Conserve Wildlife Blog

Fallen Eagle Nest, Leads To Eagle Rescue

June 10th, 2017

and one lucky eagle chick.

Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend I received a call from one of the Eagle Project volunteers, Heiki Poolake. A nest which him and his wife Donna monitor, had fallen out of the tree and the chick was on the ground. The chick was approximately 9 weeks old so still several weeks away from fledging (leaving the nest). On the ground the chick was susceptible to predators. While the adults were in the area and keeping an eye on the chick they most likely weren’t feeding the chick on the ground.  One option would be to build some type of “nest” back up in the nest tree. That option would require a climber and their weren’t any available. The next option was to install an osprey platform at the site and place the chick in the platform. We have done this successfully in the past when an eagle nest had fallen.

Eagle chick on ground 5/26/17@ D. Poolake

ENSP Principal biologist Kathy Clark, CWF volunteer Matt Tribulski , the Poolakes and myself all met out at the site.  The platform was installed close to the original nest tree with extended perches to allow the chick to “branch”.  It was determined that the chick was in good health, no broken bones or other issues from the fall. The chick was banded with a silver federal band and a green NJ Band E/50. Measurements were taken which helped to determine that the chick was a female and almost 9 weeks of age. She was fed some fish since we were unsure when she was last fed and placed in the nest platform along with more fish.

The Poolakes went out the next day and found her once again down on the ground and placed her back in the nest.  The fish we had left were gone which was a good sign she was eating. She remained in the nest until  June 8th when she was perched on the branch of a near by tree.  Both adults were also perched close by, keeping an eye on her.  At this point she was approximately 11 weeks old around the time when chicks her age start to branch and practice flying. She’ll stay in the area for the next few weeks with the adults as she learns to hunt on her own and strengthen her wings.  The first year is tough for eagles as they learn to survive on their own. We wish E/50 luck and hope to see her nesting in NJ someday.

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