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updated: 6/9/2011 9:00 AM

Mooseheart eaglets getting stronger in rehab

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  • The eaglets rescued last week from Mooseheart were placed into an outdoor cage at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington Saturday, since they are no longer dehydrated and are eating solid food on their own.

      The eaglets rescued last week from Mooseheart were placed into an outdoor cage at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington Saturday, since they are no longer dehydrated and are eating solid food on their own.
    courtesy of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation

  • Last week, the two eaglets were seen in their replacement nest, which had been put in place at Mooseheart. The replacement nest was meant to take the place of the original nest, which blew to the ground and was destroyed in heavy thunderstorms May 29.

      Last week, the two eaglets were seen in their replacement nest, which had been put in place at Mooseheart. The replacement nest was meant to take the place of the original nest, which blew to the ground and was destroyed in heavy thunderstorms May 29.
    Courtesy of Darryl Mellema

  • Dawn Keller of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation removes a bald eaglet from its replacement nest June 2 in preparation for its move. The eaglets weren't getting proper nutrition, so they were removed and taken back to a rehabilitation center.

       Dawn Keller of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation removes a bald eaglet from its replacement nest June 2 in preparation for its move. The eaglets weren't getting proper nutrition, so they were removed and taken back to a rehabilitation center.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 

The bald eaglets rescued at Mooseheart last week are doing well in their new, temporary home at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington.

The pair were moved Saturday to an outdoor cage from the inside clinic, said Dawn Keller, Flint Creek's executive director. They no longer require hand-feeding. One of Tuesday's meals consisted of fresh salmon.

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And another, adult eagle has been placed near the cage, with the hope the eaglets will imprint on it now that they are no longer with their parents.

The eaglets fell May 29 when their nest in a pine tree on the Mooseheart campus near Batavia fell in a storm. Flint Creek and Mooseheart volunteers built and installed a new nest in another tree May 31. But a check of the nest last Thursday revealed the parents were not feeding the eaglets, so Keller pulled them out.

"They improved tremendously," she said.

Human contact with the eaglets, including being seen or heard, is being minimized, so they don't get used to it. The eaglets "don't know they should be afraid of humans," she said. If they do become used to humans, federal law prohibits them being released into the wild.

Now Keller has to figure out how to get the eaglets to learn how to hunt fish, before they are released. That requires a large body of water, since bald eagles eat mostly fish.

"I'm not sure yet" how to do that, Keller said.

The eaglets are about 7 weeks old. Bald eaglets typically start flying around 11 weeks old.

If the parents are still around when the eaglets are released, Keller might release the eaglets at Mooseheart.

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