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the nest

the nest

Survival of injured baby golden eagle in Utah wildfire called 'amazing'

1y ago


Click Here For Video The resilience of a burned baby golden eagle that survived a Utah wildfire is astounding wildlife rehabilitators nursing him back to health. "The trauma and the injury and the situation he is in -- to come out of it is amazing," said wildlife specialist DaLyn Erickson. All of the eaglet's feathers, even on his head, were charred. He also suffered burns to the feet and around his beak. His improbable story began June 1, when a volunteer who documents eagles for the state placed a band on the bird. The Dump Fire erupted three weeks later, burning more than 5,500 acres south of Salt Lake City. The volunteer returned to the nest, built on the edge of the cliff, thinking he would recover the band from a deceased animal, said Erickson. The nest on Eagle Mountain was gone, the rocks behind it blackened by the blaze. The volunteer then spotted legs and talons near a scorched juniper. Amazingly, the baby eagle was alive. Near him were animal carcasses, evidence his parents had tried to feed him after disaster struck. "He was standing. He was alert," said Erickson, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden. "All things considered, he looked incredible." Fortunately, the bird's eyes were not injured. The bird remained in the area while the volunteer sought permission from federal and state authorities to obtain care for him. On Wednesday, the volunteer handed the bird over to Erickson and her team. There was no food in the craw of the dehydrated eagle, which weighed just over 5 pounds. "He was lethargic and just obviously hurting," Erickson told CNN on Saturday. "After we got him hydrated and medications, he perked up and that fire came back in him." Erickson said Phoenix, about 70 days old, was a handful Saturday, lunging and using his talons as caregivers fed and provided antibiotics to the animal.