Rehabilitated bald eagle released back into wild in Starke

Photo shared by Karen Lee of rehabilitated eagle released into wild. (

STARKE, Fla. – A rehabilitated bald eagle that was discovered just after Christmas hanging upside down in a tree, tangled in moss has been released back into the wild.

According to a news release sent Wednesday night, the eagle was released near Lake Crosby and Lake Sampson in Starke on Monday. Licensed wildlife rescue volunteer John Fields and neighbors retrieved the bird, and Fields took it to the veterinary college at the University of Florida.

The eagle was said to be severely weakened. After a brief stay at UF where it received fluids and was stabilized, the eagle was sent to the Raptor Trauma Clinic at the
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. It received antibiotics and got its strength back, and it was ready to be returned to the wild after a few weeks.

It was tagged with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band, which will function like a medical bracelet.

Residents on Lake Sampson, with the assistance of Kaye Lee, an Audubon EagleWatch coordinator, did an inventory of eagle nests in the area. They determined the bird was most likely the resident of an unoccupied nest of Lake Crosby.

There was a small gathering of locals and Audubon volunteers were waiting nearby when the bird was released into the wild, flying in the direction of the nest.