An injured adult bald eagle that went through three months of ‘rehab’ was released back into the wild in Berlin on October 20.
Listed as a state endangered species in 1987, Vermont’s bald eagle population has thrived in recent years thanks to efforts by the Fish and Wildlife Department and partners. The department has recommended bald eagles for de-listing but will continue to carefully monitor their population.
“Bald eagles have made an impressive comeback in Vermont, meeting the criteria for de-listing under the state endangered species act,” says Fish and Wildlife’s Migratory Bird Biologist Doug Morin. “But because bald eagles are a long-lived species with slow reproduction, each released bird has potential to contribute to maintaining the healthy population that the department and our partners have worked to restore.”
Fish and Wildlife staff were notified of the injured eagle by a Berlin landowner in late July. State Game Warden Paul Brown located the bird and brought it to the Vermont Institute for Natural Science for care. VINS Director of Wild Bird Rehabilitation Grace O’Toole reports that the eagle received 89 days of care before being deemed ready to release.
Opportunities to bolster Vermont’s bald eagle population through rescue and rehabilitation are uncommon. Wednesday’s release is only the second such collaborative opportunity for the department and VINS since 2019. With department and VINS staff present, the release occurred without incident on the property where the eagle was first reported.