The company donated $2,000 to help care for the eagle that survived crashing through the windshield of a Perdue rig on Friday, Feb. 12 on a Maryland highway in Worcester County.
“We’re delighted that Perdue Farms has offered to help us provide care for this eagle that collided with one of the company’s tractor trailers,” said Lisa Smith, executive director of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. “She is in stable condition and eating on her own after suffering some internal injuries, and we are doing everything we can to keep her as stress-free and comfortable as possible to heal.”
“At Perdue, as a fourth-generation, family-owned American company, we are proud to support what we hope is this eagle’s return to the wild,” said Rich Hernandez, vice president of transportation and warehousing for Perdue Farms. “We are equally proud of our driver for his compassionate care of the bird, a national symbol of our country’s strength and freedom, until she could be relocated to the rehabilitation center.”
Perdue driver Wayne Hamilton encountered the eagle while en route to one of the company’s plants in Virginia. He suspects the eagle swooped down in pursuit of its prey before crashing through the driver’s side of his truck’s windshield, landing at his feet. Hamilton covered the bird with his jacket in an attempt to keep it calm while waiting for authorities to arrive to transport the bird to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research.
“I’ve been driving trucks since 1979 and never experienced anything like this before. It really shook me up,” said Hamilton, a Perdue driver since 1983. “I’m so thankful the bird survived, and that Perdue is helping with her recovery. The bald eagle is such an important symbol for our country. Hopefully, she can be fully rehabilitated and released back into her natural habitat.”
Smith said vehicle injuries accounted for 18.5 percent of all injured bald eagle cases at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in 2020. She said they treated 81 bald eagles last year and this is the 14th eagle admitted to Tri-State this year. Once critically endangered, the bald eagle has made a comeback and was taken off the federally endangered species list in 2007.
“We’ve received numerous inquiries on the condition of the bald eagle. It’s always amazing to see how many people are concerned about our native wildlife,” said Smith. To donate for the care of this bald eagle or other patients at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, visit tristatebird.givingfuel.com/support.