WALNUT CREEK (AP) — A young golden eagle rescued by firefighters and released from a wildlife hospital three months ago has died after being struck by a wind turbine, officials said.
Two power workers found the 12-pound female raptor near a wind turbine at Altamont Pass in Livermore and took it to a wildlife hospital July 25, Lindsay Wildlife Experience said.
A turbine struck the eagle’s left wing so hard that a doctor determined the raptor would never be able to fly again, and the animal was euthanized later that day.
Staff determined that the euthanized golden eagle was the raptor that had been released in May after about a month of rehabilitation, said Norma Bishop, executive director at Lindsay Wildlife Experience. The bird wore a band and a GPS backpack, which had an identifying serial number.
The 3-year-old eagle had severe head trauma from an unknown cause and was partially blind in her left eye when Contra Costa Animal Control officers brought her into the hospital March 27. It cost an estimated $1,000 a day to treat the raptor. A little more than a month after she was found, she passed her flight and live prey tests and was returned to the sky.
The raptor was one of 18 golden eagles being tracked by East Bay Regional Park District wildlife manager Doug Bell, who studied eagles’ flight patterns around the turbines, Bishop said. Before her death, the bird was able to provide “valuable information” during a short amount of time.
“Everyone’s first reaction (to the bird’s death) was ‘oh, no,’” Bishop said. “The more we thought about this, the more we thought that it’s not a waste.”