There is a new bird in town at the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: a bald eagle.
Gail Barnes, executive director of the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said the eagle was brought to the Lubbock center Wednesday. The eagle was found Thursday by a farmer in Hartley, TX Tuesday. A game warden there helped to communicate and get the bird transported to Lubbock for more care.
“It’s rare that we get them and usually they are out in the fields and they are not found in time,” Barnes said. She explained that bald eagles are not typically found in Lubbock, though they can be found more often in the panhandle. Of the eighteen years Barnes has worked with the Wildlife Center, she said she has only seen around four eagles at the center.
Barnes added that the bald eagle is being treated for head trauma and is a bit confused presently. They believe this bird of prey may have been hit by a car.
The Wildlife Center believes the eagle is a male but they would need to do a DNA test to know for sure. Because this eagle already has his white “bald” head, Barnes believes he is at least four years old. He weighs six pounds which is a little underweight for a male bald eagle.
The South Plains Wildlife Center is giving him plenty of food and Barnes noted that it’s a good sign the eagle is already eating on his own. With food, medications, and care Barnes hopes the eagle will be able to fly again– though he hasn’t attempted flight since his arrival in Lubbock.
The center is not naming the eagle, because they are trying to get him healthy enough to go back into the wild.
“It’s a privilege to be able to treat a beautiful raptor like a bald eagle or a golden eagle and we hope very much that we are able to release him back to his natural habitat because that’s one of our goals, that’s our mission,” Barnes said.
Barnes said the eagle’s recovery is much like that of a patient with head trauma in a hospital, which is why the eagle won’t be taking any visitors. If you would like to follow this bald eagle’s progress, follow the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center’s Facebook page for updates.