On Tuesday, May 31st, Arthur and I had the most amazing adventure, thanks to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation and a family of Bald Eagles in need.
At about 6:30 in the morning we received a text message from FCWR director Dawn asking if we could help with a Bald Eaglet nest replacement. Um, YES WE CAN! Soon we were on our way to Barrington, the first stop on the way to help reunite two baby eagles with their parents in Mooseheart, Illinois.
Kane County’s only nesting pair of Bald Eagles returned this year to their Mooseheart nest, first built in 2009, to raise two eaglets. Heavy storms along with excessive rain hit the area earlier in the week; it is believed the nest may have fallen on the night of Sunday, May 29th. FCWR got the call of an eagle’s nest on the ground and went out to retrieve the babies late Monday night. After the babies were examined and found to be healthy, the race was on to reunite them with their parents.
The first part of this plan involved volunteers Kim, Arthur and me transporting one of the eaglets back to the area of the nest, in an effort to keep the parents on site while a new nest could be constructed. We arrived at Mooseheart late Tuesday morning. After being escorted to the nest site, Arthur and Kim walked out into a grassy area close to the downed nest and opened up the carrier holding the eaglet. They wore hard hats, thick gloves and heavy coats to protect themselves in case the adult Bald Eagles did not approve of the baby’s predicament.
The baby eagle unexpectedly leaped out of the carrier but quickly settled down. For the next few hours, we were on eaglet-sitting duty.
Less than a half hour after we arrived, we were thrilled to see one of the parents fly to a nearby tree and watch the eaglet. Throughout the course of the morning, we saw one or both of the adult Bald Eagles several times, sometimes with fish.
Because Bald Eagles don’t feed their babies on the ground, we had to be satisfied with the parents watching the baby from afar while the rest of the nest-rebuilding project went forward.
Next: A new nest for the eaglets! The story continues at Mooseheart eaglet rescue part 2.
Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation is a non-profit, federally licensed rehab organization with locations in Chicago and Barrington, Illinois. You can follow their blog here, follow them on Facebook here, and make donations online here. This post reflects my own experiences as a volunteer with FCWR. Any errors are purely my own, and opinions here do not necessarily reflect those of FCWR.