One of the three eaglets in the nest near the Dulles Greenway in Leesburg, Virginia, had to be rescued after a fall from its nest early Monday morning.
Terry Hoffman, public and customer relations manager for the Dulles Greenway, said he woke up to texts and emails alerting him to the situation.
“I got an email at about 1:30 saying that there were only two eaglets in the nest, and then I went to our camera and I only saw two, so I’m like — ‘uh-oh, we’ve gotta do a rescue,'” he told WTOP.
Hoffman said the eaglet was found at the base of the tree where the nest is located.
“We didn’t see any signs of any major injury or anything like that,” Hoffman added.
Volunteers helped find, check and then transport the eaglet to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce, Virginia, for evaluation.
A video taken by volunteer Liz Len showed Billy Rios, who volunteers with Owl Moon Raptor Center in Boyds, Maryland, gathering up the eaglet named DG4 and getting the bird ready for transport.
“DG4 was calm the whole time,” said Hoffman, who explained Rios has lots of experience retrieving raptors.
Just before 3 p.m. Monday, the Dulles Greenway Eagles Facebook page posted that DG4 is not injured and are “working on the next steps to ensure her safety and continued development as a not-quite-ready fledgling.”
Hoffman said all three eaglets are probably about a week away from being ready to fledge, or take off from the nest, and that the nest partially collapsed on Sunday afternoon.
A look at the eagle cam showed “when DG4 slipped out of the nest, it was flapping its wings,” according to Hoffman.
He said the other eaglet, DG3, appears ready to fledge any day, exhibiting a behavior called “branching” which is just what it sounds like: Leaving the nest to stand on nearby branches, and even flapping the wings from time to time, as if readying for flight.
The eaglets hatched in May, and after taking in 1,500 suggested names, Hoffman said the choices have been narrowed to six. The final results will be announced on Facebook this Thursday.
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