Sharp said the eagle fell between 10 and 15 feet and fell into a steep ravine. The nest is monitored with a video camera that captures the mysterious young man’s dramatic fall.
Fortunately, the child did not appear to have suffered any harm from his fall. “The chick did not appear to be injured, and was eating well and sleeping well,” Sharpe said. The 3-week-old chick was hatched on April 6.
This isn’t the first time Sharp’s job has asked him to rescue a baby eagle. Just last week, an ecologist brought another fallen eagle back to its nest, he said.
Sharp said bald eagles start flying between 10 and 12 weeks and then typically spend another month with their parents before becoming fully independent. Once they learn to fly, he said, they face threats beyond falling out of the nest: cars, power lines, gunfire, and lead poisoning from the carcasses of lead-laden garbage.
“They are part of a restoration project that has been going on for more than 40 years,” he said. “A lot of effort has been put into restoring the vultures. Losing one chick in one season can have a very big impact. We are just trying to increase the number of chicks that reach maturity.”
Sharp will return to the nest in two to three weeks, he said, to place a marking tape on the eagle’s leg, take its measurements and estimate its sex.