Maryland police officer rescues bald eagle on Christmas Eve

It was a Christmas (Eve) miracle for an American icon.

Jeff Woods, a lieutenant at the Charles County Sheriff's Office and bird handler, was called to help a full-grown female bald eagle, which was found lying on the side of a road in La Plata.

According to the sheriff's office's Facebook page, Woods captured the eagle with a net and transported her to the Owl Moon Raptor Center, a wildlife rehab that specializes in birds of prey.

Suzanne Shoemaker, the director of the Owl Moon Raptor Center, told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday that the bird may have fractured her coracoid, the bone that connects a bird’s shoulder to its breastplate and is critical for flight. She suspects that the bird flew into a power line.

The eagle is “on her feet and is improving,” Shoemaker said, adding that she’s receiving “supportive care and pain medication.” Caretakers have also wrapped the bird's wing so it is immobile, she said.

The injured bird will be moved to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, a wildlife rescue center in Delaware. Shoemaker said that this facility will be able to further care for the eagle, as Owl Moon Raptor Center, which receives roughly 200 raptors a year, primarily deals with emergency care before transferring the birds to other facilities.

If the eagle doesn’t improve, there is a possibility she could be euthanized, she said, as caring for adult bald eagles is expensive and tricky. But Shoemaker isn’t too worried.

“If there's any hope, she will be given a full attempt to recover and be released," Shoemaker said. “I’m optimistic.”  

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.