CAMDEN - A rehabilitated bald eagle was released back into the wild Tuesday.
The bird was found on a Cape May highway and treated for wounds likely sustained in a battle with another eagle.
The Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife is drawing attention to the growing population of birds of prey in New Jersey with the release of the bird at the Winslow Wildlife Management Area in Camden County.
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"The health of our wildlife populations is a good indicator of the overall health of the environment," says Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda.
The eagle was clearly the loser in what was likely a territorial fight, says biologist Kathleen Clark. "He is a feisty bird. He was more than ready to go today, even though Tri State Veterinarians reported that he had a lot of bruising in his wings after that battle, so he was probably in quite a fight," she says.
The DEP says bald eagle populations are soaring to new record highs each year. The annual mid-winter eagle survey last year counted 297 bald eagles in New Jersey.