"You could tell there had been head trauma," said Director of Veterinary Services Guthrum Purdin. "Because there had been bruising and overall she was just very depressed."
Purdin doesn't know exactly how the raptor was injured, but he knows where she's been.
"It had a transmitter backpack that a biologist from East Bay (Regional) Parks had been tracking this one for quite a while," Purdin explained.
The bird is three years old with a six to seven foot wingspan. She was part of a study to test the impact of wind energy turbines on wildlife, to help determine where to place future wind farms.
Data from the GPS backpack shows she's kept to the Altamont Pass area, dodging the wind turbines.
"This bird has been doing really well and has been traveling through windmill areas without any trouble," said Purdin. "So this is a smarter, more agile bird."
The hospital gets an average of eight Golden Eagle patients a year. Most of them are caught up in the windmills. It appears to have head trauma, an injured wing, and secondary rat poisoning, likely from eating an animal that ingested the poison.
"So that may have led to internal problems, which made the bird feel poorly, which brought it to the ground." Purdin said people trying to get rid of a rodent problem should not put poisons outdoors. "You don't think about it, but there are ripple effects."
The Golden Eagle has weeks of rehabilitation ahead.
"I feel the prognosis is good. I have a good feeling," Purdin said optimistically. "The biggest problem right now; the bird is blind in one eye."
Purdin says she has showed signs of improvement each day, and he's hopeful she will be able to be released back into the wild. With any luck, the raptor has a long life ahead. They can live up to 60 years.