Eagles in our Backyard
For many years now, a pair of bald eagles has nested in the wooded area behind our building. These eagles have drawn the attention of our employees and local visitors alike. This year was different though, when tragedy struck and their nest fell from the tree it was sitting in.
Patsy, a nature lover and avid eagle watcher, has been coming here since February 2012 to take photos of the eagles and the subsequent hatching of their 2 eaglets. We had the pleasure of meeting Patsy and she happily shared some of her photos with us; many of which are included in the slideshow above. She also did an amazing job at shooting all of the videos that you see here.
June 18, 2012, was an incredibly windy day here in South Beloit, IL. Patsy was here that morning, videotaping the bald eagle family, when the unthinkable occurred before her very eyes: the nest plummeted from the tree with the eaglets still in it. No longer able to see the nest or the eaglets, Patsy made some phone calls, one of them to us.
A series of calls on our end put us in touch with a local organization called Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education. They were here within a matter of hours, scouring the woods for the displaced and possibly injured baby bald eagles. With the heat in the mid-nineties, the members of Raptor Rehab finally located the first of the two eaglets; a female who was very disorientated and dehydrated but seemingly unharmed.
With much care, they placed her in a secured crate and sprayed her lightly with water. This care continued as team members went back out to look for the sibling. Another hour came and went, with no sign of the second eaglet. The search team was forced to call it a night and take the rescued eaglet in for evaluation. For the next 2 days, in blistering heat, the search continued for the sibling, but to no avail.
By this time, the story of the bald eagles and the search for the eaglet had reached the local media. Within a matter of days, the missing eaglet was spotted and photographed; he or she appeared to be in good health and was able to fly. Since then, the eaglet has been seen with its parents, in the tree that once held their nest.
Meanwhile, a donation was made from Mystic Harvest to help sponsor the rehabilitation of the rescued eaglet. Her care included not only housing and rehydration, but also quails for dinner and mice for breakfast. Little by little, her health improved.
On the morning of Saturday, July 7, 2012, the amazing group at Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education returned to our parking lot. This time though, they were here for a positive reason: they were bringing the female eaglet back to be released. With much care, members of the Raptor organization carried her crate through woods and water, to the place where her nest had fallen. After having her crate uncovered and opened, the eaglet took one step out, glanced around her, and immediately took to the air. Amid cheers, she soared over the tree-line and out of view, while spontaneous applause erupted from onlookers. Her release was complete and she was free to find her family, resuming life in the wild.
Just recently we were lucky enough to obtain the brief but moving video of the release and we say a huge thank you to Kim for her willingness to share this with us.
For additional photos, information and updates, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MysticHarvest. Many thanks to Patsy and also to Candy, Steve, Cathy, Gary and everyone else at Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education.