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  The injured eagle that went missing from Stony Creek Metropark has been  spotted.

The injured eagle that went missing from Stony Creek Metropark has been spotted.

Photo provided by Joan Bonin


Missing, injured eagle located in Stony Creek Metropark

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 2, 2020

 A male eagle was seen visiting the injured female eagle in  her nest. She is still recuperating from an injury to her right foot and leg,  but seems to be improving.

A male eagle was seen visiting the injured female eagle in her nest. She is still recuperating from an injury to her right foot and leg, but seems to be improving.

Photo provided by Joan Bonin

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The eagle that was reported missing and seriously injured at Stony Creek Metropark has been spotted as of Feb. 23 and appears to be healing well.

Park volunteers had asked for the public’s assistance in locating a missing and injured eagle after the bird had not been seen since Feb. 7, when it was noticeably injured.

According to park staff, the park’s resident female bald eagle had a serious injury to her right foot and possibly her leg. It was doubtful that she could catch prey or eat, and she was not able to perch, causing all her flight feathers to become tattered.

The bird, called P85, is a wild bald eagle, and several of the regular birders and volunteers have been photographing and watching her for many years in the same nesting location.

Recently, though, she had not been seen since the injuries were spotted, and park volunteers began to worry that something might have happened to her.

However, after weeks of searching the park and asking for the public’s help, Joan Bonin and her husband, Bob Bonin, both park volunteers, were able to successfully locate the eagle Feb. 23.

The bird did have identification tags on each foot. It was confirmed to be her by these tags.

“(It was) confirmed on Feb. 23 by red band on (the) left leg and silver band on (the) right leg,” said Joan Bonin via email.

She said the eagle is still injured, as most evident by her extended talons on her right leg, but she is able to perch for short periods and was observed landing in her nest.

Ruth Glass, a Stony Creek Nature Center volunteer, said the bird is noticeably in better condition than before she went missing.

“She still exhibits injury to her right foot and leg and is still recuperating, but (is) in better condition than when first injured, and has ‘zipped’ her flight feathers back into proper condition,” said Glass.

Bonin said the eagle was seen flying and landing much easier now.

“She flies well and was observed perching on branches, landing in the nest, flying well and attempting to mate,” said Bonin.

She said there have been no conflicts that were observed. She also said a male eagle was seen bringing prey to the nest for her.

Danielle Mauter, the chief of marketing and communications for Huron-Clinton Metroparks, said they aren’t really sure why the eagle had left for so long while she was injured.

“We can’t say for certain why she left, but are glad to see her back in the park,” she said. “Our volunteers do spend a great deal of time observing the eagles, but they do so from a distance that does not disturb the natural life of these wild birds, so any updates are based off of those observations.” 

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