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February 3, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Get the lead out

He felt sick.

The authorities had shown up.

“Ok. Again. Where did you get the fish?”

Not even able to hold his head up, all he could do was moan. No way he was feathering his nest.


Where did you get the fish?

Very weak, sick bald eagle being held as anesthesia wears off. (Image: Friends of Texas Wildlife FB)

Very weak, sick Bald Eagle being gently held as anesthesia wears off. (Friends of Texas Wildlife FB)

Lucky he was spotted as his condition was is serious: a Bald Eagle looking like trash alongside a rural dirt road.

Now at the Friends of Texas Wildlife facility, he’s able to stand, keep some solid food down, and is getting treated for lead poison. Extent of the damage to internal organs is still unknown, but he’s improving – although it’s going to be a long rehabilitation.

No signs of bullet lead, so the best guess is that he stopped to pick up a bite at one of those little eateries around the lakes and got some bad food. (You know how that goes).

“We have no way of knowing what caused the lead poisoning, but unfortunately it is an all-too-common problem affecting bald eagles. It is either caused by environmental toxins (lead levels in ponds, streams, etc.), or possibly by the eagle having ingested fish or prey contaminated by lead (fishing sinkers, lead ammunition).”  (Statement from Friends of Texas Wildlife told to KPRC)

Keep up with eagle’s recover and other rescue efforts with Friends of Texas Wildlife’s Facebook.

While driving with a lead foot is hazardous, lead in the water is even more dangerous.

Bird. Bald Eagle standing up and feeling better. (Image: Friends of Texas Wildlife FB)

You have to stand for something. “Everyone kept saying ‘Fly down to the coast. Fresh ocean air is healthy.’ May be rethinking that with the local chow there being a stinker.”(Friends of Texas Wildlife FB)

You like Gulf Coast seafood?

A Boston-based company, ironically named Clean Harbors, deals in industrial waste. This company, the Nation’s #1 hazardous waste treatment company, has been dumping arsenic, aluminum, lead and other metals into Dickinson Bayou’s waters. Water near that favorite old restaurant Hillman’s Seafood and Fish House, as well as just across the bayou from the water supply for Dickinson, San Leon, Bacliff, and Kemah (You know Kemah – that place with the Boardwalk and all the restaurants.)

Concerns were raised about the hazardous dumping situation by local residents in a Jan. 2016 public meeting.

May, 2016 water samples indicated the elevated levels  of aluminum, lead, and arsenic in a Dickinson Bayou tributary.(Article here, pg 31)

The worry is not flighty at all considering what flows into gullies, into bayous, into bays, into the Gulf, then goes into the ocean which wraps around coastlines near and far.

Eventually the food chain is threatened with real concern about what’s at the end of your fishing line, on your dinner plate, or in your beak, so to speak.

Seriously, just because the Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl, that doesn’t mean Boston can run roughshod over every field and stream.

Real patriots play defense as well as offense when the environment is at risk. 

High flyin’ time to get the lead out.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 Eagle omniscience's the examining table. (Friends of Texas Wildlife image)

This is how you examine a Bald Eagle under anesthesia. Thought you’d like to see. (Friends of Texas Wildlife FB image)




  1. shoreacres / Feb 3 2017 2:50 pm

    Wait. What? I thought the Galveston Bay Foundation & others had things pretty much cleaned up on this end. Of course there’s the site up toward the port that’s a mess, and they have signs posted up there not to eat the fish, but… Hmmm… Something else to check into. I’m going to be at a meeting (gadzooks! yes, me!) next Tuesday where a bunch of people are Galveston Bay master naturalists. I believe I’ll make an inquiry or three. Thanks for a good heads-up.

    By the way — have you seen who’s going in next to Skipper’s restaurant? Okie’s is back! I was so sad to see the liquor store close after Ike, but it looks like they’re turning the beauty shop that used to be tucked in there into a burger and beer place. I approve!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 3 2017 3:32 pm

      You just can’t blink. I’ve always worried about the eagle pairs nearby with so much potential for tainted food.
      This whole thing about Clean Harbor dumping has been kept really quiet – how? Maybe you can get more info.
      They’re going to be flipping burgers there, too? Saw the sign but didn’t dare hope. Just the place we need – we’ll have to meet for the christening.
      Thanks for flying that comment in


      • shoreacres / Feb 3 2017 3:37 pm

        I just drove by, and the blinking neon sign that says “OPEN” was — well, blinking. And two guys were standing out front with beers, and I say a chalkboard that says something. More exploration is needed!


  2. Amy / Feb 3 2017 2:54 pm

    Good reminder of things most folks don’t think about every day until it affects them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 3 2017 3:44 pm

      Another reason to be just as aware of what is going on locally in 10-20 mile radius around your location as it is to watch what’s going on nationally and world wide. Honestly so much crashes and burns close by – so many local needs unrecognized – because people are so busy watching the latest or the most emotionally charged videos/new stories(with partial information) about events/incidents on the other side of the world. Stuff and people slipping quietly between the cracks.
      It’s all important – and all connected, but people have a better chance of helping/catching problems in areas close by.
      Thanks for your astute observation

      Liked by 3 people

  3. the dune mouse (CybeleMoon) / Feb 3 2017 4:15 pm

    so disturbing! thank you for reminding us!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 2:49 pm

      Critters have enough worry with their natural predators, they shouldn’t have to worry about contaminated food, too. Thanks for tying up a note to this comment dock

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate Crimmins / Feb 3 2017 5:41 pm

    Looks like a great wildlife rehab. We have one about an hour away. Always warms my heart. There is pollution everywhere. Like you said, you have to pay attention. Keep your eye on the ball (or the creek or the bay or the ocean….)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 2:51 pm

      The rescue facilities work wonders and learn more about how to do it better each time. Thank goodness for the volunteers and donors. It seems you can’t blink without something spilling and spoiling. Thanks for a watchful eye.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Feb 5 2017 3:19 pm

        Enjoy the superbowl. It’s in your city even if it’s not your team.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:54 pm

          It’s in our town and everywhere. The military Air Force base for NASA jets and Coast Guard is north of us across the lake. The Blue Angels park/practice there and it’s the designated airport for Presidents (VP is here), heads of state, VIPs, and most of the private planes coming in for the game as there’s lots of space shuttle transport size runways and concrete for parking. And there’s helicopters/limos for shuttling to the stadium.Skies have been interesting the past few days
          It’s been a bigger party than the one in 2004. But despite what Harry Connick Jr said to a reporter last night, Houston is in no way “overwhelmed” by all the people. (“After all, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, he said…”) He must not get out much. Gee, hope the traffic from the Gospel International Worship conference and some big wrestling/fight match also in town this weekend didn’t cause him to be late to his Super Bowl parties HA HA (the gospel singers have been assured there will be big screen TVs I understand – you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all, right?) The more the merrier! (and about ready to grill the steaks)

          Liked by 2 people

          • Kate Crimmins / Feb 5 2017 4:16 pm

            Grill steaks? Can I come? I have soup in the crockpot. Cold here.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 6 2017 8:29 am

            Too hot for chili and broiled shrimp are too messy and take too much attention. Will remember to add you to the next grill session!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Carrie Rubin / Feb 3 2017 5:46 pm

    That poor eagle. What we pollute our water with doesn’t just affect us as humans. The damage to wildlife can be great. I didn’t know about eagles having trouble with lead poisoning. Thanks for the information.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:02 pm

      It doesn’t matter what your diet is, taking care of the environment, water supplies, and creatures that share the world with us is the best way to keep yourself healthy. It’s all related. Another reason to get kids outdoors and around animals in their natural habitats. I remember one little city girl at a scout day camp where I was helping – she did not want to use the latrines/portapotties as it was scary, dark, odd smelling, and there might be a spider. Her mom had told here it would be OK for her to just go behind a bush. Great. But you know, when she realized behind the bush is where bunnies nibbled grass and birds got seeds and worms for dinner – the outdoors what their grocery store and restaurant, she thought for a minute and found some courage out of consideration for them (But I did promise to sweep for spiders and turn my back, guard to privacy, and leave the door open for her – hey, who doesn’t want to leave the door open? Hope you’re having a wild Super Bowl day! Thanks for gathering up a comment to leave.


      • Carrie Rubin / Feb 5 2017 3:26 pm

        So many things to think about!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:33 pm

          I know. But you sometimes accidentally step on a bug. Can’t drive yourself crazy. Just try to be responsible – like Boy Scouts: leave it better than it was when you came?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. easyweimaraner / Feb 3 2017 11:52 pm

    I hope there is a way to protect them… I always cry when I see the dead birds of prey in our area… the most of them ate mice or critters what were poisoned by farmers… I wish we would find a way to hold our world in balance…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:14 pm

      The winter hawks are here right now – perched every high spot it seems. As good as cats and much better than rodent poison. I hope the neighborhood remembers. I am concerned about the big factory farms in the plains which do spray and use poisons that get into the lesser members of the food chain and the water with run offs. A bit of lost grain/produce is a small price to pay to make sure things stay in balance. Thanks for chasing a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

      • easyweimaraner / Feb 5 2017 11:45 pm

        the mean thing is that everything here is non-food farming, so they haven’t to bomb everything with poison that way… it’s so sad that only money counts…


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 6 2017 8:31 am

          Lazy or in too much of a rush is never the most effective actions. We’ll all end up paying in more ways than one. Paws up for commonsense


  7. Ally Bean / Feb 4 2017 7:16 am

    You have bald eagles around you? That’s cool. I think of those birds as exotic. Now as for the poor fellow in the photo, who looks a bit worse for the wear, I’m sending my wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:20 pm

      The sick one was found a little over an hours’ drive north from here.Despite the flatness of the coastal plain, we do have several local pairs of bald eagles. One couple built a nest in a neighborhood backyard. There’s plenty of food sources from wetlands, bay, fields, and subdivisions that do not allow outside cats nearby. The owners and wildlife people eventually had to ask people to stop coming by and trying to see the eagles even with binoculars as they were afraid it would spook the parents and the chicks would be abandoned. The owner even kept his dog out of the backyard. An honored guest, but even so, you know how RC Cat says “Visitors after 3 days = fishy stink.”
      Hope your Super Bowl Sunday is entertaining. Thanks for sending the speedy wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Feb 4 2017 8:32 am

    It’s bald eagle season around here. Apparently, there are some creatures who think of Wisconsin as an exotic, southern locale that makes a great place to hang out for the winter, and some odd bald eagles are those creatures. Then again, perhaps they are on to something, reading this!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:23 pm

      You know how it is: faster to get food service when the tourists have left. HA HA. Eagles are cool (literally there) and they love to fly friendly skies like the ones there! Thanks for dishing up a cool comment

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Littlesundog / Feb 5 2017 5:03 am

    These wildlife rehab places are nothing short of amazing. And of course, we must always be grateful for those who stop along the roadside to come to the aid of the injured and needy.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 5 2017 3:31 pm

      Hunters, farmers, and NASA specialists are some of the ones most observant and concerned about wildlife and the environment. That sick eagle was found in a very rural area – he must have moved at just the right time or someone was very observant and thought “That lump wasn’t there yesterday” and stopped to see. In any case, this eagle has a chance thanks to some very caring and dedicated people. Even the smallest is has a role to play.
      We’ve mild weather and a bit of sun. Hope your Super Bowl Sunday is rolling smoothly. Thanks for patching in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog / Feb 6 2017 6:13 am

        I spent the day with the kids again, roaming the orchard, letting them get a taste of what is beyond the ten acres. I thought so much of my early days with Daisy deer. That super bowl was something else… what a game. But I was not impressed with most of the commercials. I suppose it’s my age showing. I did not find humor in them like I usually do… or even much of importance.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 6 2017 8:23 am

          Getting outside is the real super part. I watched the game off and on – the last 15 minutes is all that counts, and many of the commercials had already aired. IT wasn’t a real stellar group this year – most predictable or witless, but I vote for the Mercedes snowy one with the dad going out in a snow storm so he could meet his girlfriend – we’ve come to expect high quality filming with a good story if the companies want talk about them. (Like with big horses, colts, and puppies! )

          Liked by 1 person

  10. PiedType / Feb 6 2017 12:14 am

    Oh that poor thing looks dreadful. I’m glad someone picked him up and hope he fully recovers.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 6 2017 9:46 am

      The group says this one’s doing better, but still guarded about his future. You have to worry about the big birds who go hunting or fishing that fall ill and are not found.This time of year all the big hawks are in the area. Glad someone on that red dirt road spotted that bird in trouble. Thanks for traveling over with a comment


  11. sportsattitudes / Feb 7 2017 8:59 am

    What we’ve done to our environment and its inhabitants (including us) is indeed criminal. Thank heavens there are folks who are on the front lines trying to clean up the mess we leave behind every day. It makes perfect sense a company who deals in control of industrial waste would be toxic. Hard to believe humans continue to survive. Speaking of surviving it looks like Houston survived the Super Bowl. Well done.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2017 10:18 am

      Seems you simply can’t blink or disaster.
      Like I say, the last 10 minutes of play are the ones that count. (Now if we can just find that jersey. Seriously, people)
      Thanks for testing the comment waters

      Liked by 1 person

  12. sportsattitudes / Feb 7 2017 12:48 pm

    Gotta get those Texas Rangers on the case. That jersey is worth some serious coin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2017 1:33 pm

      The Rangers got the call from the gov. and attorney general that night or early the next day when Brady publicly said it was missing.. Odd that even yesterday no police report had been filed though…so actually it’s not actually stolen. They are probably hoping shame or item being too “hot” to hang on to.
      It’s probably already on a plane from a black market sale.
      Not right.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Russel Ray Photos / May 6 2017 2:38 am

    In December 1992 a friend of mine went to work for Wildlife Rehab & Education in Houston, now called Wildlife Center of Texas. I was so jealous. I have no idea where that former friend is nowadays, but two of my current friends, both from college at Texas A&M University, volunteer at the Wildlife Center. So I’m a sponsor over there and get regular notices about the interesting critters they rescue and rehabilitate, including eagles.


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