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A juvenile bald eagle brought to Walnut Creek’s Lindsay Wildlife Experience wildlife hospital in March was returned to the wild Monday at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, not far from where it was found, a Lindsay spokeswoman said.
Lindsay spokeswoman Jennifer Modenessi said the eagle was first spotted by a hiker in early March on a trail near the horse arena at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, on the ground and unable to fly.
The hiker notified Bay Raptor Rescue, a group that specializes in recovering injured birds of prey. Craig Nikitas of Bay Raptor Rescue spent hours tracking the bird through rough terrain before it was located, and he brought it to Lindsay on March 10, Modenessi said.
Upon examination at Lindsay, the young bird — estimated to be 2 to 3 years old, without its full white head — was found to have some bruising on its back, and a missing claw on its right foot.
Radiographs performed at Lindsay revealed the eagle had suffered a fracture to the right side of its coracoid bone, which connects the sternum to the shoulder joints.
The eagle was initially placed on cage rest, and given medication and a closely monitored diet. The fracture took about two weeks to heal.
Modenessi said that, on April 7, the eagle was moved to a 100-foot aviary at Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center in Morgan Hill to build up strength.
And on Monday, Lindsay partnered with the East Bay Regional Park District to release the eagle at Redwood Regional Park, just over the hill from Joaquin Miller Park, where the bird was first seen.
Despite Lindsay’s temporary closure in response to shelter-at-home mandates, its hospital continues to take in patients such as this eagle for treatment, with the goal of returning the animals to the wild.