A Sinking Feeling

Being invited to attend the banding of the Eagle chick located at Columbia Lake back in May was a thrill for me.  Meeting my long-time Eagle guru that day was an added bonus let alone meeting K 7.  

The male chick was banded with a CT black band # K 7 on it's left leg and the Federal band on it's right.  However, that day we (those that are more familiar with Eagles and their development) thought it was rather small for a 45 day old bird.

Fast forward to June 27th.  Returning from a morning road trip, I decided to head out to the lake to take a peek on what it was doing.  At that age it would be close to fledging.  Yet I saw nothing...no activity at the nest.  No chick.  No adults.  Very odd, I thought as a gut wrenching, sinking feeling came over me.  I knew then something was not right.

Fast forward a day or two and numerous emails to the folks I submit data to and a decision was made to investigate further in order to ascertain it's (the chick) status. 

Had the chick fledged early?

Meanwhile I continued to network behind the scenes, emailing a gentleman I met the day of the banding.  After sending him a selfie in my "outfit" to identify myself, I asked if he had any photos of the adults or the chick since the banding he could share.  You see, we needed proof...definitive proof.  Finally he disclosed to me that he had seen the adults and had photos.  Although he is a great photographer, his reluctance to share information and/or photos told me to move on to other sources.

Contacting more people I know who live out at the lake, I continued to ask questions about the whereabouts of K 7.  With the help of several people, I was able to verify that the adults were in fact still around.  Yet no one had seen the young bird.  Again that sinking feeling lingered.

Once again, I ask that you fast forward to today.  As of this afternoon, what I can and will say is this.  Chick K 7 is dead.  Although the body will not be examined, either malnutrition or disease was believed to be the cause of death.  The chick was last seen alive on June 14th at 65 days old sitting on the edge of the nest.

Now if you think that is sad, how about this:

Did you know that a lead sinker can kill an Eagle?  

"Effects from lead that affects humans can debilitate and kill an Eagle", "Bald Eagles are dying from lead used in hunting and fishing products,"and the quotes go on and on.  Check this article out..Lead Poisoning Blamed In Eagle Deaths.

just seeing, saying and sharing...

A Sinking Feeling

with you and those at


Terra said…
I love eagles and how sad, especially as you had formed a connection with the young bird who died.
I feel tearful. I'm lost...the age of the little one when it was tagged? The connection with lead? Was the band made of lead? Why was it sitting on the edge of the nest? Was it rejected by the mother?

I can barely know how badly you feel. Today though, I came upon a somewhat larger bird, about the size of a mourning dove, that apparently hit one of our very large windows and died. Thankfully, this happens less with the shade of our grown trees (the previous owners claimed a duck flew into one of them). It was such a beautiful color...sort of blackish blue with white scallops on the wings. When I picked it up with a paper towel, it was still soft and warm. It broke my heart. It always does. And your feelings, I can't say I can compare, but the loss of a beautiful creature is certainly hard no matter.

Sending a warm hug, JP.

italiafinlandia said…
That baby eagle is irresistible!
Bee Lady said…
I’m so sorry the baby eagle didn’t survive. It’s hard enough for wild animals to survive, and even harder with the additional hardships us humans put on them, and all of nature. There are so many things that should be banned.
Ann said…
How very sad.
MadSnapper said…
that is truly sad about the baby, and I did not know that the lead that kills humans can kill birds, I did know plastic is killing fish and birds and fishing line to...
eileeninmd said…
Hello, very sad news about the juvenile eagle. I heard they can swallow bullets from deer that have been shot. It makes it more special to see some eagles survive when the odds can be against them.
Rambling Woods said…
Too much sad news for me this week..I am sorry...
How sad to read this story about the eagle chick, JP.
Sylvia said…
JP, I am so sorry to hear about the eagle who died. Very sad! I know how much you love those birds. Have a great day. Sylvia D.

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