On the shore at Lazy Point, Amagansett, a juvenile bald eagle stepped out of its supersized crate on Wednesday, “said thank you, tipped his head and off he went,” said Jane Gill, who had helped it along the way.
The creature’s “flight pattern was very strong,” circling around, gliding, catching the wind and “obviously very comfortable and happy,” said Gill, who with three others had captured the eagle June 22 in Montauk, where it had been spotted with a fish hook in one of his talons.
Watching his takeoff was especially rewarding, she said, as he was the first bald eagle to be a “guest” at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, where Gill is a volunteer educator and rescuer.
After its capture, the eagle was treated by Dr. Justin Molnar, veterinarian with Shinnecock Animal Hospital, who had to remove one of the talons on its injured claw.
It was deemed, he said, that the eagle, under a year old, would still be able to swoop down and grab its meals. In addition, the creature had sustained a “significant soft tissue wound” just above what humans would call his ankle, which was treated.
“God bless him,” Molnar said. “He healed up great.”
Until Thursday, the eagle was in residence at the wildlife center, regaining its strength, feasting on dead rats and vitamins and testing his flying skills in a large flight cage, said Gill, who had no information about how the fish hook came to be lodged in his talon.
And then, “he was ready to go,” said Gill, 62, a real estate broker from Sagaponack.
Gill and others, she said, have increasingly in the past couple of years been spotting bald eagles in areas such as Sagaponack, Montauk and Shelter Island.