We have some unfortunate news to share as our eaglet has died overnight. The most likely cause of this is exposure, as the night was so cold and the chick was not brooded by either parent.
Yesterday, the parents were very unsettled on the nest and after an early feeding of the chick, left it unattended most of the day.
Early in the evening a third eagle appeared near the nest, which resulted in a fight with talons thrusting and loud calling. Both eagles fell to the ground, apparently injured.
A small team of volunteers entered the forest in the dark, after approval, to investigate. Two adult eagles were on the ground, and after a careful capture, one of the injured eagles was taken to the nearby Animal Referral Hospital where it was given antibiotics and is being kept in care until further examination. The second eagle was left alone, as it was roosting in a tree.
This morning, two eagles were heard calling and were observed mating above the nest. Neither made any attempt to attend to the chick or the unhatched egg – which is now no doubt unviable. One of the eagles has been identified as our current male and the other is possibly the female. Mating and calling are signs of bonding and re-establishing territory. We have not yet confirmed the identity of this second bird or the one in care.
When more is known, approval will be obtained to possibly band the bird at the Animal Referral Hospital and a decision will be made about a location for release once the eagle has been identified.
It appears another eagle moved into the territory of our pair and the intruder was attacked by the parents, defending their territory and nest.
Nature in the raw can be cruel.