Bald Eagle: Bud
- Hatch year 1997
- Weight: 7.5 lbs.
- Found at Moss Lake, Delta County, Mich.
- Discovered in nest with infected eye injury
- Amputated left eye
To gain knowledge on bald eagle populations, nests are monitored, and when nestling eagles reach a certain size, a band with a federal number is placed on the bird’s leg. The number is recorded, and if the bird is ever found, the number can be tracked through a database to learn where the bird came from. Banding is essential to keeping track of bald eagle populations and is important for many aspects of eagle research as well. In 1997, an eagle’s nest was discovered on Moss Lake in Delta County, Mich. When the time came, a trained eagle-bander climbed the tree to band juveniles at the nest. However, this time there was a problem. The bander noticed that one of the juvenile eagles had an injury to its left eye that had become infected. The eagle was taken from the nest in hopes that he could be helped. The young bald eagle arrived at The Raptor Center on July 8, 1997. His eye injury was severe, and the infection had spread to the supra-orbital ridge (the bone above the eye). To prevent the infection from spreading further, the infected tissue had to be amputated. “Bud” recovered from surgery and was given a second chance with a life in education at The Raptor Center.