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 Forum Index > H.W.F. Archives > Archive - Other North American Eagle Cams
 Redding, CA - 2017 - Bald Eagle Cam (formerly Turtle Bay)
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By: RitaR (offline) on Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 11:15 PM EDT  
RitaR

Hi Terri, wave

Thank you. Didn't think they were around or you would have posted some pictures of them. Hope they did go somewhere cooler. Looking forward to seeing the video.


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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 01:08 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

It has been a little over 2 weeks since our dear Solo fell out of the nest and died the following day, but I felt that it was important to document Solo's rescue & eventual demise here on our forum so that we can all learn from this and possibly help another eaglet somewhere, someday...

I know in my heart that we did everything in our power to help our sweet Solo that weekend, and I am eternally grateful to everyone who dropped everything so they could do their part in this attempt to find and rescue Liberty & Spirit's only eaglet this season.

Carole & Rita, who both have been here documenting this nest daily for us all season, both agreed that this would be useful for documentation purposes, so I will go forward with their support & with that important cause in mind...hug

(Please understand that my intentions are not to cause upset for anyone. But, I do want to warn you that some of the photos & videos that I will be sharing with you might be hard for our "sensitive souls" to see. Nothing is extraordinarily graphic, but it is still very upsetting to see our beautiful, young Solo shortly before she passed away.)


On Saturday June 24th, 2017 the temperatures in Redding reached a high of 112 degrees. The entire week was extremely HOT with record breaking temperatures*. *(110 degrees on Sunday 6/18, 112 degrees on Monday 6/19, 110 degrees on Tuesday 6/20, 108 degrees on Wednesday 6/21, 109 on Thursday 6/22 and Friday 6/23.) Concern for our Redding eagles grew, especially since we had never had an eaglet in the nest this late in June before! Our eaglets down here generally fledge during the 1st & 2nd week of June.

But, since this was Liberty & Spirit's 2nd clutch of eggs(one egg did not hatch) for the 2016-2017 Nesting Season, these 2 eggs were laid in mid-March after the egg(s) laid in mid-February were destroyed when Liberty & Spirit's nest at the Riverview Golf & Country Club blew down in a windstorm. That meant the soonest fledge for Solo would have been Tuesday July 4th(11 weeks) or Tuesday July 11th(12 weeks). Knowing how hot it can be in Redding in late June, early July, I put out the word to everyone to keep a close watch on our eagles and contact me if they saw anything concerning.

Rita noticed on the morning of Saturday July 24th, that Spirit had brought in a fish and Solo had not seemed at all interested in the fish? That was one of the first red flags that day that something might not be right with our beloved Solo? Other folks on the Chat Room below the eaglecam were also noticing some red flags that day. Solo normally mantled and was very aggressive toward Spirit whenever he had brought food into the nest, so this was not normal behavior for Solo.
Here is a video that Laurie made for us of typical Solo behavior when food was brought into the nest, this is NOT what happened on that Saturday morning...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s4rf6J ... e=youtu.be


As the afternoon temperatures rose, shortly before 2:40pm, Solo, hopped out onto a branch and then hopped back down into the nest. Then, Solo hopped back out onto that same limb, and after perching there for a bit, suddenly seemed to lose balance and awkwardly fell. 2:43pm was when the hearts of everyone who was watching stopped that day...

I contacted our awesome videographer Laurie McCann & asked her to go back to the time that Solo fell & make a video for us so we would have that to look at. Laurie dropped everything and made that video for us within the hour!hug Thank you Laurie!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwS0jyq ... e=youtu.be


Fly LIke An Eagle!
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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 01:36 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

I did not see Solo fall that day, I had been watching the eaglecam earlier in the day, but I was out and about running errands at that time...

Shortly after Solo fell, I received a phone call from Rita. (She had just asked me for my phone number a few days earlier, fearing as we all did that something might happen & she might need to reach me).

Rita told me that Solo had just fallen while branching! Although I had never spoken to Rita before on the phone, i could tell from her voice that our worst fear had been realized at that moment Sad She asked me if I could get down there to check on her, and I told her I definitely would get down there asap! Thank you so much for calling me right away Rita!hug

I immediately called Shasta Wildlife Rescue, our local rescue & rehab organization. The gal told me that I needed to speak to Marily Woodhouse from Defiance Canyon Raptor Rescue. So, I called Marily and explained what had happened to Solo. Marily asked if I could go down to the nest tree area to see if I could see or hear anything from Solo or the adult eagles. I told her I was on my way and would contact her once I got down there!

I headed home to get my bike & drove to the Turtle Bay area, only 10 minutes from my house. I parked & unloaded my bike and started riding down the 44 Pedestrian/Bike Trail, just as I have done almost daily for many, many years. But, the temperature on this Saturday had climbed to 112 degrees Farenheit(44 degrees Celsius for International friends) and I had NEVER headed down that trail in 112 degree temperatures before!!!

I honestly felt as if I was inside an oven! The first thought that came into my head was that NO LIVING THING could survive this heat without being in or near water!!! My concern for Solo grew, and for the first time, I became a bit concerned for my own health. It really wasn't a good idea for me to be out in heat like that either!

But, I at least wanted to get a quick look & listen near the nest tree area, so I went for it. As I approached the nest tree area, it was eerily quiet. I heard no sounds at all... I saw nothing....

I couldn't stay long, I had to get out of the direct sunlight immediately, so I rode my bike toward the Family Tree, a much shadier area along the Sacramento River...


Fly LIke An Eagle!
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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:35 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

I made it to the Family Tree, but was having some trouble in the heat. I went down to my favorite viewing spot along the river and doused my t-shirt & put it back on! I doused my hat & bandana too! Our river temperature is between 52-56 degrees Farenheit, so that did the trick in cooling me down a bit.

I didn't see Liberty or Spirit in the Family Tree area, or along the river anywhere. I ran into another gal from our FORE group, she was out looking for Solo too. Neither of us heard a sound, which we thought was strange? We thought that if Solo was in distress that she might be calling out? We thought that maybe Liberty or Spirit would be calling? But, there was just silence...

I called Marily to let her know that I hadn't seen or heard anything. She said that because of those extreme temperatures, she didn't expect them to be calling in the middle of the day? She asked if I could come back a few hours later to check again. I told her that I definitely could do that!

I had called my trusty sidekick Kit earlier to let her know that Solo had fallen, so I called her again to give her an update. She said she would drop everything and join me at 7:00pm to check the area one more time before dark. (World traveler Kit had just returned from Costa Rica and was now preparing to leave for a trip to Reno, Nevada, but she didn't give it a second thought!)hug

I went home to pick up my pups and headed out to Whiskeytown Lake to cool off a bit more before my next trip down to the nesting area! We are so lucky to have 2 really nice lakes 20 minutes from Redding!

I met Kit down at the Turtle Bay area at 7pm and we again rode down the 44 Trail toward the nest tree area. This is the closest we can get to the nest without taking a kayak out to Eagle Island. At this point, we were hopeful that Solo might just be down on the ground for a few days, at least in the shade & then eventually work her way back up to the nest.

We just wanted to get a visual on Solo or the adult eagles to see if we could assess the situation & report back to Marily.

Again, nothing but silence...

Kit & I rode over to the Family Tree, saw or heard nothing there. I told Kit that we might be able to make it down to the Swamp Spot where we possibly could see Solo or one of the adults across the pond on Eagle Island? I wasn't sure if we could make it to the end of that trail because I had tried to do that a few months earlier and couldn't get all the way through a logjam at the end of the trail. But, we felt that it was worth a shot, so we went for it!

Unfortunately, the trail to the Swamp Spot was now overgrown with Himalayan Blackberry bushes!!! Kit & I both had hand clippers on us, but no gloves! But, we were motivated by our concern for our dear Solo, so we persisted. About an hour later, we got down to the end of the trail, but as I had found months earlier, it just wasn't passable without a chainsaw Sad

It was almost 9:00 pm and starting to get dark, so Kit & I had to pack it up and head home for the evening. I called Mark from our FORE group, the one who had helped us with the eaglecam installation & the one with the kayaks! Mark was up in Lassen National Park at the time, but I asked him if he could help me try to spot Solo first thing in the morning. He agreed without question, as Mark always does!hug

I called Marily and told her that Kit & I heard or saw nothing from 7-9pm. I told her that we needed to get a kayak so we could get closer to Eagle Island and see if we could spot Solo or one of the adults so we would head back out there first thing tomorrow. Marily agreed that would be the best plan at this point.

So, there wasn't anything else we could do but head home and get prepared for tomorrow's rescue attempt. Kit had an early morning departure for Reno, Nevada for a golf tournament, so she wouldn't be able to be there with us in person, but as always, is with us in spirit...

We were still hoping for the best for our dear Solo! We hoped that this was just something that can happen to eaglets around this age when they begin branching? We think this happened to Bogey at the Riverview nest last season, and he made it back up to the nest a few days later.

Good thoughts & prayers were being sent from all over the World for our Solo, that was all anyone could do...




Fly LIke An Eagle!
~Steve Miller~


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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:02 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

At 7:20 am the next morning, I headed up to Mark's house to load up the kayak and get prepared for our rescue attempt. We both decided to wear long pants instead of shorts, even though it was going to be yet another warm day in Redding. We knew that if we had to go onto Eagle Island, there could be some blackberry bushes there that we would have to walk through.

Mark & I headed down to the Turtle Bay area and launched our kayak at the same spot we had launched many times before on our trips over to the Island for eaglecam installation & repairs! Our plan was just to circle the Island to see if we could spot Solo, or one of the adults. If they looked like they were doing okay, we would not approach the Island, but just leave them be. We surely hoped that would be the case!fingers crossed

As we got closer to the Island, Mark & I realized that a beaver dam that had been there for at least 13 years was no longer there! The high river flows we had this past Winter had washed it out! We also saw that now there was a pretty strong current on the north side of the island and it wasn't safe for us to go in that direction. Mark didn't have his best paddles with him at his house, so we were barely able to paddle over to the island, let alone try to fight a current! So, we decided the only way we were going to get a visual of Solo was to dock the kayak & go onto the Island on foot.

So, Mark & I pulled into the same spot that we had used for the eaglecam repairs, to the northwest of the nest tree, and began our search for Solo.

As I said earlier, we decieded to wear long pants in case there were some berry bushes, but what we didn't plan on, was a literal WALL OF BLACKBERRY BUSHES that had grown to great heights across our trail to the nest tree!!! It was the only way to get through so Mark & I took out our hand clippers and began clipping away! I could not believe that I had forgotten my gloves AGAIN!!! Ouch, those thorns hurt when they go into your fingers!!!

Mark & I took turns being in front slowly clipping thorny branch after thorny branch, and I didn't realize that Mark was taking pictures & documenting the entire rescue attempt!

Our early bird from our FORE Group, Sue Wolf was out on the trails keeping an eye out for Liberty & Spirit while Mark & I were on Eagle Island. She had been out there since 6:00am and had not seen either Liberty or Spirit in the area. Thank you Sue hug

I really expected to find either L or S perched on a low branch somewhere in the area below the nest where Solo had fallen the day before? That was another red flag to me that neither parent was in the area with their young down on the ground like that? That just seemed strange to me at the time?

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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:19 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

Mark was in front after what seemed like an hour of clipping berry bushes, and we could finally see the nest tree. The berry bushes were so tall that we began to fear that we might not be able to find Solo at all?!? We thought if she fell in the middle of a large berry bush patch, she might have sunken down into the bush & might not be visible?

But, we were determined to find Solo, so we kept pushing forward!

Suddenly, Mark said "There she is!" (He said it softly because we did not want to upset Solo with our presence.)

I could not believe it! I moved up closer to Mark so I could get a visual on Solo, and sure enough, there she was! She was alive!!!

At first glance, Solo looked as if she was hung up in the berry bushes? She really didn't look that bad & Mark & I thought if we could just get her out of that spot she would be okay! Our hopes were so high at this point! We were sooooo happy that we had found her & more importantly, that she was alive!

Here are a few shots that I took of Solo when we first found her. I called Marily right away when we found Solo and she asked me if we could take some photos and send them to her so she could assess Solo's condition & see if she needed to come down for a rescue or if we should just let her be?

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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:22 AM EDT  
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By: eaglewoman (offline) on Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:30 AM EDT  
eaglewoman

Marily asked us numerous questions about Solo's condition. Mark & I did our best to answer them while we were also emailing these same photos to her. She was trying to get a look at Solo's eyes and to see if her beak was open or closed, was she panting heavily? She wanted to see if Solo was in distress and needed immediate help or if we should back away and leave her be?


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