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Injured Juvenile Bald Eagle is Rescued in Escambia County

When Escambia County Animal Welfare officers received a call from a resident about a large bird hitting their window, they were not expecting to find a juvenile bald eagle when they arrived on scene to assist.

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The call came to Animal Welfare the morning of Tuesday, March 19, initially reported as a large bird or hawk that appeared to be unresponsive after flying into a ­­window at a home on Pinewood Lane.

“The caller was concerned because a hawk had hit her window, and it was on the ground and didn’t appear it was going to live,” said Lead Animal Welfare Officer Sgt. Merideth Roberson, who responded to the call and recognized the bird as a juvenile bald eagle. “The bird was super disoriented when we got there – panting heavily, which is not normal for birds, and it was on its back.”

The bald eagle had hit the window hard enough to leave an imprint, and Sgt. Roberson knew it needed immediate care.

 

Sgt. Roberson and Animal Welfare Officer Johnathan Harrington quickly helped the bird into their truck and transported it to the ­­Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida to receive appropriate veterinary care. Staff at the Wildlife Sanctuary confirmed the bird to be a juvenile bald eagle, with high confidence that it is a female due to its large size.

“They’re hoping to rehab it,” Sgt. Roberson said. “When we got to the Wildlife Sanctuary, it appeared more alert than it was when we first got it, so that was a good sign.”

Sgt. Roberson said she enjoys wildlife rescue calls like this not only because they aren’t as common as some of Animal Welfare’s more routine calls, but also because it’s rewarding to be able to work in partnership with the Wildlife Sanctuary to help an animal get back to its natural habitat.

“I love wildlife calls,” Sgt. Roberson said. “I enjoy going to them and seeing what I can do to help that animal, because our wildlife is so important. These are calls we don’t get every day, and you get to see that animal hopefully be rehabbed and released back into the wild.”

Sgt. Roberson is no stranger to bird rescues, with another one under her belt from November 2023 when she rescued an injured Muscovy Duck that had an arrow stuck in its wing.

Escambia County Animal Welfare Director John Robinson expressed his gratitude to the ­­Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida and to his team, who are always committed to the safety and well-being of animals in Escambia County.

“Our Escambia County Animal Welfare team is so dedicated to serving our community every day, and this is just one of many examples of how much they care for animals,” Robinson said. “I appreciate the concerned resident who alerted us to this situation, Sgt. Roberson and Officer Harrington for their quick action, and the Wildlife Sanctuary for caring for this young bald eagle and giving it the best chance of getting back into the wild.”