Metro-East Living

Bald eagle rehabilitated at rescue center is reunited with mate

Female bald eagle returns to her mate after rehabilitation process

An injured female bald eagle was treated at Treehouse Wildlife Center and released in Litchfield, where her mate was minding the nest. See video of her return to the wild.
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An injured female bald eagle was treated at Treehouse Wildlife Center and released in Litchfield, where her mate was minding the nest. See video of her return to the wild.

The Treehouse Wildlife Center’s bald eagle release in Litchfield went off without a hitch.

The public named the rehabilitated female bald eagle Martha, and she seems to have had a happily-ever-after reunion with her mate, George.

Martha was admitted to the rescue center last April with multiple lacerations on her face.

Pam Lippert, senior wildlife technician at the rescue center, and Matt Lentz, a conservation officer, were the ones who initially captured the eagle.

“This bird was the first time we’ve ever had a call about eagles with a territorial dispute,” Lippert said. “We had never had that trouble before.

“When she came in last year, she had babies in the nest.”

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The bald eagles Martha and George were reunited. Provided by Cheryl Pride

Eagle watchers around Litchfield kept an eye on what they believed was Martha’s nest. They think the three eaglets observed in the nest survived.

The center treated her wounds, rehabilitated Martha in the flight cage and declared her ready for release.

Lippert estimated a crowd of couple hundred people came Jan. 20 to see Martha off.

“I was really happy as to how it went,” Lippert said. “The mate to this bird came to check her out after she landed in a tree. He did a little circle and landed in another tree. She flew over the water, they met up and locked talons, did a loop-de-loop and flew off together.”

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Martha and George locking talons. Provided by Cheryl Pride

The locked talons behavior is something that mated pairs sometimes do. According to Lippert, it is a typical eagle behavior.

Lippert was concerned that Martha’s mate wouldn’t recognize her. “We wanted them to get back together,” Lippert said. “It appears that they did.”

Heidi Wiechert: 618-239-2500, @BND_HeidiW

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