On 7 August 2021, a concerned citizen in Crawford County (IA) called SOAR to report a bald eagle in need of assistance. This adult bald eagle is very thin and dehydrated plus has an old fracture to the left ulna. The fractures is starting to heal and the wing is fairly straight, so time will tell if that fracture will be an issue.
Our bigger concern right now is that this bald eagle has an elevated blood lead level. This is not the usual time of the year to see bald eagles with concerning blood lead levels. From 2015 – 2019, seven of eight bald eagles admitted in August received a lead test and none of those had elevated lead levels. We a bit puzzled on the source of the lead, maybe this eagle ate fish that had swallowed lead tackle?
This eagle is not receiving any chelation medication as this time. This eagle is not open mouth breathing, eating well and keeping the food down. The eagle will be monitored for any symptoms of the elevated lead. Learn more about SOAR’s Eagles and Lead research here.