Mom, Dad, E7 and E8 seemed to be settling into family life with well timed nest duty exchanges and food deliveries. Many familiar and some not so recognizable prey items were brought to the nest by both Harriet and M15. E7 and E8 eagerly scurried for their share of the meal. Competition was lively with E7 getting the major portions of the meal as it happens with siblings. E8 was learning valuable lessons in how to get in there and get a share of the feedings. E7 and E8’s fight for survival began with their first breaths.
Eagle Life consists of daily challenges and this week was no exception. E8 was visibly less mobile in the nest and further viewing determined that E8’s leg and foot were tethered to moss in the nest bowl with string or possibly fishing line. Mom and Dad both noticed there was something wrong and attempted to free E8 by pulling nest material away from E8’s foot. For the remainder of the day E8 was able to get some bites of food from Mom and Dad but was mostly immobile. The views from the cameras showed E8 in distress and Florida and US Wildlife authorities were contacted. These concerns put in motion an authorized rescue of E8 from the nest by CROW wildlife clinic with the help of LCEC’s lift truck. The disruption of an active Eagle’s nest can be a harrowing experience. Tensions were high, Harriet fled from the nest as the truck approached and nervously circled above the tree. E8 had to be cut free from the nest and was then taken back to the CROW clinic. As suspected, there was monofilament fishing line wrapped around E8’s leg and foot cutting off circulation causing swelling. E8 was treated for 3 days then cleared for release back to the nest which was equally stressful for Mom and Dad. After the renesting of E8, Mom finally settled back into the nest and Dad delivered a welcome home fish. E7 even graced E8 with a welcome bonk while being placed back in the nest. For now all appears to be home sweet home.
The age of camera viewing is bittersweet. We are awestruck by the beauty and miracles of nature and saddened to witness the perils and fragility that exists. Seeing first hand that what we discard may have destroyed a precious life can be a lesson learned in no better way. Eagles sit atop the food chain in their world and we humans are their biggest threat. We can resolve to be more conscientious stewards of nature preserving it with all our abilities.
Nest Notes by dadsjazz
More information can be found about proper disposal of fishing line: http://mrrp.myfwc.com/home.aspx
More video from the week can be found at SWFEC Video Library: http://www.dickpritchettrealestate.com/videos.html