MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The American Bald Eagle has made a remarkable recovery after near extinction, but there are still many things threatening their existence every day.

One of those threats was noted recently behind St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Jordan, Minn. The incident has churchgoers praying for an eagle — one that Marty Huss found near the church in the snow.

“The eagle was laying face down,” said Huss, who thought he found the carcass of a female eagle.

“All of a sudden it moved, and we knew there was life there,” he said.

Huss then called the Raptor Center, and wrapped the bird in a quilt.

“They told him to bring it inside, and I said, ‘OK…be careful,” said Father Timothy Yanta, who was preparing some second graders for their First Communion inside the church.

“I was scared, and I didn’t know if he was going to make it…or die,” one of the children said.

The church began to pray for the eagle, and they named it Spirit, according to Huss. She is now in St. Paul, at the Raptor Center.

Dr. Michelle Willette, a veterinarian at the center, suspects Spirit was poisoned after eating a carcass that had been sedated. It’s something Raptor Center employees say they see about three times a year.

“She came in with a pretty good prognosis for this type of condition,” Willette said.

To help Spirit recover, veternarians flushed her digestive track, and had her rest. She slept for 48 hours straight.

Now, Spirit is getting fluids and food, which is giving hope to the congregation back in Jordan.

“I did never thought that that bird was ever going to come back to life, and so it’s pretty exciting that it did.”

The Raptor Center say it’ll feed Spirit until she’s able to eat on her own.Then they’ll try some test flights before she’s returned to the wild.

The congregation at St. John’s hopes Spirit will be released back home in Jordan.

Frank Vascellaro