DC Eaglet Rescued From Nest Returns Home

WASHINGTON — The first of the two bald eagle chicks to hatch at the U.S. National Arboretum this year is having an exciting third week of life — its leg got hopelessly stuck in nest sticks Thursday, it was rescued, examined by a vet and found well enough to be returned home.

“A radiograph was done on its leg and the leg looked in good shape,” said President and Founder of the American Eagle Foundation Al Cecere.

The baby bird is expected to return to its nest by nightfall Friday.

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Scenes from the rescue of the eaglet Thursday evening. (C) 2017 American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"

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Scenes from the rescue of the eaglet Thursday evening. (C) 2017 American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"

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The eagle chick became tangled in its nest this week. (C) 2017 American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"

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The eaglet got its leg stuck in nest sticks Thursday, was rescued and checked out by a vet and cleared to head back to the nest. (C) 2017 American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org\n"},{"type":"ad","media":"

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The eaglet’s leg is slightly injured from all the tugging and pulling and twisting that went on for hours before it was rescued about 8 p.m. Thursday.

“We feel whatever healing it needs to do, whether it’s the swelling or the abrasion, it could be done just as easily in the nest as in a cage someplace,” Cecere said.

Wildlife specialists typically prefer not to intervene, but the decision to act to rescue the bird was made in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s a good ending to a potentially terrible story, but we’re very hopeful for the eaglet,” Cecere said.

Some people watching the rescue via the American Eagle Foundation webcam expressed concern the eagle expert wasn’t wearing gloves.

Cecere said the young bird smelling like humans will have zero impact on how it’s received upon return to its family.

“That’s not true; that’s an old wives tale that’s been around for many generations,” Cecere said of theories the bird would be rejected.

With the exception of some vultures, Cecere said most birds have a very poor sense of smell.

“I’ve personally taken out and put eaglets in nests many, many, many times and I’ve never had a problem with the parents accepting the baby,” Cecere said. The same would be true of even a backyard robin or sparrow.

“If the nest is within reach, you could put the baby back in the nest with your hands,” he said.

The post DC eaglet rescued from nest returns home appeared first on WTOP.

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