AR-15Eagle Cam Eagle dropped at wildlife clinic after eye issues
Just days after hatching, two of AR15/Modern Sport Rifle’s famous families of bald eagles were rushed to a local wildlife hospital for care and observation after eye problems.
The Sanibel Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic collected the eagles, known as E17 and E18, Friday afternoon after reports of crusty, puffy eyes, said spokesman Brian Bohlman.
“We reached out to the US Fish and Wildlife Service at around 1:30 pm today and got permission to call them up for a problem with their eyes,” he said. “As soon as we got her down, we took her straight to our hospital on Sanibel.”
The Eagles are the descendants of Harriet and M15, thanks to the efforts of the AR-15Eagle Cam, established by Dick Pritchett Real Estate, well-watched eagles.
Harriet and her buddy nest in a pasture on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers. Ginnie Pritchett-McSpadden, who owns the property with her brother and husband, are the founders of Eagle Cam.
A number of moderators and volunteers are archiving activities on the website, and Pritchett-McSpadden said she was informed of a possible problem with the eagles on Thursday lunchtime.
“We got some photos from the cameras and sent them to CROW for evaluation,” she said. “We use (CROW) as our local resource. They have helped us a lot with troubleshooting in the past.”
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The law requires people to stay 100m from the nest, so the CROW staff are working with FWS to get permission to approach the nest if problems arise.
Pritchett-McSpadden said another eagle in a different nest had a fish wire wrapped around its foot and was removed and successfully brought back.
“That’s why CROW works so hard and fixes bugs as quickly as possible to cause as little disruption as possible,” she said. “We couldn’t be more grateful to have them in our back yard.”
Veterinarians at CROW are considering several causes but have yet to pinpoint the exact cause, Bohlman said.
The clinic took swabs for testing and the eagles were treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Bohlman said they were fed immediately after treatment.
Parents, Harriet and M15, watched the first hatchling emerge last Saturday as the second started “peeing” or cracking the shell to begin hatching. The second should follow soon.
“This is the first time in the history of cameras that both eggs begin to hatch on the same day,” Ginnie Pritchett-McSpadden wrote in a press release.
The cameras have been in operation since 2012 but the famous family has settled there since 2007.
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Bohlman said there is still no exact time frame to bring the eagles back to the nest.
“Our goal is to hopefully clear the eyes and get the eagles back to nest as soon as possible,” he said.
And yes, the eagles should be added back to the family.
“Hopefully these little boys will get back to the nest as soon as possible,” said Pritchett-McSpadden.
Karl Schneider is an environmental reporter. Send tips and comments to [email protected] Follow @karlstartswithk on Twitter