A golden eagle hit by a car last summer was released back into the wild east of Durango after being rehabbed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff for almost a year.
CPW spokesman Joe Lewandowski said the eagle flew into a car near Gem Village in June, breaking the windshield.
Fortunately, no bones were broken, confirmed by an X-ray. But internal injuries took months to heal.
Lewandowski said wildlife biologists suspect the bird also suffered a head injury. For months, the female golden eagle showed no interest in flying.
But about a month ago, that all changed. The eagle was placed in a flight cage at the Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Del Norte and started to spread its wings.
“It finally got in pretty good shape,” Lewandowski said. “It’s a healthy bird.”
The 13-pound eagle was released Monday near where it was injured, and hopefully, it will recognize its surroundings and return to its natural behaviors.
Lewandowski said the eagle flew off, landed on a tree, and then went out of sight. But that doesn’t mean wildlife officials have lost its trail.
CPW staff placed a transmitter on the bird as part of a tracking study that aims to tag eight bald and/or golden eagles in Durango to gain a better understanding of the birds’ migration and behavior habits.
“Having another bird with transmitter adds to the database,” Lewandowski said.