Bald Eagle with bird flu found in West Seattle park

The recent outbreak of bird flu, known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), isn’t limited to just chickens, geese or turkeys. It has also spread locally, to our national symbol – the Bald Eagle.

The West Seattle Blog reports a local naturalist found a Bald Eagle on the ground sick in Lincoln Park. The raptor was familiar to naturalist Kersti Muul, who says it is part of a mated pair that lives in a nest above Colman Pool.

“I received a call regarding an eagle on the ground” she tells the West Seattle Blog. “Ironically it was near their old nest in the Grand fir by the trail junctions. When I arrived to assess, it was very obvious that HPAI had taken hold. It was having the beginnings of neurological issues”.

Muul says the heartbreaking part of rescuing the bird from the forest floor of Lincoln Park was hearing it call out to its mate. She reported a Seattle Parks employee also heard the eagle crying the previous night, which seemed unusual to him. Muul believes that’s when the eagle became grounded.

The sick eagle was taken to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for care. This is the second local eagle sick with HPAI in the past two weeks. There was also a confirmed case found in a Perigrine falcon.

A nationwide outbreak of avian influenza on many commercial poultry farms forced the euthanasia of more than 47 million chickens and turkeys. It has also led to a dramatic increase in the price of poultry at the supermarket.