News About The Raptor Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A Tremendous Outcome for Little Harmon
What an amazing finale to a very busy few days for Harmon, the eaglet. Critically aware of the risk that bald eagles often abandon a nest after disruption, we all waited and watched yesterday, hoping the parents would return after we replaced the eaglet in the nest Sunday night. By mid-day, we began to consider our next steps, still hoping we would not have to take action. With a fresh US Fish and Wildlife Service special permit for intervention, we headed back out to the nest site. Our friends from MN Bound and Broadband were waiting nearby as we scouted the area late in the afternoon. Jim was the first one to see the adult female near the nest. With her so close to the nest, we began to consider leaving things one more night. We were sure the eaglet was healthy enough to go another night and knew that the female was close enough to deter any predators. While we observed, we were also in contact with staff members watching the web cam. We never had to make the final decision to intervene. At almost exactly the same time that we tentatively planned to take action (7pm), we watched as the adult eagles finally entered the nest. As we celebrated jubilantly, our colleagues gave us a play by play description of the chick’s behavior. Soon, the chick was stuffed with the fish we had left behind on Sunday and settled down for post-meal nap. This morning, the adults have been hunting well, and have brought more food than one chick could eat to the nest. A tremendous outcome for this little eaglet!
Thanks to all who helped in so many ways – FWS for special permits on short notice, Broadband for equipment and assistance, TRC staff who worked throughout the weekend and the many nest-watchers who were so supportive. Stay tuned for more stories this week on Harmon’s visit to The Raptor Center.