Sighting a bald eagle in the skies of the United States is not strange since it is the national bird. However, this particular one near White Run stream, Pennsylvania, was not an ordinary bird. One of its talons was caught in a leg trap, and it was struggling to fly. This, understandably, is a situation where nothing much can be done by anyone unless some bird lover intervenes and finds a solution so that the bird is freed from its suffering.

A bald eagle is a bird of prey and not bald as the name suggests – it sports a white patch on its head which has given it the name of ‘bald eagle.' Talons are necessary for its survival so that it can reach into the water to seize the fish in its talons.

Incidentally, the bald eagle had been on the list of endangered species and continuous monitoring by the authorities has brought it back from the brink of extinction.

Trouble for the bald eagle

This particular bird in Pennsylvania was photographed when it was on the ground by Susan Boardman. The leg trap on its talon hindered its movements, and it was struggling to get airborne. The situation was precarious because, with the leg-trap attached to its talon, it was unable to climb to a safe altitude.

The bald eagle uses its talons to hunt, eat, perch as well for defense and the leg-trap prevented free movement. It could lead to bruises and infection if not removed in time.

Taking care of the bird

Once the news spread, local people joined in the search and found an eagle nest in the neighborhood where the bird was last seen. Since there was a female in the nest, a wildlife rehabilitator associated with an NGO Rehabitat Inc said that she would look after the injured bird once it is caught.

As per existing provisions of the state Game Commission, leg-hold traps installed in the open with the bait visible from the air are illegal and can lead to criminal charges. In fact, such traps must be firmly staked into the ground and have the name of the owner on it.

The need of the hour is to locate the bald eagle and save it from further miseries.