A male golden eagle was released in a farm field near Oso Flaco Lake near Nipomo on Tuesday after three weeks of rehabilitation with wildlife rescue group Pacific Wildlife Care.
The adult bird was one of two eagles rescued from the field three weeks ago. Farmworkers found the eagles unable to fly May 8.
Rescuers theorize that the two male birds were fighting, fell out of the air and hit the ground hard, leaving them bruised and too sore to fly. Most eagles rescued by Pacific Wildlife Care have been hit by cars.
Eagles tend to prefer wilderness areas rather than farm fields.
“It’s really kind of a mystery,” said Kelly Vandenheuvel, who rehabilitated the birds. “To have two eagles on the ground unable to fly is very unusual.”
Rescuers found no major health problems with the birds. Neither had broken bones, and blood tests showed the birds were healthy. The only thing wrong with them was that they were a little underweight. After several weeks of rest and weight gain, the eagles began to fly again.
The eagle released Tuesday was 61⁄2 pounds when it was rescued and weighed more than 8 pounds when it was released, Vandenheuvel said. The other was released a week ago.
For more information about Pacific Wildlife Care, go to www.pacificwildlifecare.org.