WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A group of nature lovers in Waterford put their bird knowledge to the ultimate test when they helped rescue an injured eagle over the weekend.
Patricia Egan and her son, Robert Alford, were taking their usual Saturday morning walk down the Champlain Canal Trail when Patricia spotted a big bird down in the basin.
“We thought he was hunting or something, so we continued our walk,” Egan recalled, “and on our way back, it was still there, and we knew that was unusual.”
They realized he was injured and attempted to safely capture it.
“We have no idea how to do that, so my mother sent out an SOS on ‘Peebles Eagles’ Facebook page hoping Bob and Janet would respond,” said Alford.
They also called North Country Wild Care for assistance.
Bob and Janet Beaudoin are well known in the area for photographing the local wildlife and sharing on social media– something they picked up doing to get outside at the start of the pandemic.
“We realized there were lots of eagles around and just kind of fell in love with them,” Janet said.
Patricia and Robert felt the Beaudoins were the right pair to answer the call.
“When I first went and picked up the eagle it was such an intense moment. First, I was trying not to hurt it, but at the same time thinking, ‘this is insane right now,'” Bob recalled.
For Bob, helping this protected raptor was an emotional moment.
“It was unbelievable,” he said while holding back tears, “experience of a lifetime.”
The bird went to a wildlife rehabilitator in Saratoga who gave him antibiotics and fluids. He then needed emergency transportation to Cornell Wildlife Health Center, so Robert and Patricia made the hours long drive.
Sara Childs-Sanford, Section Chief of Wildlife Medicine at the Center, told NEWS10, “The eagle is currently hospitalized in critical condition at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital where wildlife veterinarians are working to diagnose and treat the eagle’s injuries.”
“Hopefully, it does well,” said Bob, “and can be released back into the wild and carry on with its life.”
Wildlife experts advise you get help from a professional to capture these kinds of birds, as they can be dangerous. However, it is believed this eagle was so injured, the capture by civilians was safe.
Animal Help Now – Emergency Resource (ahnow.org)
North Country Wild Care – Emergency Hotline: (518) 964-6740