Eaglet Removed from Twin Cities Area Nest has 'Serious' Wing Injury

Updated: 05/03/2014 7:36 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

A struggling baby eagle has been removed from its nest by the Department of Natural Resources and was found with a serious injury.

An eaglet, who some call "Snap" and is less than two months old, continues to fight for its life. The chick was seen struggling on the DNR EagleCam.

According to the DNR, the chick was not stuck, but has an injury that prevented the chick from moving. The eaglet has been taken to the Raptor Center in St. Paul for rehabilitation.

According to Lori Naumann with the DNR Non-Game Wildlife Program, the injury is to its elbow, the main joint in the wing. She says it’s swollen, and much bigger than the other wing.

They will perform radiographs and x-rays to determine the extent of the injury. “Being that it’s a wing injury, it is very serious,” Naumann said. For now, they are treating the chick with fluids.

They will make a decision this weekend as to whether the eaglet can be treated further, or if it will need to be put down.

KSTP has been following this story and we've been flooded with calls and emails from people around the country concerned for the bird.

The DNR put together a rescue crew Friday night to see if they could help the bird.

The DNR initially said it did not want to interfere with nature, due to the possibility of the parents abandoning the nest if humans enter their nest.

At this point, it's unclear why the had a change of heart.

It's the second year in a row the DNR has gone live from an undisclosed nest site somewhere in the Twin Cities area.

Biologists believe it's the same pair that used the nest last year. Their eggs failed to hatch, probably because they were laid too early and froze. This year, the female had laid two eggs in early February.

The eagle camera is funded by the DNR's nongame wildlife program, which gets money from donations made on line 21 of the Minnesota income tax form, also known as the "chickadee check-off."