The Minnesota DNR's EagleCam has been a wildly popular feature online, and sadly over the weekend one of the two eaglets was pushed from the nest and had to be euthanized due to the injuries it sustained. What's also concerning is that one of the parent eagles hasn't been seen since Tuesday, and there are fears that the missing parent might be a victim of avian influenza.
Not the best update from the Minnesota DNR EagleCam, but nature isn't always cute and cuddly. It appears that one of the two eaglets that hatched on the EagleCam pushed the other out of the nest in an act known as siblicide. According to The Raptor Center, the eaglet that fell sustained injuries that were serious enough that they had to humanly euthanize it.
This afternoon at about 1:00, at the MN DNR EagleCam nest, the younger chick was pushed out of the nest by its sibling. Nongame staff were contacted and retrieved the chick from the ground as soon as we were made aware of the incident. The nest is roughly 75 feet high.
The young eagle was able to be quickly brought to the veterinarians at The Raptor Center for care. On arrival, the young bird was quiet and got increasing lethargic throughout the exam. A wound was found on its head and it had increased effort to breathe. Throughout the exam, its breathing got more labored, most likely a result from internal trauma. Blood was noted coming from the nares (nostrils) of the bird.
It had a fracture of the humerus very close to the joint in its left wing that impacted the growth plate area. With this kind of fracture, there is not an option to repair it surgically and it cannot be left alone to heal as the bone would heal in a way that would cause chronic problems and pain for the bird.
Because of the very poor prognosis due to the complex fracture and severely progressing signs of internal trauma, the young bird was humanely euthanized to alleviate suffering.
At this very sad time, we take comfort knowing that this young chick did not have to suffer long from its devastating injuries and are thankful for the privilege to serve birds in need. Thank-you to all involved who cared for and supported this young bird.
In other EagleCam-related news, it appears one of the parent eagles hasn't been seen since last Tuesday. The Minnesota DNR fears
it may have succumbed to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or it could simply be that the male has no interest in returning to the nest.
The older of the two chicks had been attacking the younger for a few days and got increasingly aggressive when the male parent went missing. The last time he was seen at the nest was on Tuesday, April 24. We don't know what happened to him. Staff and volunteers spent several hours last week surveying the area for sick or dead birds due to the current H5N1 Avian Influenza outbreak in Minnesota. None were found, nor was the male bird. He has not appeared at The Raptor Center as a patient, nor has he been found dead. Their staff has been alerted and will inform us if he turns up at their clinic. It is unlikely he will return to the nest after this long absence.
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