America is still on the mend and under the care of For Heaven’s Sake Animal Rescue in Rochester.
The bald eagle with the patriotic monicker has been at the animal refuge since February when it was found with a broken wing in a Winlock field.
‘Rica, the pet name given to the injured eagle, went for a second visit to the vet last Thursday for a checkup that included a round of X-rays.
Claudia Supensky, co-owner and operator of For Heaven’s Sake, said that the prognosis based on that visit to the vet is somewhat worrisome.
“They are not confident that she will be able to fly again,” Supensky said.
The X-rays showed that the broken bone in the eagle’s right wing has thus far failed to fuse itself all the way back to its original, healthy position. Doctors are concerned that advanced stages of calcification may be hindering the eagle’s wing from mending itself properly.
“When we got her she’d already been like this for sometime,” Supensky said.
Despite the obstacles facing America, Supensky is holding out hope for the eagle’s valiant return to the wild.
“She certainly uses the upper part of her wing where it isn't broken,” said Supensky.
The refuge operator declined to classify her outlook as confident, but did note that “I’m always hopeful ... Sometimes they’ll surprise you. She sure has a lot of will to get going.”
America is scheduled for another trip to the vet in about three weeks.
In the meantime, her fate waits in the wings.
The big question facing the eagle is whether or not her right wing will mend well enough to allow her to return to the wild and fly well enough to hunt for herself.
“There’s no way to know until that splint comes off,” Supensky said.
Whether the wing is properly healed or not, the cumbersome splint will likely come off after America’s next trip to the vet.
The results of that veterinarian visit and America’s response to the splint removal will determine the next course of action for the Rochester rescue organization.
If America shows signs of recovery, she may ultimately be released back into the wild.
If it is determined that the eagle would not be able to fend for herself in the wild, then For Heaven’s Sake plans to apply to the United States Fish and Wildlife services, as well as the WDFW, for the permits required to permanently house America as an educational bird.
First though, the Native American Aviaries group would have the opportunity to claim the bird for their own sanctuary. Eagles are sacred to Native Americans and are instrumental to their cultural ceremonies.
“She’s in excellent health other than (the broken wing). And she’s gorgeous,” said Supensky of America the eagle. “She can have a good life whether she is with us or the Native Americans.”
Supensky added, “It’s not exactly good news, but at least she won’t have to be euthanized one way or the other.”