Before going to bed on a Friday night, Nicole Desnoyers checked up on a family of three baby eagle chicks through a camera located on San Clemente Island. When she checked again on Saturday morning, one of them was missing! Nicole, a project manager for the Institute for Wildlife Studies, guessed that the baby bird must have fallen out of the nest. She knew she needed to investigate in person and make sure the chick was alright.
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However, she also knew it wouldn’t be an easy trip. Not only would she have to wait until Monday for transportation, she’d have to hike for an hour to reach the rocky spot where the baby eagle would have fallen. Then, there were time limitations due to the San Clemente Shore Bombardment Area (SHOBA), an area of the island used for navy target practice.
Thankfully, Nicole was able to access the tricky location with a rescue team. It didn’t take them long to find the fallen baby eagle, who was stranded on one of the rocks. Not only was he alive, but he also seemed to be unharmed and well-nourished. In fact, he still had some leftover fish in his claws, according to a Facebook post from the Institute for Wildlife Studies!
“I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, is this chick gonna be fine?'” Nicole recalled to The Dodo.
That’s when she realized that the baby bird hadn’t been alone. Looking up, Nicole saw the chick’s mom watching over him. She and her team believe that the little guy’s parents had been keeping him safe and fed the entire time! Since they were unable to reach him on his rocky perch, they likely dropped food down to him from above.
When Nicole finally returned the chick to his nest, his parents were overjoyed. She knows this because she caught their reaction on camera! Looking over her photos from the rescue, she noticed she’d snapped a picture of one of the baby’s parents flying down to greet him.
“You can actually see one of the adults coming in, in the background,” Desnoyers said. “Like, immediately, ‘Oh my goodness, I have three chicks in my nest again.'”
You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.
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