Between September 1998 and December 2006, 87 injured or sick free-ranging white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Germany were admitted to the Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin. Most birds were adults (43%) followed by nestlings/fledglings (26%), immature birds (18%), and juveniles (13%). In all age groups more females than males were presented. Birds with trauma-associated injuries were most often admitted, followed by lead toxicosis and feather anomalies in fledglings. Collision with anthropogenic structures was the most common cause of injuries in all age classes. Lesions caused by intraspecific aggressions were mainly found in adults, whereas a generalized feather abnormality (pinching off syndrome) was diagnosed only in fledglings. Of all birds, 25% were released back to the wild, 21% died, and 54% were not releasable or were euthanatized.
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Vol. 21 • No. 4