Bonneville crews rally to rescue bald eagle

Crews at Bonneville Lock and Dam recently came to the rescue of a bald eagle that was being attacked by crows.

One morning last September warehouse and security personnel discovered the raptor hanging upside down from a tree branch and trying to defend itself from attacking crows. They immediately called for assistance from the dam’s natural resource staff who realized quickly they couldn’t reach the bird with the equipment they had on hand.

That’s when the structural and maintenance crews were called in – who responded quickly with a crane, personnel basket and fall protection equipment. They deployed the crane with two members in the basket who covered the eagle with a blanket to calm it and help protect themselves and others. Then they removed a section of the tree limb so both the bird and the branch could be safely lowered to the ground.

Just before reaching the ground, however, the eagle managed to free itself, but park rangers quickly recaptured it and placed it in a waiting cage. Fearing injury, the rangers took it to the Rowena Wildlife Clinic in Mosier, Oregon, for evaluation. Clinic staff determined the eagle suffered no apparent injuries other than being dehydrated, so they only administered IV fluids.

Within a couple of days the bald eagle completely recovered, so the Rowena staff opened the flight pen … and taking two steps … the eagle once again took flight.

Bonneville Lock and Dam staff pride themselves on working together to carry out Portland District’s missions. This is just one example of their collaboration to come up with a unique solution to safely assist in a unique situation.