Mooseheart eaglets getting stronger in rehab
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.
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.