Bald Eagle: Othello
- Hatch year 1988
- Weight: 7 lbs.
- Found in Marquette, Mich.
- Fell from nest, re-injured old wound
- Un-releasable because of right wing injury
- No flight capacity
Othello hatched in 1988 along Squaw Lake near Marquette, Mich. During one of his first flights from the nest, it is thought that the young eagle suffered some sort of trauma that caused him to fracture his right ulna. The broken bone began to heal in nature and formed something known as a “callus” around the fracture site. If a broken wing bone heals abnormally with the two parts not aligned, it can cause permanent mobility problems. Othello may have experienced some loss of mobility in his right wing, which we speculate may have caused the second fracture: a break in the right radius. Othello was found unable to fly near Squaw Lake, and arrived at The Raptor Center August 29, 1988. Radiographs, or x-rays, revealed the reason why this hatch-year eagle could not fly. The callus on the right ulna was apparent and a fresher break could be seen in the radius, the thicker of the two bones. The bone was set, but the damage had already been done: Othello would never fly again. The Raptor Center’s clinic is world renowned for its premier expertise in raptor orthopedics—the branch of medicine dealing with bones and the skeletal system. A common fact you may hear is that “bird bones are hollow.” Yet when looking at a cross-section of a bird bone, you will see what almost looks like a honeycomb, with many small structures crisscrossing through the bone’s hollow space. This allows bones to be lightweight but also have sufficient strength.