Mason Neck State Park has a new resident tonight: a bald eagle who's been a patient at Virginia's Wildlife Center for most of the summer.
The eagle was rescued from Prince George's County, Md., back in June.
The eagle was admitted to the center on June 5 because it had a swollen tail and was having difficulty flying. Center veterinarians started treating the bird with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain medication. The bird showed steady improvement, and by June 21 the eagle was ready to join two other young bald eagles.
Mason Neck is on a peninsula in the Potomac River and provides prime habitat for bald eagles.The park connects with the 2,200-acre Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge – created in 1969 as the first refuge specifically established to protect essential nesting, feeding and roosting habitat for bald eagles. The refuge has been listed as one of the top 10 sites in the country for viewing bald eagles.
In 1977 there were just 33 bald eagle nests in Virginia. Today, that population is on the rebound. There are now more than 600 active bald eagle nests in the commonwealth.