We got a call this past Monday from Kevin Barton at the Wildlife Center of Venice inviting us to assist in and document the renesting operation of an American bald eagle chick. We help out there as rescue and release volunteers and were glad it worked out that we were in town and could make it. The center had received a call on Superbowl Sunday from a good and alert samaritan, Nevin Weiner, who found the chick while walking his dog. It had somehow fallen approximately sixty feet from its nest site in south Sarasota. After being checked out at the Center and determined to be in good health after the six-story freefall, the chick was headed home. In 2011 Keven renested and/or released a record 14 eagles. This was the first of what he hoped to be a shorter list for this season.
We met up with Kevin at the Center so we could outfit his safety helmet with a POV camera and meet the eaglet before heading to Sarasota. Others on the team were: Shannon Lepine, Larry Corl and Deborah Watts.
Once on site, the parent eagles kept a watchful eye, flying ever-tightening circles around the nest site, as Kevin geared up, scaled the tree and successfully renested the chick with its sibling. Kevin was ready for the expected aerial assault from the parents, but never got it. They stayed close and were vocal at times, but never dive bombed him or us.
Congratulations and thanks to Kevin Barton, Linda Schrader, all the staff and volunteers at the Wildlife Center of Venice for their continued and tireless dedication, day in and day out. And a special thanks to Nevin Weiner for his quick action in calling the Center after finding the chick.
View a photo album with some pics and descriptions of the operation. We'll get some video edited asap.