Biologists Aid Baby Bald Eagle That Fell Out of Its Nest

Mission accomplished!

May 20, 2022
Biologists Aid Baby Bald Eagle That Fell Out of Its Nest | Mission accomplished!

Eagles are so majestic flying through the skies or sitting in their nests that are usually built on cliffs in remote locations. That’s why a rescue mission was launched when a baby eaglet that was sleeping on its parents' feet, fell out of its nest on Catalina Island in California, according to ABC7.

The eaglet hatched on April 6, 2022 and fell from the nest when its parents took off in flight the next day. But thanks to two wildlife biologists it was safely returned to the nest.

Rescue mission complete
The rescue mission was led by wildlife biologist Peter Sharpe and took place about an hour hike from the nearest road.  The biologists witnessed the young bald eagle’s fall at the Institute for Wildlife Studies, who were watching a Livestream of the nest as part of the Institute for Wildlife Studies’ monitoring of the eagles on the island.

The eaglet fell over 10 feet and ended up on a ledge beneath its aerie, off the Californian coast, according to the YouTube video from NBC News.

After being rescued from the ledge, the eaglet was returned safely to the nest thirty minutes later after being thoroughly examined by Sharpe. “I just checked its legs and its wings to make sure there wasn't any obvious breaks. Internal injuries, I can't say, but they're pretty resilient,” he told ABC7. Afterwards, the biologists added sticks to the nest  to prevent another accidental fall.

But, according to CNN, this wasn’t his first baby eagle rescue. In fact, he returned one to its nest just a week earlier. but with eagles being endangered, every eaglet is vitally important

Bald eagle conservation
An eagle restoration project on Catalina Island began in 1980 and in the northern channel islands in 2002. From 2002 to 2006, 61 young bald eagles were released and they have been monitored by the institute.

For Sharpe and his team, every eaglet plays a vital role in the conservation of these majestic birds, reported CNN. “They're part of a restoration project that's been going on for over 40 years," he told CNN. "A lot of effort [has] been put into restoring the eagles. The loss of one chick in a season can have quite a big impact. We're just trying to maximize the number of chicks that reach maturity.”

Just a few hours after the rescue, the biologists were relieved to see that the adult eagles returned to the nest.  There has been a myth that birds will abandon their young if they scent humans on the babies, but this isn’t the case, according to Scientific American.

 “The fact is, birds don't abandon their young in response to touch, [but] they will abandon [their offspring and their nest] in response to disturbance,” Biologist Thomas E. Martin of the University of Montana and the US Geological Survey told Scientific American. “They are likely responding to disturbance in relation to [the] risk of harm to young.”

Thankfully, the eaglet is safely back with its parents, and the biologists’ research can continue without a hitch to ensure the future of the  bald eagles on Catalina Island. 

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Casey is a master storyteller and has published more than six books. She is extremely passionate about the environment, women's empowerment, and believes in doing good through the power of the written word. She is the mother of two-year-old triplets and relaxes by delving into new worlds through the pages of a fantasy novel.