Sunday, May 6, 5:37 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
It was a great thrill for me to check in on the Minnesota Bound nest just now and see that Baby Harmon is back home. The Raptor Center folks gave him excellent care and helped him get ready to return to the nest before that 48-hour window had expired. The timing was important because statistically it is more likely that eagle parents will still be in the area before giving up on the nest. Now close to 6,000 people are sitting on the edge of their seats, watching the Minnesota Bound Eagle Cam to see if and when the parents will return and this family will be reunited.
Here is the video of Jim returning Harmon to his nest. The homecoming starts about 10:00 minutes into the video:
You can see in the film that Jim did some nest restoration first, filling in the hole where Harmon was trapped, throwing out clumps and debris, and generally smoothing out the entire nest area. Harmon seemed tired but calm after he was returned and the last ten minutes of the video show him moving around normally, with some great close ups. He looks so much better than he did Saturday. It’s amazing what a few days of rest and medical attention will do. He was well fed before he left the Raptor Center and should be fine on his own for quite a while. Jim also left several fish heads in the nest to entice the parents to return.
Below is a link to another video about Harmon’s return, with an interview with Dr. Julia Ponder from the Raptor Center. What amazed me was her comment that Harmon still was not in good shape on Saturday night, but that he had “made incredible progress overnight. He’s a totally different bird than he was 48 hours ago.” This seems nothing short of miraculous, but perhaps that was only to be expected, considering that literally thousands of people were praying for the little guy, sending him love and positive thoughts.
Those at the base of the tree Sunday afternoon said that the parents were perched on telephone wires, watching Harmon being placed back into the nest. The Minnesota Bound commentator said, “Mom and dad have been flying around the nest and we think that any time they may sneak back into the nest to check on Harmon.”
Here’s a link to the video: http://www.mnbound.com/bald-eagle-blog/
The Raptor Center and nest cam monitors will be keeping a close watch on Harmon over the next 48 hours to see if he and his parents can become a family again. When the solar batteries gave out and the camera turned off in the early evening, Harmon was resting in the nest, with his little head under his wing like a big eagle. Mom and dad had not returned yet, but people in the live chat room commented several times that they could hear that the parents were nearby.
I am so deeply moved by how this event has brought eagle watchers together from all over the country—85,000 people visited the site on Saturday, checking in all day and waiting for Harmon’s rescue. Harmon’s story make you realize how we are all united by our love of the young eagles and their parents and how our energy and hope stands behind each nest, cheering for the next generation, wishing them success every single day from the moment they are hatched, till they fledge, and beyond. I can’t help but believe that the combined strength, faith, and caring of these tens of thousands of individuals, this community, is part of the force that helps these eagles to soar out into the world.