A daring rescue took place on Catalina Island in California on Tuesday when ecologists performed a daring rescue mission. The professionals scaled down the side of a cliff to save a bald eagle chick that had fallen from its nest.
Nature would have taken its course had it not been for the ecologists’ brave and swift actions, as the eaglet was inadvertently knocked from its nest that overlooks Two Harbors on Monday after one of its parents went to leave and knocked the chick with its talon; Video captured a several-foot fall for the eaglet.
The Two Harbors Bald Eagle Cam, which is hosted by the Institute for Wildlife Studies and Explore.org, has eyes on the nest and livestreamed the entire ordeal. The chick is the only eaglet in the nest.
Dr. Peter Sharpe led the rescue mission. He’s a wildlife ecologist with the Institute for Wildlife Studies and directs its bald eagle projects, was able to successfully rescue the eaglet around 11 a.m. Pacific time. The chick was returned to its nest and the edges were reinforced with stronger branches.
“There was a lot of concern from folks who watch the cam regularly, and they were really hoping that Dr. Sharpe and his crew would be able to make it out there last night,” said Dick Johnson, operations manager for the IWS. “But with darkness approaching, it was not something that would have been safe to do.”
The eaglet persevered and survived through the night outside of its nest. That gave Sharpe and his crew the opportunity to rappel down the side of the cliff and rescue the eaglet, placing it in a gym bag and hoisting it back up to its nest.
“Dr. Sharpe’s been doing this for many years. HE is one of the premier experts in the field and he is very dedicated,” said Johnson. “So we applaud him here, that’s for sure.”
Recent video shows the eaglet safely back in its nest.