NORTH THETFORD, Vt. (AP) — An immature bald eagle was released back in the wild in North Thetford after being nursed back to health by a Vermont organization that cares for injured birds.

The bald eagle was released Tuesday almost three weeks after a Vermont game warden found the bird in Danby after it had apparently been hit by a car while feeding on a deer carcass.

The eagle, estimated to be between 18 months and 2 years old, was taken to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, where the organization's staff rehabilitated it.

VINS Wildlife Service Manager Sara Eisenhauer tells the Valley News ( it was only the second bald eagle she's helped rehabilitate in her seven years with the organization, which rehabilitates about 400 birds a year.

"They're a force to be reckoned with," Eisenhauer said, "so when we release them, we're happy, but we're also incredibly relieved."

Bald eagles populations are growing across the United States. The species was brought back after its numbers had plummeted to near extinction in the years after World War II due to the effects of certain pesticides.

Vermont was the last state in the continental United States to have a breeding population of bald eagles after the species was brought back. It wasn't until 2008 that it was confirmed that an eagle was successfully hatched and raised in the state.


Information from: Lebanon Valley News,