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July 23, 2014

 
Returned to wild
An eagle found injured north of Decorah earlier this year was released to the wild Saturday. Darwin Melcher contacted Raptor Resource Project Director Bob Anderson about a bald eagle on the ground near his house in March because he was convinced something was wrong. Anderson could tell the eagle had limited vision and it was so weak that it allowed him to pick it up and put it in a large “sky kennel.” Anderson contacted Kay Neumann, executive director of Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) of Dedham, a non-profit Iowa raptor rehabilitation facility that works with injured/sick birds of prey. Neumann has saved and released several injured eagles that have been found in the Decorah. Neumann confirmed the eagle had high levels of lead in its system, most likely caused by consuming lead shot. The lead caused the eagle’s brain to swell, resulting in blindness. Neumann treated the bird for several months and it recovered its eyesight, gained weight and became stronger. When Melcher released the eagle on his property in rural Decorah, the bird flew directly to a nearby tree before taking flight and soaring. “If Darwin would not have been concerned and contacted us, it would have perished. What joy to see an eagle that was so near death power into the sky again. Many thanks to Kay and SOAR for not only saving this eagle but treating so many other birds of prey,” Anderson said. (Photo by David Lynch)
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