Friday, March 30, 2012

Bald Eagles Receive Pedicure

OK, our bald eagles didn't really receive pedicures ... or did they???

Take a look at our video and you be the judge.

Twice a year, all of our permanent resident birds receive full health exams by the trained staff here at VINS. As you'll see in this video, one of our two exhibit bald eagles has his talons and beak coped (or trimmed). In the wild, these birds would naturally wear down their talons and beaks at a faster rate; we help our exhibit raptors out by doing a bit of trimming as part of their bi-annual health checks.

You'll notice our raptors wear hoods during their exams. This helps keep them calm by preventing them from seeing all that is going on around them: the staff moving about, the clippers coming toward their beak, a vaccination on its way to their thigh, etc.

Both our bald eagles proved to be in good health after their exams, and are sporting nicely trimmed talons and handsome beaks. Come see for yourself at the VINS Nature Center!

In the top photo, Nature Center Operations Manager Chris Collier uses a dremel to trim a bald eagle's beak, while VINS intern Hannah Goldman holds the bird. In the bottom photo, Goldman smiles as the eagle awaits his health check.

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