grams and E18 weighed 295 grams.


Evening Update - Feb 03 2021 4:50 pm

The eaglets continue to eat well in our care. Their eyes continue to have little to no discharge. Mild irritation to conjunctiva is still present in E17's right eye and both of E18's eyes. Many have asked if the eaglets are still "bonking". Over the last few days, a clear pattern has emerged. E17 is showing a lot of aggression towards E18, particularly during feeding times. This is natural eaglet behavior to compete for resources. Although we are able to separate them during feeding to reduce aggression in our hospital, once they are back in the nest, this behavior is likely to continue.


Morning Update - Feb 04 2021 10:01 am

The eaglets were weighed and had their eyes checked by the veterinarian along with their morning feed. Their eyes were clear of discharge. E17's right eye continues to have mild irritation while E18's right eye has improved but mild irritation of the conjunctiva remains in the left eye. E17 weighed 445 grams and E18 weighed 340 grams.


Evening Update - Feb 04 2021 4:25 pm

At the 4pm feed, both eaglets are doing well. Their eyes continue to be clear of any discharge as they were this morning. The mild irritation of the conjunctiva is still present in E17's right eye and E18's left eye.


Back to the Nest - Feb 05 2021 10:53 am

This morning, our veterinarians checked the eaglets’ eyes and found no signs of infection. The eaglets were given a third injection of antibiotics that will continue to fight any potential lingering infectious cells for a few more days. They were also given a clean bill of health and cleared to return to the nest! The eaglets were fed a hefty meal as arrangements were made immediately to transport them back to the nest. Thank you once again to our friends at Joshua Tree, Inc for their assistance and use of their bucket truck to return these healthy eaglets to their nest! We are continuing to monitor the eaglets through the live camera. We are hopeful the parents will return to the nest quickly. Should a situation arise that warrants another intervention, as advised by USFWS, we will be ready to intervene.


Momma’s Home! - Feb 05 2021 3:15 pm

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SOOOO GOOD!!! Harriett has returned to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam nest and found her babies! Although she seemed a bit surprised at first, she quickly resumed her motherly duties!