When I read your story about the rescued bald eagle (“Bald eagle sent to recovery facility,” Chief, Jan. 23), I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
On that Saturday my wife and I were eagle watching like so many other people when we noticed this eagle sitting on the rocks by the river. I snapped some pictures from a good distance so as not to disturb him. He was focused on the water and suddenly leaped into the river. He must have spotted a fish. He actually started swimming and he was working very hard to get back to the shore. I saw eagles fishing before, but never this way. He came up empty and he leapt in a second time with the same disappointing result. We started to worry about the bird because of the unusual behavior, but he did not seem distressed. His feathers were soaked by this time and he was drying them off by extending his wings. We thought the wet wings were the reason that he did not fly and he would be OK once they dried.
Later in the day when I enlarged the pictures in my computer I noticed that his flight feathers were damaged and that he was banded. We figured that that was the reason that he did not fly and I sent an email to Eagle Watch. I did receive a reply that they would try to locate the bird — but I did not know about his fate until I saw your article and the picture of the rescued eagle. I am thankful that Mr. Turner and other volunteers assessed the situation better and faster than I did and that the outcome is a happy one for this grounded raptor. I watched him fishing and swimming and working very hard to overcome his difficult situation. He is one tough eagle with the heart of a lion. My guess is that is something that his rescuers have in common with him.