Monday, April 10, 2006

George and Martha Update

The News Journal in Delaware reported today on the story of the bald eagle situation at the Wilson Bridge. (For background, see my posts here and here.) This article rehashes much of the story given over the weekend, but includes an update on Martha's condition:

At Tri-State, where Martha has been since Wednesday, Executive Director Christina Motoyoshi said Martha is improving after undergoing surgery Friday, and that veterinarians are "cautiously optimistic" she will recover enough to be released.

"Dr. Erica Miller, our veterinarian, looked at Martha today [Saturday] and said she is improving," Motoyoshi wrote in an e-mail. "She has not yet regained her full strength, and she is not eating on her own yet. But, she does look more alert today than yesterday, and her wounds are healing nicely. Our hope is to release her in a week if all goes well."

A quick recovery would bode well for Martha, George and the chicks.

The sooner Martha can be released near the bridge, the better the chances that she will reunite with George and her chicks, Motoyoshi said.

"They usually keep the same mate, the same nest, year after year," she said. "But there's always a chance that George could take up with another female."

Bryan Watts, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary, said the odds are not in George's favor, given that newborns are so helpless and the demands of parenthood so great. "There's always a chance you could have a really experienced male pull off a miracle," he said, "but it's highly unlikely."

The photo above is of Martha being fed at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, and is included in the News Journal article linked above.

You can listen to Craig Koppie of the US Fish and Wildlife Service discuss the situation on NPR here.