RUSH CITY, Minn. – A baby eagle presumed to have died when its tree and nest crashed to the ground in storms last weekend, has instead resurfaced alive.
“I thought it was just a turkey, a big turkey or something like that,” said Dave Diersen, who owns the land where the tree fell.
Diersen spotted the eaglet first on the ground in his farmyard. “He opened up his wings, just huge, that’s when he went up to the top of the tractor.”
The eaglet hung around on the hood of Diersen’s John Deere tractor long enough for Diersen to snap several photos. “He just looked at me, like, ‘Yeah, I’m not moving.’”
Another eaglet in the same nest was recovered by The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. X-rays revealed a badly broken wing and the eaglet was euthanized.
After finding the second eagle alive and seemingly uninjured, the Diersens contacted The Raptor Center.
Susan Diersen, Dave’s wife, says The Raptor Center told her the eaglet is still learning to fly and that it could take a couple of weeks before it is able to remain airborne.
“They also said the parents will no longer feed it to its beak so instead they’ll be flying above it and they will be dropping food to it,” Susan Diersen said.
Indeed on Sunday, Dave Diersen photographed the adult eagles in a nearby tree with a large fish clenched in one of their talons.
The Diersens expressed concern to The Raptor Center that their German shepherd dog might harm the eaglet. “They said don’t worry about the eaglet, worry about your dog,” laughed Dave Diersen.
The tree from which the eaglets fell gained fame last July when another eaglet became entangled in a piece of rope and ended up hanging upside down.
That eagle, later named Freedom, was freed when Afghanistan war veteran Jason Galvin shot through the rope, a story that garnered interest around the globe.
Freedom, whose talon was too damaged to hunt, is now training to be a Raptor Center educational bird.