BROOKSTON, Ind. (WLFI) — A bird that people, and especially Americans, are always on the lookout for paid a visit to a White County neighborhood.
People living in the Lehe Addition neighborhood southeast of Brookston had a close-up encounter.
“We never seen bald eagles or anything like that in this area,” said neighbor Randy Jefferies.
A bald eagle was standing in the front lawn of Randy Jefferies’ neighbor.
“It was probably 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall. I mean it was, it was big,” said Jefferies.
Neighbors thought the bird was just stopping for a snack but, after realizing the bird couldn’t stretch its 7-foot wings, they knew something was wrong.
“We noticed it had kind of hopped behind the neighbor’s house and it was trying to fly and couldn’t take off,” said Jefferies. “At that point, we knew it was injured.”
Neighbor Caitlin Hirsch stepped in to help. Rescuing big birds is her forte.
“I’m actually qualified to do that,” said Hirsch. “I worked for the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield, Colo., for almost eight years.”
She now volunteers for Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center northeast of Delphi in Carroll County. Since living here, she’s rescued plenty of birds but not ones this big.
“An eagle might eat your chihuahua if it was really hungry,” said Hirsch. “Eight pounds of eagle is like 8 pounds of fury, so when you are trying to catch one that doesn’t feel very good, you’re like, ‘Oh, I forgot those are very long talons that you have.'”
With help from the neighbors, the bird was captured safely.
“Moving slowly, getting close enough to get a towel over it, once you get a towel over it, you control its head and its wings and we were able to get it into a dog crate,” said Hirsch.
Things such as cars and power lines could cause a bird this size to be injured. Although once the eagle is found, there are state laws about what the next steps are.
“If a facility has the ability to support a bird and that bird is not releasable because of the nature of its injuries, with a permit they might be able to keep that bird,” said Hirsch. “If its temperament is right, it would be an animal ambassador.”
The condition of the bird is unknown at this time. However, the bird was seen by veterinarians for examination Monday. The hope is for the bird’s injury to be fixed and released back into the wild.