Harmon the Eagle, Monday morning, 10:08 Pacific Time
The eagle parents have still not returned to the nest, but the Raptor Center will continue to closely monitor the nest. Here is a link to their latest update blog and the text to that message:
“While we wait patiently to see if the adult eagles return to the nest, we thought we would take a moment to respond to some of the questions we have received in the past 48 hours.
“What did we leave in the nest with Harmon? We left several pieces of fish in the nest when we returned the eaglet. We know that the most important cue for the adults to return to the nest is the eaglet’s food begging cries – our hope in leaving the fish was that once the adults came in, they would not have to take the time to hunt, but would have “fast food” available with which to feed Harmon.
“Did we stay in the area to see what happened? What happens next? While we took care to note the presence of the male and female perched about a ¼ mile away, we attempted to leave the nest area as quickly as possible. One of our major concerns is that eagles will often abandon their nests if disturbed during nesting. Clearly, this whole episode has been a major disturbance, albeit necessary if the eaglet was to survive. We – like you – are waiting patiently to see if the parents will come back this morning. And as we wait, we are in discussions on the next phase of Harmon’s journey should the parents not return to care for him.”
I found these two articles in the Richmond Times Dispath about two eaglets whose parent had abandoned the nest because of crews who came to the nest area to dismantle the camera equipment when it was decided that it was disturbing the parents, who had stopped feeding their babies. The eaglets were removed from the net and hand fed by experts Friday and Saturday after, then returned to the nest.
The parents returned finally to feed their chicks, however, if the parents hadn’t returned, experts at the Center for Conservation Biology had planned on moving each of the chicks to another eagle nest with chicks already in it in a remote location. Aparently, scientists have been doing these kinds of planned adoptions for decades, and “he open mouths and begging calls of the new chicks trigger a response in adults to treat the new chicks as their own.” Perhaps something like this is planned for Harmon if mom and dad don’t return to the nest. Of course, we all hope that they do.
Here are the links to the two news articles: