I posted in another topic the link to the nest cam in Minnesota that the TV show "Minnesota Bound" had set up this year. What transpired there over the past few days is nothing short of amazing. First, the sad part, one of the chicks fell out of the nest, the eagle watchers received permission to go check out the chick and confirmed he did not survive the fall.
Now the interesting part. A few days later, the second chick somehow got his wing stuck in the bottom of the nest. After about 12 hours a decision was made to climb the tree and free the chick from the nest. All necessary approvals were obtained and on Friday at 4:30, a climber, with some help from a bucket truck, went up and freed the chick. After giving the chick a once over, the climber, who was also an eagle specialist, decided that the chick needed to be removed from the nest. The chick's wing was bruised and swollen, it had equilibrium problems which made it prone to falling out of the nest, and it had open cuts in its back that were infected with maggots b/c while it was stuck it was still eating, and thus its other bodily functions were still working, so it had been laying in its own feces.
The chick was taken to the Raptor Center at the Univ. of Minnesota, where the goal was to keep it for as short a time as possible and then put it back in the nest. Fortunately, the chick recovered quickly, and on Sunday afternoon he (she?) was placed back in the nest.
There was of course a fear that the parents would not return to the nest given that both chicks were now gone. However, the parents were still in the area, which was encouraging, but did not return all night Sunday or Monday morning. Then, on Monday evening, just as the watchers were getting ready to remove the chick again so that it would not be alone a second night and prone to predation, the parents both returned and the reunion was complete.
A check of the cam just before I posted this showed dad standing over the chick b/c its raining, with what is left of two fish in the nest. The regular viewers say its dad b/c he has a black spot on the back of his head which is apparently the last if his juvenile feathers.
The entire sequence of events was pretty awesome. It also raises a lot of questions. One of the amazing things to me as that the climber sat on top of the next like I would sit on a picnic table. The nest was that strong and supportive. It also makes you wonder how many eaglets get stuck in nests and perish b/c there are no nest cams. Maybe it was a freak accident, but I have to imagine that it was not. Also, there were questions of whether or not the parents would return. These parents did, but would others? How about if the chick had been gone one more day?
There are a lot of video clips, more detailed blog postings by an eagle expert, and updates on the website below, you can scroll down and watch video clips, or go to the drop-down menu under "Eagle Cam" and click on "Bald Eagle Blog." For those on Facebook, you can search for and "Like" the page "Minnesota Bound Live Eagles." There are also a bunch of updates and videos there.
There is also a camera on a pair of common loons who laid their first egg yeaterday, clock on the "Loon Cam" dropdown for that one.