Dec 29, 2009

New Jersey American Water Helps Rescue Injured Bald Eagle

Employees work with Raptor Trust to save bird

New Jersey American Water announced that two employees helped rescue an injured bald eagle they discovered on the grounds of the company’s Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Short Hills, N.J.

Workers at the facility first discovered the eagle on the Reservoir Road near a marshy area while performing routine maintenance. Calling in experts from the Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J., the workers helped capture the bird, which was unable to fly.

“New Jersey American Water takes its role as an environmental steward seriously, and this rescue is a perfect example of that in action,” said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. “We are proud of our employees and their dedication to the community and the environment.”

“True partnerships with groups and companies such as New Jersey American Water are what allow the Raptor Trust to be so effective in fulfilling its mission to rehabilitate wild birds and preserve their habitats--especially formerly endangered species like the bald eagle,” said Cathy Malok of The Raptor Trust, who netted the eagle. “We hope for a quick recovery for the bird, and look forward to other opportunities to work with New Jersey American Water.”

A maintenance worker who first spotted the downed eagle initially thought it was a hawk. Upon closer inspection, New Jersey American Water Environmental Manager Gary Matthews discovered it was actually a juvenile, female bald eagle. Matthews called the Raptor Trust, which sent a team to help capture the bird--which the team named “Brooke,” after the Canoe Brook facility where she was found.

Brooke evaded initial attempts at capture, eventually working her way to a patch of grass several yards out into a marshy area ranging in depth from 6 in. to 5 ft that was beginning to ice over. Using two shallow water kayaks, the team drove the eagle back to shore where she was netted and transported back to the Raptor Trust facility for examination.

Brooke is expected to fully recuperate and will eventually be returned to the wild near the Canoe Brook.