Police: Injured eagle in 'really good hands'

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CHESTERFIELD, N.H. — A bald eagle found injured on Route 9 Saturday survived through the night and is now being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Lt. Michael Bamba of the Chesterfield Police Department said the bird was given some medications at Wings of the Dawn Wildlife Rehabilitation in Henniker, N.H., and was scheduled to get an X-ray midday Sunday.

"It sounds like he's in really good hands," he said, "so fingers crossed."

Bamba said he received a call about the incident at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. A driver of a dump truck told his employer he thought he hit a bald eagle near the Route 63 intersection on Route 9.

"I responded immediately out there," Bamba said. "I wasn't able to find the bird, at first."

He said he looked at an area of about 2 miles in both directions, then received a call from a passerby who saw the eagle. The bird was found about 200 yards from the intersection.

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Bamba called Winchester Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, but was not able to reach the director. With the help of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, he reached Wings of the Dawn.

With another officer, Bamba covered the eagle with a blanket, given the cold temperatures. They waited about an hour for help to arrive.

"Then, once they got here, the bird was actually pretty calm," Bamba said. "He was able to pick it up with gloves around the wing and load it in."

Bamba said he could see skidmarks where the dump truck tried to stop to avoid hitting the eagle. He believes the bird might have been eating a carcass in the roadway, tried to get away too late and flew into the dump truck.

"It was definitely clear that he tried to slow down and stop, but it did hit the bird," he said, noting that the scene was near Spofford Lake, where a pair of eagles has been seen all summer. "That is one impressive bird. That's the closest I've been to a bald eagle. That beak is much bigger than I thought it would be."

Bamba said the eagle has a good range of motion in the head and wings. He is concerned that the bird does not have control over its feet and cannot stand. He believes the bird is being given antibiotics to treat inflammation.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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