Yesterday, VINS staff donned heavy-duty welding gloves and tackled golden eagles. Sounds a little weird, but it's all in the name of health!
Watch our video of VINS staff examining golden eagles.
Twice a year, all of our exhibit raptors -- from screech owls to turkey vultures -- are taken out of their enclosures and given a full health exam. We check their eyes, ears, throats, mouths, wings, feet and everything in between. We weigh them, provide appropriate vaccinations and make sure their original injury sites are stable -- whether it's a missing eye or an old fracture in a wing.
While we love to handle all of the birds we have here on exhibit, the golden eagles always present a special challenge. Getting up close and personal with a 12-pound raptor who's got talons that could pierce your skull always makes for a memorable day.
It's an honor for us to be in the presence of such powerful creatures, and we are proud to provide homes for these non-releasable raptors.
Stay tuned for more videos and photos of Health Check Day. Above left, the female golden eagle has her feet checked. Right, the male golden eagle has his beak coped (trimmed).