Everyone loves a success story. Last September a mature bald eagle was found injured along Highway 26, in far eastern Howard County. After learning of the bird, Soarin Hawk Raptor Rahabilitation Center near Fort Wayne contacted Kokomo’s Glenn Bradley. And who better to call. Bradley happens to be a master falconer and volunteers his time for the rehabilitation facility.
By the time Bradley reached the heavily wooded location of the injured eagle, he was told the bird had flown off, on tottering wings, to an area off dense underbrush. With assistance from conservation officer Bill Doss they spent considerable time searching for the hurt eagle.
“It was starting to get dark and with the thick brush and low light my hopes of finding the bird were fading,” Bradley said. A short time later Doss spotted the bird on the opposite side of the creek. As you would expect, Bradley waded across the stream. “It was waist deep and cold!” he added. “And wouldn’t you know it, when I got close that eagle tried to take off and ended up right in the middle of that creek.”
After several minutes Bradley was finally able to subdue the bird with the aid of the large beach towel he carried. At first it was a struggle trying to capture such a big bird with flailing wings and knife-like talons. After being face to beak with the bird, in the water, he managed to get it to shore where he covered it. This usually calms frightened wildlife while partially protecting the eagle and Bradley.
Now dark, the local resident had to make his way back through the thickly wooded creek bottom, while holding a wet, heavy beach towel and injured eagle. Guided by the beam from Doss’s flashlight he cautiously made his way back to the vehicles.
Bradley then drove the bird half the distance to Fort Wayne where he was met by members of the Soarin Raptor. After receiving proper veterinarian care and a several month stay at the rehabilitation the eagle was nursed back to health.
“We think it was eating on a roadkill and ended up getting clipped by a car,” said Bradley. “I am just glad this story turned out as well as it did.”
The local resident was given the opportunity to release the bird just last weekend, near the area where it was originally found. “They even named the bird “Bradley” he added with a sense of pride. “I can’t think of a better honor than that!”