We are getting a lot of questions and we want to do our best to keep you in the loop. First off, we are in continuous conversation with the experts at the Raptor Center and we are not going to leave the bird in the tree without care. Harmon is under great supervision at this time. Dr. Ponder and crew have been fantastic and deserve much respect for their efforts. Without them, this rescue and return attempt would not even be possible. With that said, here's what we know.
We placed Harmon back in the nest mid-afternoon on Sunday. The hope was that the parents would come back and take over their eaglet and their nest. This has been done before and it has been successful in the past. We should say, however, that there are no gaurantees.
When we were at the nest yesterday, both eagle parents were still there. They watched us put Harmon back in the nest. They haven't left. But, here's a tough fact to swallow. Dr. Ponder did say that Eagle Parents don't always come back. Some eagle parents will give up on the nest pretty easily. All we can do is remain hopeful that these parents aren't like that.
It seems logical to us that the birds would just go back and their paternal instincts would take over. Unfortunately, wild birds don't think like humans. They are not capable.
What is the fish in the nest for? We placed fish in the nest for the parents. This is common practice according to our eagle experts. Consider this incentive for the parents to return.
What can we do to help? The best thing for everyone to do at this time is to remain patient and let the experts do their job. Because this has been a national story in a hurry, everyone seems to want to call and ask questions. We cannot express how much attention we are giving this situation. Additional calls are only keeping everyone from being able to do their jobs. While we appreciate all of the support, this blog and our facebook page is the best way for us to keep everyone informed. Please refrain from calling the raptor center with questions. Please know that we are in constant communication with them and will update you with information as THEY deem necessary.
How long will we wait before we would make another rescue attempt? That is the big question. Again, we are working with the experts here and we value what they say to be the best advice. Generally, the eaglet can remain alone for several hours without food. When we put Harmon back into the tree, he was full. It is believed that he would be ok for up to 48 hours. The largest danger is that of predators. Harmon is not protected from danger without the parents around.
What will happen to Harmon if the parents don't come back? The experts at the Raptor Center will make that decision once we take him down. There are a couple of options. It has not yet been determined what that will be. It is important to note the decision will be made on "what is best for Harmon," not "what is best for the viewers." We will update you with those details when we are given the green light from them.
A special "thanks" to the Raptor Center and Broadband. Without their support and their boom truck, we would not be able to act so quickly.
We will update you with more information as it becomes available. We are still hopeful that we don't have to make any moves and that the parents return to the nest. Anything is possible.