Missing bald eagle has been found
UPDATE 11 a.m.: A bald eagle that was reported missing from a raptor rehabilitation center in eastern Connecticut has been found.
An announcement was just made in a post on the center’s Facebook page that the bird was located.
“We are so happy to announce that Atka is home!” the post says.
It continues, “He was found safe on our property this morning. This is still an active,ongoing investigation. If anyone has any information please contact DEEP 860-424-3333 or Ct State Police Troop C 860-896-3200. We wish to thank everyone for your help with the search, your Facebook posts, and concern. You all made a difference!”
Previous: A $5,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of Atka, a bald eagle that disappeared from a raptor rehabilitation center in eastern Connecticut on Monday.
“All we ask is that Atka is returned safely to us, or we are told of his whereabouts. No questions asked, we just want our boy back safe and unharmed,” the Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education posted on its Facebook page.
Brian Bennett organized a fundraiser on a GoFundMe page.
“My hopes are that we will receive some news as to where our beloved Atka is and we hope that he is safe. Please continue to share and remain vigilant as the search for this beautiful eagle continues.”
Bennett said Atka disappeared early Monday morning from his aviary on the property of Horizon Wings in Ashford.
“Atka is a male bald eagle who has been in the care of Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilition and Education since 2011. He has been cared for by Horizon Wings and has been an instrumental part of the programs Horizon Wings provides to educate the public about the importance of conservation and protection of our endangered species.
“Law enforcement is investigating his disappearance and I am asking anyone and everyone to share this fundraising campaign to boost the growing reward being offered for his safe return or information leading to his safe return.”
Bennett said Atka is a non-flighted bird, “so if he was indeed let out of his aviary at some point he would not be able to go to too far. He also has brown eyes, a little unusual for an adult eagle.”
Atka is a male eagle who came to the center as a 1-year old from Washington state. He was found with an injured right wing which prevents his release.
Bald eagles were extirpated from Connecticut in the 1950s due largely to the pesticide DDT. Nesting bald eagles returned to Connecticut in 1992 and have been increasing in numbers ever since.
As of 2018, there are now 55 known nesting pairs in the state.
Bald eagles build very large nests, usually near a body of water. They prey mainly on fish but will also take a wide variety of prey, including mammals and birds, and will also scavenge on carrion.