Swan White

Press Release

Media Contact:
Melissa Abernathy, Communications Manager
804-358-7166, ext. 315

April 23, 2024

Quincy, One of Maymont's Bald Eagles, Dies of Heart Disease


Richmond, Virginia – Maymont is sad to share the news of the death of Quincy, one of two rescued bald eagles who live at Maymont. He was taken to the veterinary clinic on Sunday, April 21, after his caretakers noticed he was showing symptoms possibly related to his heart condition. He passed away the same day. A heart arrhythmia had been detected during a routine veterinary check-up two years ago and his condition was monitored closely by the Maymont animal care staff and local veterinarians.

Quincy arrived at Maymont in 2009 from Sandy Spring, Maryland, after he had been rescued and treated following a traumatic injury that cost him his left wing and the vision in his left eye. The treatment he received after his accident gave him a second chance at a long life, and he lived for 15 additional years at Maymont.

Quincy will be greatly missed by Maymont staff and guests alike. “We will miss his mischievous behavior and the goofy looks he would give us while we were feeding him,” said Joe Neel, Senior Manager of Zoology at Maymont. “The rapport that the animal keepers have built with him over the years make his loss particularly difficult.”

His companion, Justice, another rescued bald eagle with a wing injury, will receive extra care and attention as he adjusts to living solo in his space within the Robert M. Freeman Bald Eagle Habitat and Raptor Valley, which opened in September 2008.

“Quincy’s ever-vigilant expression made a striking impression on all who saw him, as we rarely have a chance to see bald eagles at such close range in the wild,” said Parke Richeson, Maymont President and CEO. “He showed great resilience in recovering from his serious injuries, and seemed undaunted as he patrolled the Freeman Bald Eagle Habitat in Raptor Valley.”

Because Quincy came to Maymont as an adult bird from the wild, his age was unknown. Bald eagles generally live up to 20 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity. His name is a tribute to the son of John Adams, who advocated for the eagle to become the symbol on the national seal over competing proposals from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

Quincy and Justice and the other rescued owls, hawks and vulture residing in Raptor Valley are an important part of the lessons that Maymont’s educators can share with visitors young and old about co-habiting the James River ecosystem with wild animals. Many raptors are injured in vehicle collisions that typically involve birds swooping across a roadway hunting small prey animals feeding on items that people have tossed from cars.

All the animals along Maymont’s Virginia Wildlife Trail help teach guests how to live alongside wildlife, respecting their boundaries and understanding the adaptations that help them survive. For example, the resurgence of wild bald eagles nesting along the James River helps illustrate the importance of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and clean watershed after decades of pollution endangered the species.

All birds residing at Maymont have come through licensed rehabilitators and agencies. These animals were orphaned or sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild. Maymont cares for them by permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR). Maymont would like to remind the public that it is against the law for a private citizen to keep a bird of prey without a permit. Maymont does not accept wild animals from the public, and we would like to advise everyone not to approach injured or orphaned animals. Licensed rehabilitators may be contacted through the VDWR.

Maymont is a well-preserved, historic 100-acre estate overlooking the James River that was given to the public by James and Sallie Dooley, who lived there from 1893 to 1925. Today, Maymont is a welcoming community gathering place, with many unique experiences for all to enjoy, including the historic Maymont Mansion, The Robins Nature Center, an arboretum, formal gardens, and habitats for native Virginia wildlife and farm animals. Consistently ranked one of Central Virginia’s top attractions by travelers and locals alike, Maymont serves over 700,000 guests annually, with free admission to the grounds, plus guided and self-guided tours, seasonal events, programs and rental spaces. Since 1975, Maymont has been maintained and operated by the nonprofit Maymont Foundation, committed to creating programs and experiences that delight, educate and inspire its guests.

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Note to editors: photos are available upon request to mabernathy@maymont.org