MILLINGTON — A sickly bald eagle the flew over Bayonne before being grounded may be the victim of lead poisoning.

Chris Soucy of the Raptor Trust in Millington told the Jersey Journal the the eagle appeared to be making a slow recovery in its first few days at the wildlife rehab center. He told the newspaper that lead water and bullets the animals that eagles eat can result in such poisoning.

Eagle being nursed back to health at the Raptor Trust (Chris Soucy, Raptor Trust)

The report described the eagle as "emaciated" and "fighting for its life"

The eagle first flew over Bayonne and then landed in a Staten Island backyard when it became unable to fly, according to the the report. Soucy told the newspaper the eagle also had no sight in its left eye.

Residents of Bayonne told CBS they were stunned to see the eagle on their streets earlier this month.

“I had to do a double-take, because I was shocked to see an eagle land in Bayonne,” Nick Macchia told the station. When his wife, Dianne, had tried pulling into their driveway, the eagle was blocking their way.

Eagles are not certainly not unheard of in New Jersey — though they're rare in cities — with 18 of 21 counties with at least one active nest.

During the state Department of Environmental Protection's annual count of eagles in January 102 pairs of actively nesting eagles were documented Another 11 more pairs in the process of establishing nesting territories were also found.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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