FWC rescues poisoned bald eagle in Alachua County

Eagle being rehabbed at wildlife sanctuary, recovering well, officials say

A sick juvenile bald eagle found at a waste facility was rescued by FWC biologists. (FWC photo by Karen Parker)

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – A sick juvenile bald eagle found at a waste facility was rescued by biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is being rehabilitated at a wildlife sanctuary.

The FWC biologists captured the eagle with a net and transferred it to a deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, who brought it to an animal clinic for treatment.

The eagle was very ill and was likely poisoned by something it ate, FWC officials said.

PHOTOS: FWC biologists rescue poisoned bald eagle

Juvenile bald eagles are mostly dark brown with dark brown eyes and a gray or black bill, but have white patches or spots on their tail, belly and under their wings.

Plumage of juveniles vary, generally losing the white on their bodies and becoming increasingly white on their heads and tails as they gain maturity.

Full adult plumage for bald eagles typically appears in their fifth year.

The rescued eagle, which was transported to the clinic in a carrier, has been recovering well and was recently moved from the clinic to a larger outdoor enclosure in the Eye of the Eagle Wildlife Sanctuary, which is operated in conjunction with the clinic.

The rescued eagle will continue to be rehabilitated until it is healthy enough to be returned to the wild.